By Nicholas Osei-Wusu
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, has urged Madam Francia Elena Marquez Mina to leverage her status as the first Vice President of Columbia with African descent to advance the interests of Africa, particularly Ghana, in her home country, particularly through the creation of more partnerships for the mutual interest of the two nations.
According to Otumfuo Osei Tutu, there are many commonalities between Colombia and Ghana, including the weather, agricultural production, trade, and investment, which should be pursued by both countries for economic promotion.
The Asantehene made the call at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi when the visiting Colombian Vice President paid a courtesy call on him. The Vice President of Colombia, Madam Francia Elena Marquez Mina, is on an official visit to Ghana.
This is her second visit to Africa and the first to Ghana. Madam Mina is the first Afro-Colombian to attain the status of Vice President of the South American country.
As part of her official tour of Ghana, Madam Mina has visited the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi to pay a courtesy call on the Asantehene.
The visit is in pursuance of her conviction that she is of African ancestry, specifically Asante.
The visiting Vice President was accompanied to the Palace by the Colombian Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Garces Carabali, his wife, and the Colombian Deputy Minister for Finance and led by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah.
Madam Mina expressed optimism that her ancestors were victims of the slave trade 400 years ago and traced her roots to Asante, Ghana, based on certain traits that not only she has observed but many others in Colombia too.
The Vice President explained that her visit to Ghana is not only to reconnect with her roots but also to explore and establish economic and cultural relationships with the country.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, described the slave trade, which sought to perpetually ship Africans away from their homes to foreign lands, as regrettable.
He commended the Colombian Vice President for trying to re-connect with her ancestry and therefore offered her open arms.
“I’m here to represent the President of Colombia, who has given me a task, a task to re-connect with, but, of course, our cultural root that makes our bond. We’ve the capacity to work on agriculture, on different exchanges in trade, and that’s what we’re here to work to make a reality,” Madam Mina explained.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu urged Madam Mina to use her position to advance the interests of Africa and Ghana in particular in her home country while leveraging on the commonalities among the two countries to establish trade and investment opportunities for the mutual good of Ghana and Columbia.
The Asantehene charged her, “being the 1st Afro-Colombian Vice President, we here are expecting more collaboration between Colombia and Ghana. Your own background in agriculture, mining, and environmentalism. We strongly believe that your weather and our weather and agricultural systems are the same. Therefore, do better for us to communicate with you when we have our daughter as the Vice President.“
While expressing appreciation for the warm reception accorded her, the Colombian Vice President officially invited the Asantehene for a reciprocal visit to Colombia, which the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, readily accepted.