This year's PANAFEST launched… as Sena Dansua bemoans lack of support for tourism activities
4/16/2012 1:30:09 PM -
By: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunteh
The Minister of Tourism, Ms Akua Sena Dansua, has expressed regret over the seemingly lack of support for her ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority's (GTA's) activities by corporate Ghana, in spite of repeated requests to do so.
'Perhaps, some of them do not appreciate the high mileage they will gain from doing so,' Ms Sena Dansua said at the media launch of this year's PANAFEST and Emancipation Day Celebrations in Accra, over the weekend.
She appealed to the media and corporate Ghana to support this year's PANAFEST and Emancipation Day programmes, so as to make it a great success.
PANAFEST is celebrated every two years, while Emancipation Day is an annual event. However, in view of the similarity in philosophy, both events are jointly celebrated every two years.
According to the North Dayi legislature, this year's events are unique, because 'it is PANAFEST's 10th Biennial celebration, or 20th commemoration, since it was initiated in 1992.'
The theme for the 2012 PANAFEST celebration is 'Development of the Motherland: the Role of People of African Descent'. This theme is to highlight the critical role people of African descent can, and should play, in partnership with the people in Ghana to promote business and investment, and primarily, the development of the Motherland.
The main highlights of this year's events, Ms Sena Dansua mentioned, include wreath laying at the Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Library, and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra, pilgrimage to sites in the northern regions, a regatta of fishermen from Cape Coast to Elmina; a grand durbar of Kings and Queens; five-day cultural exhibition, and musical concert and cultural performances.
She was quick to add: 'We will continue to use these events, particularly, to remember and honour our forebearers who worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges of the Slave Trade, and secured the full emancipation of the African Continent.'
Ms Sena Dansua noted that their continuous desire to use PANAFEST and Emancipation Day, two great events on their tourism calendar, to promote Ghana as the Gateway to the African homeland, especially, for our brothers and sisters from the Americas and the Caribbean, is against the background that Ghana has the strongest attachment to our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.
The collection of over 60 forts and castles and other relics of the slave trade dotted along Ghana's coastline, now silent memorials of the over 500 years turbulent era in Africa's history, attest to this assertion.
The North Dayi Member of Parliament, who was flanked by her Deputy, Alhaji Baba Jamal, therefore stressed: 'We will continue to project PANAFEST and Emancipation as part of the healing process, and to celebrate the strengths, achievements, and resilience of Africans over the years.'
In her remarks, a Board Member of the PANAFEST Foundation, Prof Esi Sutherland Addy, disclosed that the PANAFEST Endowment Fund would be launched very soon to help raise funds for the activities of the foundation.
On her part, the African Union (AU) Diaspora African Forum Mission, Her Excellency Ambassador Erieka Bennett said, 'we are delighted to be hosting the African Diaspora Dinner, which will take place at La Palm Hotel in July this year.'
She revealed that over 500 people from the Diaspora would be attending the PANEFEST.
H.E Bennett used the occasion to appeal to Ghanaians to welcome Africans in the Diaspora with hearts to enable them feel at home during their visits.