The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with Pan African Historical Theater Festival (PANAFEST) Foundation has launched the 15th PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration slated for July 26 to August 1, 2021.
The event that celebrates Ghana, the Black Star of Africa and the gateway to the Homeland of people of African descent in the Diaspora as well as commemorating the final abolishment of chattel slavery in the British colonies, is on the theme, “Securing the African Family: our health, our wealth, our soul”, Emancipation theme, “Reclaiming our Right to weave our own narrative”.
Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday, in Accra, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Chairperson, PANAFEST foundation, said Ghana was the home to Africans around the world, a place of hope hence PANAFEST to promote and project that idea.
She said PANAFEST was established because Africans were still going through a period where they had been oppressed, silenced and set against each other, hence the need to be self- confident to fight their battles.
“In order for us to develop and progress, we had to know who we were are, what we have contributed to the rest of the world and not to keep ourselves down and also dialogue on issues that are of importance to us,” she added.
Professor Sutherland-Addy said the reason for choosing the theme was because Covid-19 pandemic had made the previous year difficult and that people of African descent had contributed a lot in the fight so the need for the story to be told.
“We are in a time of great insecurity, we have to live differently and Africans need to orient their works and own their contributions because we are the future,” she stated.
Mr Akwasi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer of GTA said the 2021 edition of the PANAFEST was to honour heroes like Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois, Dr. George Padmore and other great ancestors who had built on the Pan-African ideals.
He said the celebration planned to bring the African family together to review the dynamics of ‘The Return’ or the ‘Sankofa’ principle and explore it as impetus for future.
Mr Agyemang described the PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebrations as the legacy project for Ghana’s claim to be the hub of Pan-Africanism.
He thanked the team and encouraged the media to spread the information across for people to participate in this year’s celebration.
Mrs Roberta Dawson-Amoah, Acting Director, Marketing, GTA, said the PANAFEST /Emancipation Day would feature community events such as Tribute to Ancestors; wreath laying, Return journey and Akwaaba ceremony at Cape Coast, Dialogue workshops and performances among others.
She said the gatherings would be restricted due to the strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols and encouraged the public to join online at panafest event.org.