The Vice President of the Republic of Colombia, Her Excellency Francia Marquez has made a visit to the Asante Kingdom as part of her two-day working visit to Ghana in West Africa.
She was accompanied by an entourage led by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei Mensah to the Manhyia Palace on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
In her address, Her Excellency Marquez expressed her appreciation to the occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for accepting to receive them.
She deemed it a “big honour”.
Her Excellency Marquez regards the visit to the Manhyia Palace as obligatory as she says she traces her roots to the ethnic group based in the sub-region.
“I recognize myself as an African with Asante roots,” she told Otumfuo through her translator.
She said after being taken out of Africa as slaves by the British four centuries ago, she was back home to her roots and highlighted her conviction that “my ancestors are happy a daughter is back home.”
She also shared how she expresses her pride in the Kingdom and boldly declares her affiliation to it at all fora she finds herself.
She highlighted how Africans in Colombia affirm their relations with the Asantes Kingdom when they want to show off as strong and resilient.
Speaking on her behalf, Hon Simon Osei Mensah said though her visit was short, she would like to visit the country again at which time she will be able to spend quite a long time reconnecting with her origin.
She indicated that together with President Custavo Petro, Colombia is on a mission to reconnect with the African continent through bilateral relations.
“We want to reconnect that is why I come here with all my heart representing all Africans in the Americas.”
The reconnection will take the form of collaboration in agriculture, she told the Monarch.
Speaking through the Ashanti Regional Minister, the first Afro-Colombian Vice President extended an invite for a state visit to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Details of the invitation were, however, not readily available.
Welcoming them to the Palace, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said, “When they thought you were going and not coming back, here you are here sitting in front of us. So that gate of no return was not meant to be. “Therefore we welcome you here again and know that this is your home.”
He said it “gladdened” his heart that she had made it a point to return home.
“I know you have made about two trips to Africa. The first was South Africa and now Ghana. The first was a visit to Africa and the second is a visit to home.”
His Majesty stressing on her political role as Vice President and root, indicated it must translate into more collaborations between Ghana and Colombia.
“We believe strongly that with you there, Ghana and Africa have a voice in Colombia. You ought to also be our promoter so we can engage in investments from Colombia to Ghana and from Ghana to Colombia. It should be a win-win situation for all of us.”
His Majesty also assured her of his prayers to emerge successful and added, “We assure you that Ghana loves you and Ghana will always cherish you.”
The invitation for a state visit to the South American country was also accepted.