The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched this year’s Emancipation Day celebration in Accra. This year’s will be held on the theme, “Our Heritage, Our Strength: Re-Engaging to Consolidate Our Developmental Agenda.”
GTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, Operations, Ekow Sampson in his remarks, said of the theme that for this to be realized, there has to be genuine reconciliation between all the sons of Africa.
“Slavery and Emancipation are real life events in our history as a people. They are also symbols for the remarkable capacity of the human spirit to struggle and triumph over adversity. We have always known ourselves to be people who have turned our hearts and faces against injustice, inhumanity and deception. We have stood up and demanded fairness and equality for all regardless of their race, colour, creed, gender, or class here in Ghana and across the world,” he stated.
The Deputy CEO added that Emancipation Day offers the opportunity for Africans all over the world to pay homage to pioneers of the struggle to free Blacks from all manner of bondage; political, economic, social, etc.
He averred, “It is imperative that we all come together on August 1st each year to give thanks and praises to our great ancestors who featured prominently in the Emancipation process. They have paved the way for us in their gory spirit, determination, purpose and meaning of emancipation.”
Chairperson of the PANAFEST Foundation, Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy also maintained that the celebration should help African reflect on the contribution of the forebears who put their dignity and everything they had on the line in their quest for emancipation.
“Emancipation Day is built on the blood, toils and the courage of people who had nothing. We can’t forget the struggle because that is what makes us weak; if we forget what our ancestors achieved, then we are nothing,” she stressed.
Prof. Sutherland-Addy further stated that current world events call for Africans across the world to fight to rid themselves of the slavery of the mind which has cast a dent on African’s view of themselves and how they are being unfairly treated by other race. She posited that, this can be done by drawing inspiration from those who have gone on before.
“We need to work on our present day challenges which are based on the fact that we are Blacks. The kind of emancipation we need now is not from chains but in the mind and we need to work on getting away from dependency on other people,” she charged.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey who officially launched this year’s celebrations said that government is committed to improving the lot of citizens through development oriented interventions that are geared towards making the country self-reliant.
Emancipation Day 2022 features a week-long deluge of activities starting with wreath-laying ceremonies on July 27 in different locations in Accra. As part of efforts to spread the celebrations countrywide and engage more locals, new locations and activities are being introduced in this year’s commemorations. They include, Emancipation Day Health Walk in Elmina, wreath laying ceremony at Pikworo Slave Camp in the Upper East Region, among others.