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Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, centre, in conversation with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, left, as Gonsalves’ wife, Eloise Gonsalves, looks on. (Photo: API)
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, centre, in conversation with Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, left, as Gonsalves’ wife, Eloise Gonsalves, looks on. (Photo: API)
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Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves has suggested that his country and Ghana establish an exchange programme in education.

The initiative would allow students from each country to study for degree programmes in the other, according to the Agency for Public Information.

Gonsalves made the suggestion on Tuesday during a courtesy call on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, as part of a five-day official visit to the West African nation, which ends today, Friday.

Gonsalves said the geography and history of the two nations and the development of Ghana’s institutions require the institutionalism of a mechanism to develop the economic, trading, cultural and political ties and cooperation between SVG and Ghana.

The Vincentian leader also spoke of the possibility of an African-Brazil-Caribbean relationship that will seek to build the people of the countries involved.

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Meanwhile, Akufo-Addo said that the idea of cooperation is an exciting one and that Ghana would not relent in its efforts to ensure cooperation in the areas of health, education, socio-political and economic development for the benefit of both countries and their people.

He also spoke of the role Ghana played in advancing the interest of countries in the Caribbean, citing, as an example, his country’s position against the disintegration of the Africa Caribbean Pacific alliance.

Akufo-Addo said the African Union, with Ghana’s support, will also continue to maintain that position.

Gonsalves heads a delegation that includes Kingstown’s High Commissioner to London, Cenio Lewis and SVG’s Ambassador to Cuba, Ellsworth John.

The prime minister is also accompanied by wife, Eloise Gonsalves, and Adrian Francois of the prime minister’s security detail.

elmina castle
Elmina Castle. (Internet photo)

Meanwhile, Gonsalves is said to have been “visibly distraught” when he was taken on a guided tour of the Elmina and Cape Coast slave dungeons in Ghana on Wednesday.

Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 in present-day Elmina, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast).

It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.

The caster was first established as a trade settlement but later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade.

The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Thomas Yaw Adjei-Baffoe and other high profile government officials led Gonsalves and his delegation on the tour of the Elmina and Cape Coast castles, Ghana media reports say.

Gonsalves was talked through the various stages the slaves went through before they were shipped to the Americas.

“Gonsalves listened to the tour guide with rapt attention and did not say a word but he was clearly distraught as he imagined what life was like for a human being locked in the dungeons,” a media report out of Ghana said.

The prime minister and his team spent almost two hours in the Elmina Castle, from where most of the Africans were transported to the Americas to work in plantations.

Cape Coast and Elmina Castles are two UNESCO heritage sites that attract international personalities.

Recently, the wife of the US President, Melania Trump visited Cape Coast Castle to learn more about the slave trade.

25 replies on “Gonsalves proposes SVG-Ghana student exchange”

  1. Many here have a little idea that their very presence here, on these few pieces of rocks, came out of the dastardly slave trade. However poor education and continued exploitation renders them little better off than the conditions that prevailed during the period of hideous shackled slavery.

    Would that they ask themselves what has changed over those many passing years since the Portuguese and Dutch had set up shop in Africa, enslaved, exported and heaped upon a people so much wretchedness, grief and misery?

    Elmina Castle Ghana

    1. You are sick in the head to say that our Black people are little better off than they were under slavery, a comment that tells me that you are a white foreigner ready to reinslave us if you got a chance.

      We are a thousand times better off than our slave ancestors in every possible way.

      The only irony is that we are also generally better off roday on the whole than many of our African brothers and sisters, though this could never be an excuse for our heinous experience as slaves.

      Shame on you and shame on IWN for posting this racist comment.

      1. Duke DeArment says:

        There are different sides to this topic. In some cases, on earth today people are treated worse than slaves. Allegedly, according to National Geographic, there are slave camps in the USA today, in Florida for example, right next to exclusive country clubs. If you go to Columbia and see how sugarcane is farmed, those people probably wish they were slaves because then they would be better treated. Men work for three meals but no pay. They have to have a wife or other family members working somehow to pay the rent and buy clothing. Slaves were given shelter and anything to keep them healthy enough to keep them working. The only good thing for these poor workers today is that theoretically they can leave anytime they wish. Maybe they can join a migrant caravan and go to the USA, passage paid for by George Soros.
        There are things going on today far worse than slavery. Think about the women that are forced and tricked into prostitution, even in countries like Israel and the USA. In a sense, when you do not have a passport you feel like you have no identity.

        I know of a case where a Vincentian in the Grenadines placed an ad in an overseas newspaper for domestic worker. A Russian girl got the job. He took her passport and she was forced into being a sex slave for this man, as well as helping him maintain his small guesthouse. I contacted someone with influence and got her out of the country.

  2. When will the world recognize the transatlantic slave trade as an African Holocaust? The peoples of West Africa were quite developed when the Europeans enslaved them and took over their lands further robbing then of almost everything they had. This morning the UN recognized Bob Marley and his reggae music as a world heritage music. According to the Unesco, reggae music gave a voice to the marginalized and oppressed peoples of the world even though it is now a form of mainstream music.

    1. This was not a Holocaust in any way, as you claim, if only because the aim of the slave trade and slavery generally was to keep the slaves alive as long as possible to extract as much labour from them as possible while eoncouraging them to breed as much as possible to produce as many more slave labourers as possible.

      The murder of six million Jews and a million of so other “undesirables” by the Germans was a deliberate attempt to exterminate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

      There is no comparison. None. To claim otherwise, is anti-Semitism 101.

      1. Professor John says:

        Of course the 6 million jews is total fantasy. There were not that many jews in all of Europe at the time. The 6 million number is taken from Jewish scripture. If you look at the Official Red Cross records and the number is “pushed” as much as possible, there were 280,000 souls that died in the concentration camps mostly from Cholera and less than 12 percent were jewish. There are even news articles that state Germany killed 6 million Jews before Hitler came to power. The truth is that Judaism “declared war” against Germany in the early part of the century and a fanatic Hitler used this information, in part to gain power. After President Hindenburg died, technically the end of the Weimar Republic and Germany’s experiment into Democracy, he consolidated power unto himself and then nothing could stop him.
        So much of the anti-jewish narrative from that time is total fantasy but it is taboo to talk truth about it, especially to a Jewish scholar like yourself. Sorry to give you the truth. Anyone who tells the truth is labeled an anti-semite nazi who wants Hitler to come back and gas the Jews and enslave the world. YOU WILL BELIEVE WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO BELIEVE OR ELSE….!

      2. I am unclear how and why you transform a description of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as an African Holocaust as a hatred of Jews simply for being Jews. I am also unclear why the deliberate slaughter of 6 million Jews simply for being Jews is more morally offensive than the millions of Africans who died because of the brutalities inflicted upon them by slave masters who sought to extract every once of labour from the enslaved in search of profits.

        Bottomline: why create an hierarchy or competition between human evil of such magnitude? It makes no sense,

      3. The first holocaust happened just off the coast of Namibia on a place called Shark Island, whose history was swept under the carpet. It was an atrocity enacted on African people by Germans around 1904 to 1908. This place had the first concentration camp where estimates of three to four thousand black people were slaughtered, brutalised and worked to death. Many historians cite the Namibian (Shark Island) genocide as being the blueprint for the concentration camps in Nazi Germany decades later.

        Below is an example of the atrocities African people suffered under German colonialism in Africa:

        In one of the local concentration camps, at a place called Swakopmund, women were forced to boil the severed heads of their own people, and scrape the flesh, sinews and ligaments off the skull with shards of broken glass. The victims may have been people they had known or even relatives. The skulls were packed into crates and sent off to museums and universities in Germany.

        This is definitely a holocaust.

  3. You can all be assured that the only reason Gonsalves went to Ghana was to get an exchange deal on students.


    Because Ghana is a British Commonwealth country just like Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as such Ghanaian’s are entitled to come to SVG and vote. You should know also that all the Nigerian medical students voted in the last national elections in SVG, because they are also from a Commonwealth country are are entitled to vote.

    The only requirement for any Commonwealth citizen to vote in SVG is that they reside in SVG for a minimum of six months before becoming eligible to vote.

    So you can be assured this is all part of a clever plan by our Political Scientist Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph E Gonsalves. They can plonk a body of students in a close run and in doing so influence the vote in their favour..

