Dr Esi Sutherland a Board Member of the Pan-African Historical Theater Festival (PANAFEST) Foundation, has called on Ghanaian youth to make conscious efforts to learn details of the history of Africa.
She said it is time for them to ask critical questions that would enable them acquire the requisite information on the history, traditions and cultural heritage of the continent which would help them make the right decisions.
Dr Sutherland made the call on Saturday at the PANAFEST Youth Day celebration in Cape Coast on the theme: “Focusing on the Heirs; empowering the World African Youth.”
The celebration, which was attended by more than 500 students drawn from PANAFEST Fan Clubs in Mfantsipim School. Ghana National College, Adisadel College, Mawuli Senior High School (SHS), Techiman SHS, Fijah SHS and St Augustine’s’ College formed part of this year’s PANAFEST celebration which was cancelled in July in honour of the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
PANAFEST is a cultural institution dedicated to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the development of the African continent and it is celebrated biannually in Cape Coast and Accra.
Dr Sutherland called for the empowerment of the youth to enable them meet the challenges of the global world.
She urged them to use the PANAFEST fan clubs to learn more about their culture and other traditions and come up with programmes that would help market the continent.
She said the PANAFEST youth day celebration is an important part of the festival and asked that the youth clubs to endeavour to bring together their counterparts from different parts of the world to brainstorm on the potentials of the African continent.
Rabbi Halevi, Executive Secretary of PANAFEST Foundation, said the youth day is the only activity being celebrated out of the number of activities lined-up for this year’s festival due to the importance the Foundation attaches to the youth in championing its activities.
He urged them to continue from where the Pan African leaders like Dr Kwame Nkrumah started and encourage more schools to establish PANAFEST Youth Clubs and actively participate in Pan African activities and programmes.
Mr Halevi pointed out that if African youth are given the necessary support they would be able to build the most powerful continent in the world.
He commended Mfantsipim School for starting the Fan Club.
Mr Richard Daniel Ansah, Patron of the Mfantsipim Fan Club said the body in collaboration with the PANAFEST Foundation is planning to hold a world youth congress next year and appealed to stakeholders to assist to make the programme a success.
He said it is time for the youth to be taught African values and ideals and disabuse their minds of the biases against the continent.
Mr Ansah expressed unhappiness about the inadequate funding for the activities of the Foundation and the clubs and made an appeal to public spirited individuals and organisations for support.