The 2019 Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA) summit has been launched in Accra under the theme, ‘400 years on: Legacy, communities, innovation.’
The event scheduled for August 5 to 11, is aimed at examining the 400-year legacy of the trans-Atlantic trade that enslaved African people.
It is also aimed at reuniting and reconciling affected communities and share examples of innovation and creative strategies to overcome the persistent effects of the transatlantic slave trade.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said it was refreshing to note that HASCA, a non-profit NGO, and social enterprise group, was working towards highlighting the importance of heritage and culture for sustainable socioeconomic development.
“The goals and indicators of HACSA, which include, gender equality, good jobs and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, are exactly what government of Ghana is seeking to consciously achieve by using state institutions and private sector such as HACSA,”she stated.
Madam Oteng-Gyasi said the ministry would continue to protect and preserve Ghanaian and African heritage and cultural relics.
‘’This initiative does not only go to preserve our heritage and culture, but also serves as a means of leveraging the standards of living of its people with the main aim of identifying and harnessing the potential of all these historic attractions and buildings to boost tourism and preserve our cultural heritage,”she stated.
Madam Oteng-Gyasi said the initiative would create employment and showcase Ghana’s potentials, and promote made-in-Ghana and African products.
The founder of HACSA, Ambassador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, said the summit was aimed at protecting the beauty of the African continent, its people and culture, and called for the harnessing of the continent’s abundant resources for development.
“The conference offers young people the opportunity to develop leadership and organisational skills. To enable larger number of young people to attend, we seek further sponsorship and partnerships from business, educational and innovation institutions and organisations as well as the private sector,” she stressed.
Activities lined up for the event she said, include, panel discussions, academic presentations, an innovation, trade and investment expo, an archaeological exhibition of objects salvaged from the Marine Drive Site by the Department of Archaeology of the University of Ghana.
There would be film screening with some cast or crew of the Black Panther movie, a remembrance and candlelight vigil, a Gala dinner dance showcasing African food, fashion, music and guided tours of heritage sites in Ghana.
Caption: Mrs Oteng-Gyasi (second right), Ambassador Svanikier (middle), seated and other dignitaries at the launch
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE