PANAFEST Foundation outlines activities for Emancipation Day

The Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) Foundation has outlined the activities for this year’s 15th edition of PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebrations slated for July 26 to August 1, 2021  

The event which would be host in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, would have the PANAFEST theme: “Securing the African family: our health, our wealth our soul’ and the Emancipation theme: “Reclaiming our right to weave our own narrative.”

Speaking at a media briefing in Accra yesterday, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Chairperson for the PANAFEST Foundation said the 2021 edition of the PANAFEST would honour heroes like Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr Edward Burghart Du Bois, Dr George Padmore and other greats who built on the Pan-African ideals. 

She described the celebration of PANAFEST as rooted in the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the development of Africa aimed at promoting understanding, peace and unity among all African people.

“The PANAFEST/Emancipation is celebrated to rise above and beyond the shadows of slavery and celebrate the African spirit of resilience. 

“Again, this year’s celebration is planned to bring the African family together, to review the dynamics of ‘The Return’ or the ‘Sankofa’ Principle and explore it as an impetus for the future. This formed part of activities commemorating the “Beyond The Return” celebrations,” she added.

Prof. Sutherland-Addy noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration would not be marked as it was usually done but would observe all the necessary protocol. 

The Acting Director of Marketing for GTA, Mrs Roberta Dawson-Amoah said the PANAFEST/Emancipation Day would however feature community events such as tribute to the ancestors, wreath laying ceremonies in Accra, a Pan African Arts Market (Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park) and Creative Explosion: African World Artists at the National Theatre in Accra on Monday, July 26.

She noted that on Tuesday, July 27, there would be Return Journey and Akwaaba ceremony from Cape Coast Door of Return to Elmina Castle Forecourt, opening ceremony for colloquium at the University of Cape Coast, Opening of Bazaar / Expo and Evening Performance at the Centre for National Culture all in Cape Coast.

“On Wednesday, July 28, 2021 colloquium continues at the University of Cape Coast where there will be Interfaith dialogue workshops and performances at the Centre for National Culture, Cape Coast,” she added.

Other activities, she said would include Women’s Day on Thursday, July 30 at the University of Cape Coast, wreath laying and prayers at Assin Praso Heritage Village and performances at the Centre for National Culture, Cape Coast, wreath laying, memorial prayers and traditional sacrifices at Pikworo Slave Camp, Upper East Region, which would be done on Friday, July 30, Youth Day Programme at the University of Cape Coast, family conversation by renowned Pan Africanists and youth at the University of Cape Coast on Saturday, July 31, 2021.

Then on Sunday, August 1, 2021 there would be a Commemorative Durbar to climax Emancipation Day celebrations. There will be wreath laying, visit to the Nnonko Nsuo (Slave River) for healing prayers at the Reverential Gardens, all at  Assin Manso.

Mr Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) described the PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration as activities that had become the legacy project for Ghana’s claim to be the pan-African Giant of the world as well as assigning the country a role in the pan-African movement.

He stated that Ghana had become the leading light in pan-Africanism and would continue to project Ghana onto the world map.

Mr Agyeman, therefore, called on the diplomatic community in Ghana to celebrate this year’s PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration and make history.


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