Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism, on Friday said Government would continue to use PANAFEST and Emancipation Day to promote Ghana as the gateway to Africa because of her strong attachment to brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.
She said the collection of more than 60 forts and castles and other relics of the slave trade along the country’s coast, and now a silent memorial of the over 500 years turbulent era in Africa’s history could attest to this assertion.
Ms Dansua said: “We will continue to project PANAFEST and Emancipation Day as part of the healing process and to celebrate the strengths, achievements and resilience of Africans over the years.”.
She was launching the 2012 PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebration in Accra.
This year’s celebration on the theme; “Development of the Motherland: the Role of the People of African Descent” is unique because it’s the 10th Biennial celebration or 20th commemoration since it was initiated in 1992.
Since 1998, Emancipation Day has been an annual event for recollecting the horrors of the slave trade, and honouring those who worked hard to overcome the challenges of that trade.
The events over the years has served as powerful tools to get Africans in the Diaspora to retrace their steps to Africa, either to visit, settle or invest.
Ms Dansua announced that, the highlights of this year’s event would be wreath laying ceremonies at Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Library and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park; pilgrimage to slave sites in the Northern Region, a regatta of fishermen from Cape Coast to Elmina, and grand durbar of chiefs and people.
The rest are; a five-day cultural exhibition and expo, musical concert and cultural performance, a Pan African Colloquium including special women and youth day activities, reverential night, Emancipation Day at Assin Manso and a carnival at Cape Coast.
Ms Dansua expressed disappointment at the lack of support by corporate Ghana to activities of the Ministry and Ghana Tourist Authority in spite of repeated requests to support the tourism sector.
She encouraged the general public to actively participate in this year’s event to make it a success.**