The three District Assemblies in Assin have been told to take ownership and work towards changing the substance and content of the celebration of the Emancipation Day to spur development in the area.
Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Central Regional Minister who made the admonition, said the celebration of Emancipation Day could be a game changer for the people of Assin.
In this regard, he said the assemblies together with the Traditional Councils could set up “Assinman Planning Committee” to ensure the successful celebration of the Emancipation Day.
Mr Duncan was speaking at a durbar to commemorate the “Crossing of River Pra” by slaves during the slave trade movement as part of activities to mark this year’s Emancipation Day celebration at Assin Parso.
The celebration, which was under the theme: “Emancipation, Our Heritage Our strength” with “The Year of Return” as its sub theme, brought together Government officials, chiefs and Africans from the Diaspora.
Emancipation Day Celebration is an annual event observed to commemorate the resistance and liberation of African people in the Diaspora against enslavement and violation of their human rights. It is held on August 1, each year, to mark the abolition of slavery in the British colonies in 1834.
This year has been earmarked as the “Year of Return”, signifying 400 years of chattel slavery which saw the brutal treatment of Africans who were captured as slaves from their homeland and transported through the ‘door of no return’ in the various Castles to the Americas and the Caribbean.
Ghana was one of the main departure point of Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Year of Return will give Africans in the Diaspora the opportunity to return and bond with their brothers and sisters back home and also bring their expertise on board to develop the Continent.
Mr Duncan reiterated the government’s commitment in ensuring that as many Africans in the Diaspora, return ‘home’ and reunite with their ‘families’ and contribute towards the developmental process of Africa.
Mrs Abena Durowaa, Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, said plans are far advance for the development of Assin Praso Heritage Village into a higher heights to promote the heritage, culture and socio-economic development of the people of Assin.
Mr Ekow Sampson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), said the celebration of Emancipation must be a wakeup call for all and sundry to continue to resist and fight all forms of oppression.
He said Emancipation and PANAFEST are special celebrations for Africans and people of African descent and rooted in the ideals of Pan-Africanism and development of Africa.
He therefore called on global African community to come home and to help create a viable network with each other to serve as a catalyst in building the necessary bridges towards mutual development.
Mr Sampson indicated that the GTA is working hard to ensure the passage of the new tourism Act, which would go a long way to ensure that tourists’ sites and attractions are put under proper conditions and management for a sustained visitor experience.
Ehunabobrim Nana Pra Agyensem VI, Paramount Chief of Assin Owirenkyi Traditional Area who presided over the ceremony, called on all to reflect on the inhuman treatments meted out to Africans in the slave trade era and repeated calls to end all forms of slavery and discrimination.