The acting Head of the African Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Ahmed Ogwell Ouma has protested his mistreatment in Germany by returning to Africa and consequently cancelling his involvement in the World Health Summit currently underway in Germany’s capital Berlin.
Ogwell had been invited to the summit which is co-hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but on arrival at Frankfurt Airport, he was mistreated by airport staff who suspected that he was an illegal immigrant with intentions to hide in Germany.
“I’ve been mistreated at Frankfurt Airport by immigration personnel who imagine I want to stay back illegally. My attendance at the World Health Summit is now in doubt. I’m happier and safer back home in Africa. They invite you, then mistreat you,” he stated earlier.
Hours later, Ogwell made his journey back from Germany full of praise for Africa.
“Good morning. I’m safely back in #Africa, home to the most resilient human beings I know,” he tweeted.
According to Ogwell, he has learnt lessons from the debacle, including never reducing his dignity to fit someone else’s prejudices and that there is no place better than Africa.
He said he empathises with different Africans that have been mistreated silently at the entry points of these countries.
“A visa often means little when carrying an African passport – regular or diplomatic. Very many decent people are mistreated every day and don’t have the microphone to let the world know – I empathize with ALL of you.”
“Home is best – Mama Afrika remains my refuge (and 1.5 billion others!) so I must take care of her. And so should you,” he added.
Initially, Frankfurt Airport had clarified the situation, urging that his situation was not once involving racism.
As an international airport, we welcome all passengers and do not tolerate any form of discrimination or racism. We would like to have more information about this incident,” the airport management tweeted.
In response to Ogwell’s concerns, Uganda’s Minister for Science and Innovation Monica Musenero said that Africa needs self-reliance.
“Let’s make Africa work for Africans. I commit to make my contribution. Will you? Africa Renaissance,” she said.