Emancipation/PANAFEST is a success
Accra Aug 3, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, on Wednesday said the celebration of Emancipation 2005 was very successful if it was looked at in terms of the large number of participants and tourists and the colourful durbar held at Assin Manso on Monday.
He rated this year's celebration as better than that of last year and last two years despite some adverse media reports.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, who was speaking to the GNA about this year's celebration which was on the theme: "Emancipation Our Heritage, Our Strength" with a sub theme: "Honouring Our African Heroes" commended Ministers of State and Districts Chief Executives, who attended the durbar, saying "it was well attended"
He urged Ghanaians to get associated and be involved in the Emancipation Day activities as a way of recalling history, and to "chart a more positive course to reconcile with our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora
"There is the need for Ghanaians to learn more about the slave trade, find out the roles of their ancestors in its perpetration and use it as a basis to understand those in the Diaspora," he said.
He urged the media to project the good image of the country by supporting events such as Emancipation and PANAFEST.
Mr Kojo Yankah, Chairman of the PANAFEST Foundation, said this year's celebration of PANAFEST was an improvement over year 2001 and 2003.
He said there was better management of the event, programmes were followed as scheduled and the participants expressed satisfaction. "We did not encounter anybody, who had a problem," he said and this means PANAFEST has great potentials for the country.
The PANAFEST Foundation, he said, had already started strategizing for PANAFEST 2007 and expressed the hope that it would also be a big success, Mr Yankah told the GNA.
He however, said there was pressure on accommodation as some people could not find one in Cape-Coast and had to go to Yamoransa and Takoradi for accommodation.
He called on local and foreign investors to help with the expansion of the hotel industry.
Mac Tonto, a Ghanaian musician of international repute, expressed concern about the participation of Ghanaians in the event saying "there should have been more Ghanaians".
He said there were more foreigners than Ghanaians but the aim of the celebration was achieved and urged Ghanaians to be involved in the celebration "On the whole I will say I was happy," Mac Tonto said Mr Ferdinand Ayim, Chairman of the Planning Committee for Emancipation and PANAFEST, said the Ministry had started with the planning of Emancipation 2006, as it would be a dressed rehearsal for year 2007 celebration to ensure continuous success.
This year's Emancipation day celebration coincided with PANAFEST, which is celebrated every other year. The two events have a common aim of seeking African unity and excellence.
The celebration would be crowned with a sponsors dinner dance on August 7, this year.