Regional News of Monday, 23 July 2012
Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism, on Monday said the experiences of relations and family during the period of the infamous Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade should constantly remind Ghanaians of the need to continue to fight against all forms of slavery and subjugation.
She said Ghanaians and those in the Diaspora should appreciate and value freedom from all forms, oppression, discrimination and subjugation including mental slavery.
Ms. Dansua was speaking at a wreath laying ceremony to commence programmes and activities to commemorate this year’s PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebrations on the theme: “Development of the Motherland: The Role of People of African Descent” in Accra.
She said it was to celebrate the lives of Ghana’s freedom fighters, leaders and Pan Africanists like W.E.B Dubois, George Padmore and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Ms. Dansua said this year's celebrations were also a clarion call on the youth to take full advantage of all opportunities offered them for their education, training and welfare, and to prepare adequately to take their rightful place in society.
She said it was important for the youth to take steps that would enable them to move the country forward in the right direction, saying “Let us not make the sacrifice of our forebears in vain. Let us continue to enjoy the peace, tranquility and development we enjoy in Ghana and also work towards same for the continent of Africa.
“As we continue to celebrate Emancipation Day and PANAFEST and other cultural events, all of us should enforce our commitment to making Ghana the gateway to the African Homeland for our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.”
Professor Kofi Awonoor, Chairman of the Council of State, said the Emancipation Day and PANAFEST was not only celebrated to remember the Trans-African Trade, but offered Ghanaians the opportunity as Africans to re-assess the roles their ancestors played in ensuring liberation in Africa.
He said it should also help create and develop a unique sense of understanding and equality among all Africans in the world and enable them to construct new strategies to address their common global condition.
Prof. Awonoor said the celebration should also send to Ghanaians a message to be committed to the future of the continent, as well as help Africans redefine their existence on the continent; adding that it would require that all and sundry employed great ideas that would become meaningful to their lives.
Other activities lined-up for the celebration include, a pilgrimage on the slave route to Gwollu and Salaga, a wreath-laying ceremony at Bono Manso, 10th biennial PANAFEST durbar, reverential night at Cape Coast Castle and a grand durbar of chiefs at Assin Manso.**