Series of wreath laying ceremonies were held in Accra yesterday to mark this year’s Emancipation Day aimed at rekindling unity among people of black descent across the globe.
This year’s commemoration on the theme: “Our heritage, our strength; Leveraging our resilience, Black Lives Matters” seeks to rally Africans to speak against injustices and marshal efforts at eliminating all forms of cruelty meted against the black race.
Led by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, a delegation comprising government officials, traditional rulers and members from the Diaspora laid wreaths at the grave site of Pan-Africanists; W.E Dubois, George Padmore and Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The heroes were eulogised for championing the African cause and promoting an agenda to ensure that the rights and dignity of Africans were respected.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi, in her brief remark, deplored issues of division that often cropped up amongst Africans, urging that such energies are re-directed to promoting a united continent.
“Our forebears championed the common good of all Africans instead of petty fights that further divide us, and we must use this day to reflect on their works and strive to honour their memory.”
Making specific reference to Ghana, the Minister urged that citizens do all within their power to guard the peace and stability currently being enjoyed in the country “before and after the December 7 elections.”
“We must make sure we bequeath a peaceful nation to the younger generation, so that they can be able to realise their full potentials to the benefit and development of the country,” she advised.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyeman was confident “Ghana will not give up remembering the struggle of our ancestors who stood for us” having been the first country on the African continent to mark the day.
He urged Africans to embrace their culture and heritage, highlighting the inter-connectedness of the African struggle on the continent, Europe and the Americas.
Recounting the recent killing of George Floyd, an African American in the United States, Mr Agyeman urged that “we remain resilient in keeping up the struggle against crime, injustice, economic underperformance and all forms of social vices.”
Acting Director of the W.E.B Dubois Memorial Centre, Reverend Reuben Kwasi Kwadzofio, speaking on behalf of his colleagues pointed out that “the emancipation project is not over until black lives and dignity are respected and considered as sacrosanct by all races of the world.”
He urged that Africans take inspiration from the pool of African history to drive the present life, noting that “Emancipation Day has not only become an institution in Africa but a very useful tool for the mobilisation of African people to bring finality to the African struggle.”
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH AND ABIGAIL NANA EFUA ARTHUR