Ghana

GTA launches 2024 Emancipation Day celebration

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Tuesday launched this year’s Emancipation Day Celebration with a call on Ghanaians to renew their commitment to build a free and peaceful nations and communities where people will have opportunities to live in dignity and prosperity.

The day slated for July 22 to August 1, 2024 would be on the theme, “Unity and Resilience; Building Stronger Communities for a Brighter Future.”

Being the 26th celebration, the day is celebrated annually to mark the abolition of slavery in the British Colonies in 1834 and its annual observance introduced in Ghana in 1998.

It was to also rekindle the flame of unity among black people everywhere.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, launching the programme in Accra, said the celebration of emancipation day must remind Ghanaians that there was a period of slavery and bondage; collective trauma of African people, a period whose cruel legacy of racial discrimination, neo colonialism, economic exploitation, under development and poverty continuous to persist.

He called for a firm resolved to never again allow a few people with superior technology to manipulate and exploit the blackman to serve their interest as happened during those dark centuries of Trans-Atlantic Slave trade.

“As we mark another Emancipation Day, let us remember with gratitude our client ancestors who resisted the brutality of slavery, let their sacrifices rekindle in us,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), MrAkwasiAgyeman, paid tribute to the forebears who died in the fight for freedom and said the event was a moment of rebirth which called for more self-introspection and reconciliation among Ghanaians to support nation-building.

“Emancipation is not just about the remembrance of the abolition of slavery but also about celebrating the Ghanaian culture to create a unique sense of unity, cooperation and understanding among Africans and the world as a whole,” he said.

MrAgyeman indicated that the theme for the year’s celebration was appropriate as it sought to unite and develop communities, saying that the GTA in collaboration with its agencies were working on a programme to ensure that some forts and castles in some communities which had become a “scar on the memory of humanities” were developed and preserved.

The Executive Director, PANESFEST Foundation, Professor Efua Southerland-Addyemphasised the need of adopting new measures and using technology to promote some past information about how Ghana became emancipated and those who contributed to the journey that has brought us this far.

“From today, let’s get back on track to do things that will grow us. It wll not happen by itself, but we’ve to deliberately do it,” she added.

Activities lined for the celebration include commissioning of Salaga Slave Market, durbar at Pikworo Slave Camp-Upper East Region, tribute to the ancestors; wreath laying at W.E.B Dubois Centre, George Padmore Library, and embark on photo exhibition of the legacy of Prof. Efua Sutherland and then lay wreath at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

The rest are durbar of chiefs at AssinPraso, echoes of culture celebrating diasporan diversity, reverential night at Cape Coast, emancipation day durbar at AssinManso School Park to lay wreath on the graves of former enslaved Africans and finally visit to theNonkoNsuo.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR