The Togolese Community in Newark, New Jersey, United States of America (USA), on Saturday, April 29, 2023, rolled out the red carpet to celebrate with drumming and dancing and great joy, the 63rd Independence Anniversary of the West African Country.
The ceremony that was held in the historic Rotunda of the City Hall of Newark had in attendance an array of dignitaries, including the Cape Verde, Africa-born Deputy Mayor, International Relations and Diaspora Affairs, Ligia de Freitas, some Council members, Aboubacar Koyate, President, Newark African Commission, Togolese nationals in New Jersey and other Africans and international friends of Togo.
The Deputy Mayor, deFreitas harped on unity among Africans as the way forward for the mother continent, stressing that pooling human, material and all other resources together with unity of purpose is crucial for the continent to overcome the challenges that have held it back from excelling.
She commended the Togolese Community for turning out to honour the country stressing the need for the Diaspora Community to always remember the mother country and contribute in whatever way possible to development back home.
Cote d’Ivoire-born Koyate also commended the Togolese nationals for doing their country proud at 63 with the organisation of the Flag Raising ceremony which started with the pouring of libation by Commissioner Sam Adjangba, leader of the Togolese Community.
In his address, Mr. Adjangba paid tribute to the Newark City Mayor, Honorable Ras J. Baraka, who he said is in the forefront of advocacy for the integration of undocumented immigrants into the Newark society. He also acknowledged that Newark is one of the best cities in the world to be an immigrant in, one of the “most welcoming cities in the world for immigrants,” and the city that has had “more Flag Raisings than any other city on the Planet.”
Mr. Adjangba noted that “27% of Newark residents are foreign born and most people migrating to Newark are foreign born,” insisting that because of its disposition towards immigrants Newark has witnessed population growth when some other cities are shrinking, stressing that with the population growth, the city has also been witnessing prosperity, through more allocation of federal revenue and the inflow of immigrants with skills and entrepreneurial spirit.
He, therefore, called on all Togolese nationals and by extension, all other immigrants, both documented and undocumented to always come out to be counted whenever there is census stressing that the data gathered from such exercises are used for allocation of funds for provision of basic amenities and services, like neighbourhood improvements, public health services, roads, schools, bridges and other infrastructure.
Hinting that the Newark African Commission is planning to conduct a census of Africans in Newark soon, which will benefit all Africans in Newark, the Community leader counselled that everyone should come out to be counted when the time comes warning against playing “hide and seek” with the enumerators when they come.
Adjangba went on to again appreciate the City of Newark and its leadership for all it has done, and continues to do, for Togo nationals, pointing out that “some of us call Newark, NJ our hometown and Togo the old country.”
Apart from the thrilling drumming and dancing sessions, the Flag Raising Ceremony also witnessed the presentation of certificates of honour to some Togolese nationals who have distinguished themselves in their different fields and in the promotion of their motherland. There was also an exciting fashion parade by young people and all the Togolese who attended the ceremony left, carrying their shoulders high, happy that they have properly honoured their motherland in the land of their sojourn.