Platform for black people to identify with Africa-Pres

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) celebrated biennially in Ghana, offers a platform to restate in no uncertain terms how the destiny of all black people in the world is linked to the destiny of Africa.

According to him, it was important that all black people come to terms with the fact that their dignity as a people was intertwined with that of the African Continent and platforms such as PANAFEST offered the opportunity to restate without equivocation.

“It offers an opportunity for us to say to each other that never again would we the African people commit ourselves to be subjected to such inhuman treatment,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said this at the opening of this year’s PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebration held here on Saturday.

This year’s event is on the theme: “Beyond 400 Years: Reaching Across Continents into the Future” and coincides with the Year of Return which is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts and Culture as a vehicle for promoting culture  as a means of uniting Africans and people of African descent.

It was characterised by cultural performances interspersed with Asafo Dances amidst masquerade procession as they led the chief in a procession to the durbar grounds.

In line with custom and tradition, an “akwaaba” ritual was performed by the Queen Mother of Effutu and Krontihemaa of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Nana Amba Eyiaba I to formerly welcome Africans from the Diaspora visiting the country for the first time back to their roots.

President Akufo-Addo said “For us in Ghana, it demonstrates our commitment and dedication to the Pan-African vocation,” he added.

In addition, he noted that the festival offered an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between Africans and people of African descent over in the Diaspora.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the Omanhen of Asebu Traditional Area, Okatakyie Amenfi VI had released large tracts of land for the establishment of a Pan-African Village for people of African descent from the Diaspora who want to settle in Ghana.

On her part the Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyesi said the ministry’s commitment to develop the nation’s tourism potential was not in doubt.

She noted that, tourism, creative arts and culture could be used as a vehicle for rapid socio-economic development, adding that “PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebration provide the platform for business opportunities.”

The Paramount Chief of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osaberima Kwesi Atta II, who was the chairman for the event, said it was a delight for the country to welcome people of African descent from the Diaspora back to their roots, saying, “You have gone for a long time”.

Other activities being held as part of the celebration included; the African Children’s World (Children’s day camp), Bazaar/ Expo at Elmina and Cape Coast, Interfaith Dialogue, Colloquium, Keynotes/panels/Youth session/women’s session, Reverential Night all in Cape Coast and Emancipation Day at Assin Manso.


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