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General News of Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Source: GNA

This year's emancipation day celebration starts on July 21

Accra, July 14, GNA - Mr Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Minister of Tourism, on Wednesday said this year's Emancipation Day, would provide the platform for reflection about the forcible displacement of able-bodied Africans in the 16th and 20th Century to unfamiliar territories.

He said Ghana became the First African nation to join the emancipation day celebration in 1998, which was a good initiative to reaffirm the country's status as the gateway to the homeland of Africans in the Diaspora.

Mr Acheampong made this known during an interaction with the media in Accra on the day, dubbed: 93Emancipation, Our Heritage, Our Strength."

The sub-theme for the celebration, which spans July 21 to August 1 is: "Rejuvenating the Dreams and Aspirations of African Youth."

Participants in this year's event would visit Assin Manso Slave River and Reverential Gardens.

They would also witness re-enactment of the crossing of River Pra by the slaves.

There would be an International Tourism Investment Forum, which include Pre and Post conference tours for participants.

Mr Acheampong explained that the celebration was centred on Cape Coast because of its historical places and to enable the local people to re-enact what their ancestors went through.

He said celebration of the day would also help Ghanaians to know more about how to turn the tragedy their ancestors passed through during "their journey of no return", into something more positive for the country, Africa and the Diaspora.

The Minister said the event would provide an opportunity for Africans to go back into history and find out about the cruelest activity in human history, which had since affected the world.

Mr Julius Debrah, Executive Director of Ghana Tourist Board said there is the need for the youth to learn more about the slave trade and find out the roles of their ancestors in its perpetration to use it as a basis to understand Africans in the Diaspora.

He urged Ghanaians to be associated and involved in the emancipation day celebrations as a way of recalling history, and charting a more "positive course to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora".