This video documents the historic visit of a delegation of Rastafari people with the St. Vincent & Grenadines Prime Minister as they travel to Ethiopia.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and a Vincentian delegation was due to return from Ethiopia on Saturday with deepened relationship between both nations.
A release from the local Agency for Public Information said Dr. Gonsalves and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Thursday signed an agreement on the reciprocal abolition of the need for visas in order for citizens of each country to visit the other.
The Vincentian head of government and his delegation, which includes four Rastafarian members, left SVG on Tuesday for an official visit to that African nation, which local Rastafarians regard as their spiritual home.
During discussions on Wednesday, Gonsalves said the visa waiver was revolutionary and will pave the way for deepening connections between both countries.
PM Meles Zenawi said Dr. Gonsalves’ visit was timely since the African Union was focussing on consolidating links with the African diaspora in the Caribbean.
A joint communiqué was issued after the signing of the visa waiver agreement on Thursday. PM Meles Zenawi spoke of his government’s desire to deepen relationship between the two nations in the areas of culture, education and trade.
On the other hand, Gonsalves offered scholarships to Ethiopian students wishing to study at post secondary institutions here.
Gonsalves and his delegation also visited the Rastafarian Commune in Shashamene where, according to the official release, he “was mobbed by scores of Rastafarians grateful for his historic intervention on behalf of the movement.”
The release said he was showered with gifts and praises at the tabernacle.
While in Shashamene the Vincentian delegation visited a museum dedicated to the memory of Haille Selassi and other martyrs of the Ethiopian cause.
The museum was established by Bandy Payne, a Vincentian residing in Ethiopia.