Plans are in high gear for the 28th staging of IRE FM’s annual Marcus Garvey Tribute in the courtyard of the radio station, on Sunday August 18, 2019.
The theme of this year’s tribute is “One Africa, One Nation”.
IRIE FM’s Director of Programmes, Ka’Bu Ma’at Kheru, says the theme is "in keeping with the thrust of the Africa Union (AU) to revitalize Africa through unity and the recent launch of the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement".
The vision for the continental free trade area, is for Africa’s 55 nation states to benefit from free trade across all borders within the continent.
Ka’Bu Ma'at Kheru underscores the importance of AfCFTA which she says "has laid the foundation" for what could be the world's largest free trade zone by the number of participating countries, covering more than 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of 2.5 trillion U.S. dollars, as integral to the vision of Marcus Garvey.
The dream of all African states becoming a member of the free trade area, took a quantum leap towards reality when Nigeria, one of Africa’s strongest economies, signed the agreement on the eighth of July during the launch of the free trade movement.
The only country left to sign the agreement is Eritrea.
Commenting on the advancement of the African free trade agreement, IRIE FM’s Programmes director Ka’Bu Ma’at Kheru hailed it as an important step in “Reuniting the African family for development”, thus echoing the theme of the 1992 staging of Panafest in Ghana, West Africa.
This year, Ghana has taken a significant step in uniting the African family by declaring 2019 "the year of return" and removing visa requirements for a number of countries in the Diaspora including Jamaica.
Ms. Ma'at Kheru points out that the annual Marcus Garvey Tribute at IRIE FM recognizes these milestones toward Africa's rendezvous with destiny and under it's "One Africa; One Nation" theme signals the importance of the African Diaspora to African unity.
The event kicks off at 6am on Sunday August 18, with a live outside broadcast from the grounds of IRIE FM, of the Africa Forum “Running African”. The day’s activities, which will go up to 10pm, will also be streamed live on iriefm.net and carried on the 107 Band.
Speakers will include Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao, African Union Ambassador to the United States of America, and Trinidad and Eastern Caribbean representative of the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam Dr. David Muhammed, as well as, the 2016 IRIE FM/Brian Henry Foundation For Higher Learning Marcus Garvey Scholarship winner, University of the West Indies Graduate, Crystal Dennis.
There will also be a Marcus Garvey Tribute concert with performances by the Kingston Drummers, Ras Ivie and the Nyabinghi Drummers, Earl Chinna Smith and the Binghistra, Chezidek, Prophecy, Sativa Di Black One, Mixing Lab, JahDon and Hero among others.