The Pan African Historical Festival, PANAFEST Foundation, in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has announced the commencement this year’s PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebrations from July 24 to August 22.
The one-month long celebration would be held under the theme: “Beyond 400 years, Reaching Across Continents into the Future”.
During a media briefing, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang noted that for the past 27 years, PANAFEST has become a legacy project for Ghana’s claim to be the Pan African giant of the world.
According to him: “PANAFEST and emancipation activities put on the table the fact that our forefathers through the various leaders have never shied away from Ghana’s leading role in the Pan African movement. Being the ‘Year of Return,’ PANAFEST and emancipation has special meaning. Apart from the intrinsic value of this whole period of the ‘Year of Return, there are other several benefits that Ghana is gaining out of it.”
Again, the CEO noted that government has put measures in place to clear challenges associated with acquiring a visa during the celebration of PANAFEST.
He said these include slashing visa fees for people from the Diaspora who are coming from countries whose citizens require visa to gain entry into Ghana from USD$150 to USD$ 75.
On her part, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Chairman of the PANAFEST planning committee, said: “The theme for this year’s celebration is appropriate as it would reflect on the idea of standing on history to move into the future and understanding why we want to go into the future.”
She revealed that the weeklong activities will take place in Accra, Cape Coast, Assin Praso, Assin Manso and Anomabo.
Programmes lined-up for the celebration of this year’s PANAFEST include an Akwaaba ceremony, opening of One Africa Walls of Remembrance Museum, and Expo Bazaar, PANAFEST strong man contest, variety performance night, grand durbar of Chiefs, International variety and performance night.
Also, there will be the Prah river crossing, pre- PANAFEST slave route pilgrimage and atonement ceremonies, wreath-laying ceremony, masquerade competition, visit to Kakum National Park, welcome for Godbox delegation, and a return journey to Cape Coast.
There will also be interfaith dialogue, cooking competition, opening of Bisa Abrewa museum, gospel spiritual night, theatre performances, the Africa diaspora business summit, and reverential night and declaration of emancipation, Emancipation Day ceremony
Mr. Akwasi Agyeman and Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy urged the general public to participate in the activities lined up and encouraged Ghanaians to warmly welcome visitors to the peaceful country and the rich Ghanaian culture.