Rabbi Kohain Nathanyah Halevi, Executive Secretary of the PANAFEST Foundation has appealed to the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations and other government institutions to contribute funds for the organisation of this year's PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration.
The institutions included the National Commission on Culture, Central Regional Co-coordinating Council (RCC), the Cape Coast Municipal Assembly and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo Abrem District Assembly.
Rabbi Halevi said this year's celebration of PANAFEST/Emancipation Day, slated to take place from July 22 to August 1, was estimated to cost about one billion cedis, and that even though the Foundation had received promises of sponsorship, it was yet to receive any monies.
Executive Secretary, who made the appeal in an interview at Cape Coast, said sponsorship for this year's festival was the main challenge confronting the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PANAFEST.
Rabbi Halevi explained that most of the sponsors of the previous celebrations said that their support for this year's event would be minimal, because they had already donated a lot towards the celebration of the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Ghana's independence.
He said apart from monies to be derived from sponsors, the Foundation would be expected to raise funds from registration fees of participants, and described the budget prepared for this year's celebration as "a very tight one", considering the fact that the celebration would be a nine-day long event.
Rabbi Halevi said participants who would register before June 30, will pay 75 dollars each, and 90 dollars each, after June 30.
He said local participants could make payment in the cedi equivalent, and appealed to the private sector to sponsor local artistes, in "order to add quality" to local performance.
Rabbi Halevi said more than 1,000 participants from the United States, the Caribbean, Surinam, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, and other parts of Africa including South Africa, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Libya and Zimbabwe were expected to attend.
On the celebration and the current load shedding, he said the National Executive Committee was in consultation with Nana Ato Arthur, the Central Regional Minister to impress upon the Electricity Company of Ghana to consider re-scheduling the exercise during the period.
Rabbi Halevi stated that it was imperative that the venues for the celebration "do not experience any blackouts" in view of the large number of tourists expected to attend.
He said the nation would be expected to generate more than 100,000 dollars during the celebration.
Rabbi Halevi said the Adisadel College park, had been selected as the venue for this year's 'PANAFEST village", where both the local and international artistes would perform.
According to him, the NEC has been holding a series of meetings frequently with the view to ensuring that this year's PANAFEST becomes the most successful and was involving programmes to enhance publicity and awareness among Ghanaians, Africans in the Diaspora and the world at large.