PANAFEST Day celebration slated for July 24-August 2

The Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) foundation has outlined the activities for this year’s 13th edition of PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration slated for July 24 to August 2.

The event that celebrates the Black Star of Africa and the gateway to the Homeland of people of African descent in the Diaspora as well as commemorating the final abolition of slavery in the British colonies would be marked on the theme, “Beyond 400years: Reaching across continents into the future.”

Speaking at a media briefing in Accra last Thursday, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Chairperson for the PANAFEST foundation said PANAFEST was a cultural vehicle for bringing Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora together around issues raised by slavery which remained suppressed.

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

Prof. Sutherland-Addy disclosed that there were unique symbolic elements added to enrich this year’s PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration.

“We have created certain unique activities in this year’s PANAFEST/Emancipation event, to move people from understanding what this whole experience is all about, first include the Prah River Crossing and Durbar which would be happening at Assin Praso this Saturday on the 20th,” she noted.

She added that another symbolic event added to the celebration was the Return Journey, where the PANAFEST foundation has partnered the Ghana Navy to offer a safe boat ride trip for Diaspora returnees from Cape Coast Castle “Door of No Return” to Elmina Castle dungeon.

Prof. Sutherland-Addy stated that the event would serve as the opportunity to officially commission the Bisa Aberwa Museum (Unique Pan-African Museum) in Sekondi, Western Region.

Some other unique activities added to spice up this year’s PANAFEST/Emancipation  Day celebration, she said, included Masquerades competition, Traditional African Akwaaba ceremony by the Edina Traditional Council, official opening of walls of remembrance Museum, Gospel/Spiritual night, theatre performance of the Prince and the Slave drama by Kofi Akpali (Winner of 1st PANAFEST play Competition 1991), redemption march and the revential night and declaration of Emancipation at Mid-Night by the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture.

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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