City of Newark, NJ celebrates contributions of Sierra Leone community with flag-raising ceremony
The City of Newark – New Jersey’s most populous and home to the largest concentration of African Americans in the Garden State celebrated the contributions of the Sierra Leone community with a Flag-Raising Ceremony Friday, April 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm at City Hall.
The ceremony took place in the Rotunda and on the Steps of City Hall located at 920 Broad Street in observation of Sierra Leone’s achievement of political independence from Britain 51 years ago on April 27th, 1961.
Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations: Ambassador Shekou Toure and Rev. Leeroy Kabs Kanu, Minister Plenipotentiary and Head of the Mission’s Public information Department were Special Guests for the flag-raising ceremony.
The African Countries flag-raising ceremonies at Newark City Hall is the brain child of Ivorian-born Mr. Dosso Kassimou, Chair of the Newark African Commission (NAC). Mr. Kassimou said other Guest Speakers at the Salone flag-raising ceremony included: Mariama Sire Dione, Goodwill Ambassador to UNESCO Center for Peace; Mariamu B. Fofana, Member, House of Representatives, Liberia; Dr. Abena P.A. Busia, Chair, Department of Garden & Women Studies, Rutgers-Newark.
During a phone interview from his office in Newark, Mr. Kassimou said “basically, the idea of an African country flag-raising ceremony on independence day at Newark City Hall is to empower and to show pride of our African cultures of the different countries in the community, we must start to come out to showcase our presence and contributions to the economy of not only the City of Newark, New jersey but to the entire America and other communities.”
This year’s Flag-raising is dedicated to Women’s Leadership in Africa and the festivities included celebration of Sierra Leone culture, folklore, cuisine.
While Sierra Leone is celebrating its second annual flag-raising, Mr Kassimou said Nigeria leads the pack with three celebrations while Togo and Ghana have celebrated two flag-raising ceremonies respectively.
But Mr. Kassimou also acknowledged that “Sierra Leone is just one country, our ultimate goal is to bring all African countries and Africans together.”
For more information contact: Dosso Kassimou, Chair the Newark African Commission-(973)-849-5209; Newark Press Information Office – (973) 733-8004. E-mail: Pressoffice@ci.newark.nj.us
By Dennis Kabatto, USA
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