    How do we know the students will vote ULP? don’t ask because I will not tell you here because Mr Chance will not publish it in fear of being sued, and we cannot blame him for that.

    1. Good intelligent observation , with a little strategic suspense at the end lol and most likely true . Dont hate the man because hes smart and says two step ahead of his competitors lol.

    2. Excellent Jolly Green! I thought he was going to beg for loans as he usually does; in order to enslave the future generations of Vincentians to the invisible chains of DEBT SLAVERY. In that way, he is returning to the place where the former method of slave trading took place to continue the tradition of modern slavery. I believe I am also right, in part, but your information is the elephant in the room that no one sees.

  4. It’s still like that today in Ghana but holding Canadian’s & Americans hostages in their airports. .This is not a fraudulent report. .

  5. What is it with you, who calling yourself C ben-David that makes you think that you and you alone, is indeed the sole arbiter of the sufferings of the peoples of African descent? People who were abused, enslaved and exported and those of modern day Africans? Why is it that only you who can determine whether they had suffered a Holocaust?

    One just has to take issue with you little wannabe Hebrew. You a person who as a result of having briefly lived under Dutch rule, have now developed such psychological ailments, the first identifiable symptom of which is that of your “schizophrenia”, adding to that of your “Stockholm syndrome” and were you as an individual to be residing here in SVG rather than in the Americas, we would all no doubt fall victim to your other ailment of “Munchausen syndrome by proxy” as you seek to do away with us all in order to draw attention to yourself.

    For want of your usual “something mischievous to say”, I am here being accused of being “sick in the head” for daring to suggest that “poor education and continued exploitation renders” many Vincentians “little better off than the conditions that prevailed during the period of hideous shackled slavery”. Yet the evidence of little change with us is all around us and very plain to see.

    By way of evidence, a drive throughout these little pieces of rocks that we now find ourselves on, shows up our sickening deprivation and poverty.

    We here are experiencing a democracy in name only where privileges by the few rules sway. Lack of wages by the many, poor environmental conditions, bad accommodation and equally poor control over those who govern us. I really do not see what is better now than when the iron shackles were being braced onto all those unluckily enough to find themselves as captives.

    And as to who can joins in the fight for freedom. Well William Wilberforce, a white foreigner was an English politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement established to stop the slave trade and so too was Charles Middleton, Thomas Clarkson and ninety nine percent of the men and women in that movement that campaigned to bring about an end to slavery. Indeed all of whom were white individuals, so what therefore is the added problem C ben-David with someone being White and fighting to establish true freedom and emancapition?

    Solutions to this five hundred year old abuse, exploitation and privileges, lays surely in who will wrest and yank control away from these traditional abusers and not on any combatants skin colour. Nevertheless, one fear that this presumption of one’s skin colour by you, is merely yet another red herring, by a narcissist suffering from “schizophrenia”.

    For you here to deny that there was an African Holocaust, really is a gross insult to the thirty five or so million Africans who suffered at the hands of those engaged in that dastardly slave trade and the multitude of their descendants that are still suffering today from racism, abuse and exploitation.

    The English Oxford Dictionary definition of the word Holocaust is: “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war”. Another definition is expressed as
    “The systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.”

    Moreover to quote Josh Fleet for the Huffington Post 27th Jan 2012 on the use of the term; “This usage came about gradually. The lower-case “holocaust” has described the violent deaths of large groups of people probably since the 18th century, according the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Before World War II, the word was used by Winston Churchill and others to refer to the genocide of Armenians during World War I. In 1933, “holocaust” was first associated with the Nazis after a major book burning. And after Word War II, the “Final Solution” was often called a holocaust. “

    Indeed, the government of Turkey had ordered the executions and mass deportations of about 1 million Armenians during World War I. That act we see, was classified as a “holocaust” yet for you however, the capture, abuse, exportation and enslavement of thirty five or so million Africans, three quarter of whom perished before even crossing the Atlantic, this act is not to be classed as a “holocaust”?

    Your gross position my dear can only be ignored because of your profound “schizophrenia”!

    1. I agree with you that Ben David’s rejection of the use of the word holocaust to describe the trans-Atlantic slave trade has no merit. For someone who proclaims on these pages his unyielding commitment to facts and logic in making his arguments across many different subjects, he abandoned that formula here.

      Nothing within the etymology of the word “holocaust,” or the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, undermines the description of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as an African holocaust. Africa paid a huge price for the trans-Atlantic slave trade and Ben David may want to read or re-read Walter Rodney’s “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.”

      I would disagree with you, however, that anyone living in SVG is living in conditions comparable to slavery. Slavery is defined as the use of violence or the threat of violence to transform a human being into a commodity to be used and abused as then owner sees fit. There is simply nothing in St. Vincent today or anywhere in the Caribbean where such a condition prevails. Slavery was never about whether you had access to food, clothes, education, jobs, recreation etc. It was whether you had ownership of your body, And the slave masters used every form of violence and the legal system to deny that Black people owned their bodies.

      None of this means that we cannot criticize life in SVG or anywhere else in the Caribbean. But the very reason why we can do this is that we are not slaves.

  6. Everything he does is part of a plan, like being out of the country when something important is happening.

  7. Ghana is a far poorer country than we are so has little or nothing to offer us by way of aid or trade.

    The only Western Hemisphere country they have any export trade with is Brazil (0.23 percent of all trade). Just another useless but expensive photo op trip by the PM and his wife.

    1. If you could read your statement again, slowly this time, esp your first sentence, maybe, only maybe you’ll understand how your ignorant putrefied brain tries to expose itself to the world. Far poorer country and…? For the sake of other sane Vincentians here, I’ll just pass and I hope you find knowledge soon, and keep all to yourself. It’s mostly free!

  8. A very very wicked leader seek to destory this christian nation by mixing the Godly with the Heathens peolpe or nation this is to remove the name of the Holy living God ways and worship Jehovah Jesus christ by the mixing wake up christian body of Christ the end is much closer than you think !!

  9. But the trip was not only to Ghana, they went to other unannounced places which they have kept secret.

  10. Amos Greaves. says:

    C.Ben-Davis you deserve the verbal rebuke that you just got. This forum is to encourage reasonable debate and discussion. Calling someone sick in the head is ridiculous. It’s all right to have different opinions. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

  11. Slavery Jim Jordan is also defined as “a condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation.”

    But quite apart from that, and taking your accepted definition into account, it is undeniable that “shackled slavery” is no longer being carried out in SVG, the same having been abolished under “The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. But what is this new freedom Jim? Is it entirely an implied freedom without any real tangible meaning?

    Indeed, many would argue, that although there are no longer shackled slaves here anymore, our whole society is riddled with a far worst debilitating form of slavery, that of “mental slavery,” so were we ever truly made free? For while under the yoke of shackled slavery a good many individuals retained the idea of rebellion. Of putting an end to the plantation, master and all! But how does one get rid of mental slavery?

    Now just look at what we have been reduced to under this terrible disorder of mental slavery? Pitiful specimens of humanity suffering also with the “Stockholm syndrome”. Docile childlike donkeys! Being ruled over like caged ne’er-do-wells.

    Indeed Jim you rightly said that “Slavery was never about whether you had access to food, clothes, education, jobs, recreation etc. It was whether you had ownership of your body,” Now consider the consequences of “mental slavery” Jim, its effects on the descendants of the once shackled slaves. Free caged ne’er-do-wells?

    For your information Jim, take note of what was written above, it read; “However poor education and continued exploitation renders them little better off than the conditions that prevailed during the period of hideous shackled slavery.”

    The crucial point there Jim being, that the prevailing conditions now is “little better off than the conditions that prevailed during the period of hideous shackled slavery.” It was never said to be the same.

    However, just take stock of our wretched state, and ask just how we will ever escape from our new hell, when we do not even recognise our poverty and our debilitating state and condition. Is this “Mental Slavery” a better state of being to that of the “Shackled Slavery” Jim?

    1. Brother Bob did tell us to “Emancipate Yourself From Mental Slavery.” Your point would be that that emancipation has not yet arrived. But it seems to me that your own condemnation of what you see as the remnants of mental slavery prove that we have the capacity to do what Brother Bob asks us to do.

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