The event, slated for Saturday, November 5, has the theme, ‘Exploring and expanding the tourist and historical sites of the Anlo State to enhance development’.
Other activities earmarked for the festival include, a congress of chiefs at the Anloga Senior High School, mini durbar at Tadzewu, and a Hogbe lecture at Zion College at Anloga.
The Speaker of Parliament Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho, launching the festival, said the theme could not be achieved without peace and unity in the Anlo State.
He said it was important to know the history of the Anlo State, for the youth and generations to identify with the culture and tradition of the people.
Mr. Adjaho said it was also time to celebrate those who lost their lives to defend the state, adding that “they are heroes and they ought to be celebrated”.
He stressed the need for a standing committee to be set up to engage government for the development of Anlo.
The committee, he said should be an intermediary between the government and the chiefs and people of Anlo.
According to Mr Adjaho, “every town in the Anlo state has its own unique identity, and there is the need to embrace unity in diversity”.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ms Dzifa Abla Gomashie, said tourism in the Anlo State could only be promoted by the people of Anlo.
She said the tourism sites in Anlo had been relegated to the back, and that other people were being promoted instead, above that of the Anlos.
The deputy minister said the rich traditions of the people could be promoted as tourist attractions for others to appreciate.
“We should not wait for the Hogbetsotso festival before we unveil our culture, traditions and tourist sites to the people of Ghana,” she stated.
According to Ms Gomashie, it was rather unfortunate that the people of Anlo were excessively appreciating other people’s culture, at the expense of their own culture.
“We owe it to ourselves as Ewe people, to celebrate who we are, and not to be ashamed but to be proud of it.”
Ms Gomashie called on the Anlo people and Ghanaians to eschew acrimony and be circumspect during the upcoming elections.
The Awadada of the Anlo State, Awadada Agbesi Awusu II, said the festival was celebrated to commemorate the last leg of the exodus of the Anlo people to the current state in Ghana.
He said the past celebrations of the festival were to extensively put Anlo on the path of unity and reconciliations to promote the aggressive development of the land.
He said it was time to explore and expand the tourist sites to enhance the development of their heritage.
Awadada Awusu said “the children of the land must also accept the historic path of some sites, such as ‘Torkor Atorlia’, which was the burial ground for recalcitrant youths in time past, ‘gblornyavudo’ at Tegbi, Awasadame at Tsiame, Fort Prinzentein at Keta, and the birds and monkey sanctuary at Xavi, and be proud to show them to the world”.
By Jemima Esinam Kuatsinu