Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has said Africans have a responsibility to address the endemic challenges prevalent on the continent.
She said the challenges, including illiteracy, poverty, diseases, outmoded cultural practices, drugs and human trafficking, child exploitation and abuse, need to be addressed.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare made the observation during the Emancipation Day Celebration Wreath Laying Memorial Service, at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, George Padmore Library and the Du Bois Centre, in Accra. .
She said the celebration of PANAFEST and Emancipation Day Celebration re-unites the African family and brings memories of the great and gallant freedom fighters and emancipators.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said this year’s celebration of Emancipation Day should remind Africans about the degrading trauma of the obnoxious slave trade, which depleted Africa of its vast human resources.
She said the lessons learnt from slavery should continue to serve as a reference point for the continent, in the Diaspora and for humanity to confront and challenge every form of modern day slavery.
The celebration also enriches the tourism development drive and promotes Ghana as the epicentre of African tourism, as well as maintain an integral part of Ghana’s cultural and heritage tourism, she said.
“This is because besides its cultural and spiritual significance, PANAFEST generates inbound tours to Ghana from the Americas, Caribbean, Europe and other parts of Africa and thereby making a positive impact on the local economies, ” she said.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said Ghana’s role as the foremost African Emancipator started when she emerged as the first African country to gain independence from colonial rule and this was deepened through the open hands with which Africans from the Diaspora were received.
She said the Ministry is poised to promote the diverse natural, cultural and historical resources that make Ghana one of the preferred tourist destinations in the world.
“The sector could be developed as one of the key drivers of Ghana’s economy through the generation of foreign exchange, job and wealth creation.”
She expressed the need for the promotion of Emancipation Day Celebrations and PANAFEST as viable platforms for re-uniting the African Family and set the pace for the development of the continent.
Madam Dzifa Gomashie, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, described slavery as the worst form of human indignity.
“We need to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery and celebrate who we are as Africans and as much as possible Ghanaians.”
She said Government would continue to support and celebrate the emancipation of Africa from slave trade to serve as a lesson for the younger generation.