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xxxxxxxxxxx of Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Source: Ghananewsagency.org

Ritual to commence Edina Bakatue marked in grand style

Thousands of people from all walks of life, on Tuesday afternoon, joined the Chiefs and people of Elmina in the Central Region to perform the annual ritual for the commencement of the Bakatue festival.

The event was a master show of culture, custom and the best of African tradition.

In the morning of Tuesday, July 3, all members of Elmina royal family participated in a royal procession made up of chiefs and stool carriers.

They rode in beautifully crafted palanquins led by the revered Paramount Chief of Elmina, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, who was adorned in rich traditional regalia as they exhibited their dancing prowess amidst drumming and dancing through the ceremonial streets of the city of ancient civilization in Ghana.

The Chiefs later in the afternoon offered the sacred festival food of eggs and mashed yam mixed with palm oil to Nana Brenya, (the river god) and prayed for peace, abundant fish catch and farm produce.

This was followed by casting of the Omanhen's net which was done thrice to get a catch to signify a bumper harvest and the subsequent firing of muskets to declare an end to the ban on fishing, drumming, funerals and other social activities in the Elmina Traditional Area.

Another attraction was the riding on the lagoon by women wearing rich Kente cloth and local festive headgear (Tekuwa) adorned with gold tierra as they fired guns to the admiration of all.

The royal procession leading to the chief's palace amidst traditional music ended the colourful event after the traditional, priests had offered all the fish caught by the Omanhen's net to the gods as a symbol of appreciation for the harvest.

Addressing the gathering alongside the pomp and pageantry, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), described the festival as an integral part of activities marking the year of return.

“President Nana Akufo-Addo declared and formally launched the year 2019 as the ‘Year of Return’ for Africans in the Diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora to return home after 400 years of the inhumane act of slavery”.

He reiterated their commitment to ensuring the ongoing Elmina Heritage Bay Tourism Project, designed to improve the immediate surroundings of the Elmina Castle to enhance visitor experience was completed on time.

This formed part of the government’s agenda of improving tourism assets, especially Forts and Castles to increase tourist arrivals, revenue and job creation for accelerated national development.

Mr. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry urged Ghanaians in the Diaspora to maximize the opportunities associated with the ‘Year of Return’ to come back home to support Ghana’s development Agenda.

He said Government’s policy of Diaspora engagement was aimed at attracting Ghana’s high-quality manpower to help bring home the needed investment to drive the government’s industrialization agenda.

Nana Kodwo Condua VI, the Paramount Chief of Elmina Traditional Area, in a short message, urged residents of the Area to prioritise environmental cleanliness as a means of attracting and retaining tourists.

He advised the public to desist from indiscriminate disposal of solid and liquid wastes to avoid its debilitating health consequences.