African Americans Root Seekers Get Triumphant Reception in Cameroon
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African Americans Root Seekers Get Triumphant Reception in Cameroon

Yaoundé : Cameroon | Dec 23, 2010 at 3:10 AM PST
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A protest against the president of the Confederation of African Football Issa Hayatou

Christmas period they say is a moment that is spend at home. A group of African Americans 50 in number who arrived Cameroon as part of a going back to their roots program will spend the Christmas with their ancestral brothers and sisters. The "Reconnexion Ancestry Programme" launched by a Non Governmental Organization Ark Jimmer is also aimed at promoting interculture between the USA and Cameroon. The fifty African-Americans of Cameroon origin were given a wonderful reception by the Cameroon Government. Cameroon Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma, in a briefing with the media disclosed that the Cameroonian Americans will spend over two weeks in country. During their stay back home, they will visit their ancestral families, villages and share with the population, they are also expected to organize a Press Briefing in relation to their home-coming. As part of their homecoming, sources say on January 1, 2011, the fifty Cameroonian Americans will be thrilled by musicians, a ceremony that will take place under the patronage of Prime Minister Philemon Yang. They will also visit some historic sites like Bimbia in the South West Region of Cameroon and upon return, they will also be issued Cameroon identity cards. Public opinion in Cameroon however holds that this historical connection is a necessity first to the african americans because it is a wonderful step foward towards the indispensable unity of black people. While another school of thought holds that it would help heal the indentity problem faced by most afro americans. To the man in the street, instead of bringing in Chinesse, it is good that government is trying to link them with their brothers and sisters who for this or that reason lost contact. A wider number of Cameroonians are even suggesting that they should be given free land to build houses and get properly settled.

More so it is aired that to go further back in history - linking families to their origins in Africa - DNA research is usually required. This gesture is creating news in Cameroon and the group of African Americans are already regarded in the country as heroes. whereas, So many African-Americans get the cold shoulder when trying to find out about their slave ancestors that some hide the fact they are black when first making contact with the slave-owners' descendants

Even though the emphasis lies on finding out information about the families of the visiting Cameroonian Americans, it is also believed what is common known as "back to the roots" program will enhance Cameroon-USA friendships and diplomacy

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Issa Hayatou, President of the Confederation of African Football
Issa Hayatou, President of the Confederation of African Football
dongamantungeye is based in Bamenda, Nordouest, Cameroon, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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