From Barbados to Liberia

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Very often we hear the worst about black democracies which is fueled by self-serving western media houses. My interactions on a trip to Ghana is one of utter disbelief by many I met, that a black democracy exists where education is free, the rule of law is respected, health care is free, social security exists as a net for the vulnerable and peaceful transfer of power exist whenever elections are held every 5 years and political killings do not exist nor do tribes.

This country is but a tiny dot in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the South American continent, thus it was the first stop for slave ships with its kidnapped cargo. Only 166 square miles in size with a population of some 283,000 souls of which 93% are of African ancestry. Its per capita income of approximately US$16,000 is fueled by tourism, offshore businesses and I dare posit Barbados high investment in education which is seen in its high literacy rate of some 98%, as schooling is mandatory from age 4 to 16 with severe penalties for non-compliance.

Barbados as country is known to be a country to punch above its weight if the words of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is to be believed. During the apartheid era Barbados was among the first to request sanctions against the racist regime after a Barbadian seaman was murdered by the South African police.

As a former colony the proverbial colonial string was severed with the British in 1966 when Barbados became independent, thanks to the late Rt Hon Errol Barrow, first Prime Minister of Barbados. Sadly, Barbados still loiters on the steps of Westminister Abby as the Queen still remains head of state through the ceremonial office of a Governor General.

Barbados is indeed a paradise and its connection to Liberia cannot and should not be ignored but be exploited.

Finally, I look forward to informing you through my writings to inspire, empower, educate and your engagement.

Kammie Holder
Social Commentator can be reached at
[email protected]

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