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28.07.2005 General News

Ceremony held to formally welcome African-Americans

GNA

Elmina (C/R), July 28, GNA- An 'Akwaaba' ceremony to formally welcome about 400 African-Americans, Africans in the Diaspora, as well as participants from the UK, to the country, was on Wednesday, held at the forecourt of the Elmina Castle.

They are currently in the country to participate in the on-going Pan-African-Historical-Theatre-Festival (PANAFEST).

The colourful traditional event, involved the offering of libation, for their safe arrival 'home', after which the visitors, who were visibly charged emotionally, were given 'eto', a traditional dish of mashed yam and eggs, which they ate together with the traditional authorities, amidst traditional drumming and dancing by Elmina Dance Ensemble.

Professor James Small, leader of the 'Pilgrimage Home Comers', urged Africans to have confidence in themselves and stressed that it was only through a unified Africa that the continent would succeed. He debunked the notion that Africa was poor and impoverished, adding that, it was Africa's wealth was used in building sustaining Europe and America up to date.

Dr Rosalind Jeffries, representative of blacks in the Diaspora and the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District Chief Executive, Mr Frank Asmah, also addressed the gathering.

The GNA however realized that the high patronage of both foreign and local participants that always characterizes the celebration of festival was virtually absent this year.

When contacted on the low patronage, the Executive secretary of PANAFEST Foundation, Rabbi Kohain Halevi, explained that some of the foreign participants missed their flights last Monday and were expected in the country tonight, while others were expected to come by Saturday. Some people in Cape Coast told the GNA that they were not aware of the festival and attributed the situation to inadequate publicity. Other programmes slated for the evening, as part of the festival's activities, were a theatre performance by the Abibigromma troupe and a 'Blacks in Europe and Friends Night'.

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