STATEMENT BY H.E. ELIPHAS BARINE, HIGH COMMISSIONER ON THE OCCASSION OF HOISTING THE KENYAN FLAG AT THE NEWLY OPENED RESIDENT CHANCERY IN ACCRA, GHANA – 1ST JUNE 2020
Fellow Kenyans and friends, Akwaaba.
On this auspicious occasion, let me thank all of us for finding time to join in hoisting and saluting our flag in this beautiful city of Accra. It is a very significant and historical occasion that redefines the trajectory of relations between our two friendly countries. And when history is written, we shall be counted as having been witnesses.
Permit me at this juncture to recognize those have worked hard to put this together, starting with our forerunners, Arch. Henry Addy and my team & families. Reflecting on the many days and weeks, it is dream come true.
The significance of hoisting the tri-colour, and white strips flag, all of which have very deep and indelible meaning proffer me, and I believe each of us, immeasurable joy. It reminiscences, the Saturday morning at 00.00hrs of 1st June 1963, when we gained our self rule (Madaraka), which we are coincidentally celebrating the 57th Anniversary today, and on the Saturday morning of 12th December 1964 at 00.00hrs at Uhuru Gardens, when Union Jack flag was lowered, and our hard-earned freedom from the shackles colonial servitude, through sweat and blood, our beautiful stripped tri-colour & white flag, look at it, stoically went up, henceforth marking the birth and a new down of a sovereign Nation with all features and characteristics as espoused in the Montevideo Convention of 1933, capable of running her affairs and interaction with the rest in the comity of nations on equal footing.
Ladies and gentlemen
One cannot, but marvel at the determination and sacrifice our freedom fighters and founding fathers had to endure, with so little against such a powerful global empire, an undisputed king in the marine spheres, but remained focussed sacrificially, unbowed and indomitably unbwogable! And Mzee Jomo Kenyatta had this to say, ‘”Our children may learn about the heroes of the past. Our task ahead is to make ourselves the architects of the future”
Those of our generation, and here today, have a higher calling and solemn duty to earn our stripe by distinguishing our deeds with the quality of service to our people, further crystallizing those dreams, remaining mutually accountable, and doing the right thing as Martin Ruther King Jr said “The time is always right to do what is right”, even in the season of COVID 19, because we “miss 100% of the shorts we do not take” said Wayne Gretzky. We will be remembered for those small, but most significant, deeds we do at the darkest hour.
On this land, our host country, then Gold Coast, in 1957 Ghana became the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to gain independence. The founding Father Dr. Kwame Nkrumah delayed the declaration of a Republic by close to three years on account of his enduring belief that “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked-up with the total liberation of the African Continent.”
The context today is Kenya’s desire and determination to expand her foot print in the west-African shores, not only in pursuit of promoting collaboration, cooperation and growth of opportunities for our peoples, but augmentation of the Pan-African agenda, a philosophy advanced by our founding fathers which to-date continue to drive Kenya’s Afro-Centric foreign policy. Today’s event is a symbol and affirmation of confidence in our relations, that are historical, cordial, spanning over decades and buttressed by enduring solidarity which is poised to go a notch higher. The opening of a resident Mission is an additional cornerstone to further boost ongoing efforts for strategic cooperation.
On that long haul flight, I invite and look forward to each of us here and all Kenyans to take advantage of the wind that is blowing, and to bring in world class skills, and experiences, and to seek partnership with the Ghanaian people to better the quality and quantum of our folk’s wellbeing through wealth creation from the vast and abundant resource in the continent. In delivering on this, I will continue to count on you and the entire Kenyan Diaspora, through concerted consultations as we innovatively navigate through this global pandemic. You have, and will continue to play a pivotal role to which I extend the Mission’s invitation and warm appreciation.
To conclude, may I once again take a quote from Kwame Nkrumah “Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation. The notion that in order to have a nation it is necessary for there to be a common language, a common territory and a common culture has failed to stand the test of time or the scrutiny of scientific definition of objective reality….the community of economic life is a major feature within a nation, and it is the economy which holds together the people living in a territory. It is on this basis that the new Africans recognize themselves as potentially one nation, whose dominion is the entire African Continent”.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the Africa free Continental Trade Area, Headquartered in this capital, is meant to deliver.