This year’s Emancipation Day Celebration has been launched in Accra with a call on Ghanaians not to forget the sacrifices and achievements of their ancestors.
The day slated for July 27 – August 1 would be on the theme “Our Heritage, Our Strength” and sub theme “Re-engaging to consolidate our developmental agenda”.
It is celebrated annually to mark the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies in 1834 and its annual observance introduced in Ghana in 1998.
Speaking at the launch on Thursday, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, said the day reunites the African family and bring cherished memories of illustrious freedom fighters and emancipators whose bravery and exemplary leadership continued to inspire courage and confidence to fight for the total emancipation of Africans.
He said for Africa to be fully emancipated it must become economically independent.
Mr Okraku Mantey added that Ghana’s investment in education with the implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) Programme, improving Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) and creative arts schools, huge digitisation investment, engagements with the diaspora and signing unto the Africa Continental free Trade Area (ACfTA)- the world’s largest free trade area- placed Ghana on a promising path towards economic liberation.
The Chairperson of the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) Foundation, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, said while the period called for reflection on the fight, death, sacrifice, toil, blood and courage of our ancestors it also delivered a message of hope and a call to adventure.
“Not only do we have a sound ancestry to be proud of but also a wonderful future because of the resources including the human resources. We have to use our ingenuity, the ingenuity of our ancestors and elders and be able to say in a few years that this is what we contributed in our time”, she stated.
Prof. Sutherland-Addy entreated the generation to be mentally emancipated if they were to surpass the legacy of their ancestors.
According to her, the maltreatment of Africans during the early stages of the Ukraine-Russia war proved that Africans were always considered inferior and second-fiddle in world affairs.
“It is time for us to find home-grown solutions and to team-up with Africans in the diaspora and that will be our salvation”, she added.
On his part, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Operations at the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Ekow Sampson, said the current struggle to attain full liberation of the Black race to unleash economic emancipation called for Africans at home and in the diaspora to unite around a common goal.
The event organised by GTA under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and in partnership with PANAFEST Secretariat would be marked by activities such as wreath laying, a musical concert, health walk and climaxed at Assin Manso in the Central Region.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR