Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has urged Africans home and abroad to make Emancipation Day a period to critically examine their lives and resolve to remove any socio-cultural, economic or political shackles that are holding the continent down.
She said it was time Africans understood that true emancipation could be attained if each one was empowered through education, economic and political space.
Madam Ofosu-Adjare said this on Thursday at the Emancipation Day Durbar held every first day of August to commemorate the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave-Trade.
The ceremony was attended by Ministers of State, the former Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, the Paramount Chief of Assin Apimanim Traditional Area, Barimba Kwame Nkyi XII, the African Americans community and a cross section of the public.
Madam Ofosu-Adjare stressed the need for Africans to use the occasion to honour their departed brethrens, who lost their lives through the atrocities of slavery and also reflect deeply on the bonds that binds them together as Africans on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Transatlantic slave trade has contributed immensely to the current underdevelopment of Africa because it reduced Africans to a commodity and engendered wars, destabilized kingdoms, stunted indigenous industry and economic developments, heightened inter-ethnic conflicts and depopulated the continent of its most virile workforce”, she added.
Madam Ofosu-Adjare said, it was therefore time for Africans to work together to create space for the Blackman everywhere to flourish and blossom so that they could show the rest of the world that despite the sufferings and centuries of oppression and injustices they had been able to make it.
She pledged that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts would continue to serve as the bridge linking Diasporeans dispersed everywhere in the world to their kin and kith because it was time for them to return home.
Barima Kwame Nkyi observed that slavery had taken a new face in the form of human trafficking, child labour and unfavourable world trade order.
He expressed concern that children were still being sold into prostitution whilst youngsters were forced into child labour by their parents for a pittance and asked all Africans to take the Day serious and do away with these negative practices.
Nana Nkyi said the town was very strategic and had all the tourists’ sites that could be of interest to tourists and therefore called on the government, organizations and individuals home and abroad to support and contribute to develop the sites, which include the slave market, slave route and the Slave River.
As part of the ceremony, a solemn procession was made to the slave cemetery where wreaths were laid on the tombs of two famous slaves whose skeletal remains had been interred at Assin Manso.
They were the young African slave girl from Jamaica, by name Crystal and the slave naval officer from New York, Carson.
Other places visited were the Slave-River (nnonkonsuo) where the unfortunate captives had their last bath before they were transported to Cape Coast and Elmina for onward shipment to the Americas and the Carribeans.