PANAFEST 2023 launched

Ibrahim Awal Mohammed

The 2023 edition of the PANAFEST/Emancipation Day Celebration slated for July 19-August 1,2023 has been launched in Accra.

The Pan African Historical Theater Festival Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Ghana Tourism Authority, launched the event on the theme; “Re-Claiming the African Family: Confronting the Past to face the Challenges of the 21st century.”

Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister, Tourism, Arts and Culture, in a speech, said PANAFEST which was conceived and developed in Ghana, was the longest consistently celebrated Pan African Festival in the world.

He said it had been in existence since 1992 and its forte was to use the powerful medium of the arts and intellectual interaction to speak the unspeakable, raise awareness, build bridges, and generate healing.

Dr Awal said PANAFEST originated as a state-led festival in 1992 and had become a powerful Ghanaian initiative of which Ghana could be justifiably proud of and assured of the Ministry’s commitment to continue to collaborate with the Foundation and other actors involved in the initiative.

“Additionally, I expect that building up participation by different communities and that of the Ghanaian public in general will be taken up seriously. I also expect that participants will be able to have the experience of both iconic features and innovations to keep them coming back to the festival and to Ghana,” he added.

Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Chairperson, PANAFEST Foundation, said PANAFEST 2023 rode on the many insights gained from 2021, however, over the last two years, several important trends appeared to mark the existence of African people across the world.

She stated that the challenges of the 21st century must be confronted to make way for transformational opportunities.

Prof Sutherland-Addy called on the African family to take its fate into its own hands and point out the challenges to re-unite and illuminate new paths towards transformational unity.

Mr Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, said the 2023 edition of PANAFEST would be exciting and different from the previous ones which would show hope and unity among the African descent.

He promised his outfit’s commitment to keep the relationship between the global African family and Ghana’s role as the beacon of Pan-Africanism.

Activities for the celebration include wreath laying ceremonies, Return Journey, Traditional Akwaaba ceremonies, Bazaar and Expo, colloquium, reverential night and emancipation vigil, exhibitions, performances, tours to significant sites and would be finally climaxed with a grand durbar of chiefs and queen mothers at Assin Manso in the Central Region.

It is celebrated annually to mark the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies in 1862 and its annual observance introduced in Ghana in 1992 under the leadership of Late former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Source: GNA

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