The 2023 PANAFEST/Emancipation Day Celebrations under the theme for PANAFEST, RECLAIMING THE AFRICAN FAMILY, CONFRONTING THE PAST TO FACE THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY and Emancipation, EMANCIPATION, EMPOWERING THE AFRICAN FAMILY TO CONFRONT CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY kick-starts with a Northern Pilgrimage from Today, 19th July, 2023 to Sunday, 23rd July, 2023.
The Pilgrimage tour which began this morning from Accra will take participants to the Northern part of Ghana, and back to the Southern part to experience the historical slave routes which our ancestors went through before they were taken to the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles and finally to their unknown destinations.
The 5-day tour will include durbar of Chiefs at the Pikworo Slave Camp in the Upper East Region, atonement ceremony at the Salaga Slave Camp in the Northern Region, conversation with Elders and Tour of the Bono Slave Market in the Bono East Region, where it will end with the crossing of the River Pra at Assin Praso in the Central Region.
The event will continue with Wreath-laying ceremonies to pay glowing tribute to our ancestors at the W.E.B Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Library and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park on Monday, 24th July, 2023 in Accra.
Other activities such as inter-faith dialogue, colloquim, return journey and akwaaba ceremony, youth day, durbar of traditional leaders, women’s day and reverential night will take place in Cape Coast. The event will be climaxed with the 25th Anniversary Day Durbar at Assin Manso in the Central Region.
PANAFEST is an acronym for Pan-African Historical and Theatre Festival. It is a cultural event held in Ghana every two years since 1992 for Africans and people of African descent to promote and enhance unity, Pan- Africanism and the development of the continent of Africa.
Emancipation Day marks the Abolition of Slavery in the British Colonies in 1834. It is an annual observance introduced in Ghana in 1998.
About 50 participants have been selected for the pilgrimage tour. They include staff of the Ghana Tourism Authority, tourism industry practitioners of the various associations and the general public. The associations include; Tour Operators Union of Ghana, Car Rentals Association of Ghana, Tour Guides Association of Ghana, and Ghana Hoteliers Association. The rest are Tourism Society of Ghana, Ghana Progressive Hotels Association and the Diaspora Community.
JONES ARUNA NELSON
DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS GHANA TOURISM AUTHORITY