NNA – The World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) kicked off its consultative conference on Saturday in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, with the participation of a group of national councils from across the world.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by the King and Queen of Ghana, the Ghanaian Army Commander Obed Akwa, the Mayor of Accra Mohammed Adjei Sowah, as well as representatives of Lebanese Cultural Councils and Branches in Ghana, Australia, France, Argentina, Netherlands, Los Angeles, Brazil, Liberia, British Columbia, Venezuela and Canada.
Taking the floor, Speaker of the National Council of Ghana, Shakib Rammal, indicated that the aim of the conference is to “consult together to find the best formula to fill the vacancies and presidential vacuum, and to address the current organizational disintegration of the Lebanese Cultural League across the world at all levels.”
“The Union is here to stay,” he said. “It is the path that leads us to hard work and transforms our relations as expatriates with our motherland from a feeling of affection and nostalgia to a sense of responsibility, away from the poison of politics that leaked out of Lebanon and grew in some of us,” Rammal added.
“We are tired of interferences and meddling in our affairs…We hope that the President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, and the new government will carry out reforms through national and not sectarian mechanisms and sharing of quotas,” he went on.
“We are neutral about everything except violence and loyalty, and we had the privilege of organizing our first seminar in Dbayeh in Lebanon last August, which came out with constructive recommendations,” disclosed Rammal.
He urged “politicians in Lebanon to stop transferring their problems to the Lebanese Diaspora.”
A message by the President of the Republic of Ghana was then read out to attendees, in which he wished success for the works of the conference.
The Mayor of Accra then delivered a speech in which he spoke about the importance of the Lebanese community in Accra, its valuable contributions and effectiveness.
In turn, the Ghanaian Army Chief shed light in his word on the historical relationship between Ghana and Lebanon, and the large number of Lebanese expatriates residing in Ghana who have acquired Ghanaian citizenship, learned its heritage and got married to Ghanaians.
“There are a lot of people interested in the industry and the development of the economy…Lebanon has many characteristics in Ghana, such as the training school for youth and others, and Ghana has enjoyed an important military frontier since 1978, whereby more than 80 percent of the Ghanaian armies have previously served in Lebanon,” he added.
The Ghanaian Army Chief expressed his belief that Lebanon and Ghana have a lot to learn from each other, which would lead to mutual development and overcoming of poverty and disease.
He concluded by hoping for further boosting and strengthening of Lebanese-Ghanaian relations.
The inaugural ceremony was followed by work sessions that focused on the recommendations that are to be issued at the conclusion of the conference.