The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST), have officially begun the 2021 celebrations today, July 26, 2021.
This year, multiple events have been lined up from July 26 – August 1, 2021, to mark the celebrations in the Greater Accra and Central regions, on the theme: ‘Securing the African Family: Our Health, Our Wealth Our Soul.’
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyeman, on the official announcement of activities for the event, said: “the celebration is structured around experiences and platforms which are designed to constructively raise and examine important belligerent issues, foster healing processes and also celebrate the strengths and resilience of African culture and achievements of Africans.”
He added: “the festival is to be seen as a home and hub for creative Africans across the globe to both show case their work and interact with each other in a meaningful way.”
The celebration for this year, is expected to have two modules, which includes virtual and physical participation.
Chairperson for the PANAFEST Foundation, Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy, explained that this year’s events is to honour heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois, Dr. George Padmore and other great ancestors who have built on the Pan-African ideals and to rise above and beyond the shadows of slavery and celebrate the African spirit of resilience.
According to her, the 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.
Series of activities for the Panafest/emancipation celebrations include community events such as 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, 2021.
Wreaths will be laid at the following venues, W.E.B. Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Research Library and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, there will be return journey & akwaaba ceremony from Cape Coast Castle’s 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, Cape Coast.
On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, Colloquium continues at the University of Cape Coast where there would be interfaith dialogue workshops and performances at the Centre for National Culture, Cape Coast.
There will be Women’s Day on Thursday, July 30, 2021, at the University of Cape Coast, wreath laying & prayers at Assin Praso Heritage Village and performances at the Centre for National Culture, Cape Coast.
On Friday, July 30, 2021, there will be wreath laying, memorial prayers & traditional sacrifices at Pikworo Slave Camp, Upper East Region, honouring traditions at Emintsimadze Palace, Cape Coast, performances at the Centre for National Culture, Cape Coast.
On Saturday, July 31, 2021 – Youth Day programme at the University of Cape Coast, family conversation by renowned Pan Africanists & Youth at the University of Cape Coast. In the evening, there will be reverential night at Cape Coast Castle, where a candlelight procession will begin from the main entrance of Cape Coast Castle, there will also be wreath laying, testimonies and spoken words, roll call of ancestors and reading of proclamation and declaration of Emancipation Day.
On Sunday, August 1, 2021, there will 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.
Emancipation Celebration is an annual event in Ghana. Emancipation was originally celebrated in the Caribbean to commemorate the final abolition of Chattel Slavery in the British colonies on 1st August 1834.
The Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) is a cultural event held in Ghana every two years for Africans and people of African descent. It was first held in 1992. The idea of this festival is to promote and enhance unity, Pan- Africanism, and the development of the African continent.