23.07.2006 General News

Wa observes emancipation day

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Wa, July 21, GNA - Africa-Americans visiting the country with the aim of tracing their family roots have been urged not to limit their search to the coastal regions alone but should move further inland to the north, which was the main source for slaves during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade.

A Senior lecturer in history at the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies, Mr Clifford Maasole, made this suggestion at a forum organized by the Ghana Tourist Board to mark this year's Emancipation Day in Wa.

Mr Maasole, who delivered a lecture on the theme " Our Heritage, Our Strength" said the experiences of the slave trade should spur the present and future generations to move forward. He explained in details the role played by chiefs and their elders in the provision of slaves for the slave merchants. He urged Ghanaians to pick the positive side of the slave trade and develop it to their best advantage.

In his view, slavery was finally abolished not only for humanitarian reasons, but because it was becoming less and less economical to keep African slaves.

Touching on Panafest and the Joseph Project, which was aimed at tracing the slave routes in the country, he said it was unethical to leave out the northern Ghana, where the bulk of the slaves shipped out of the country came from.

Mr Maasole said up to this day, relics of chains with which the slaves were bound together and wells from which they drunk are still intact at Salaga.

The lecturer also appealed to traditional areas in the north, whose festivals are extinct to revive them to serve as vehicles for rallying their people for development and to attract tourists to their areas.

Mr M. A. Seidu, former Member of Parliament for Wa Central in a brief intervention, urged Ghanaians to avoid emotions, when discussing the slave trade so that they could make sound judgments about the slave trade. 21 July 06

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