The official schedule of events during Panafest and Emancipation was released at a Press Briefing on Thursday 18th July. It’s one of the most anticipated festivals of the year and with this being the Year of Return, the event holds a high level of significance. The theme this year is “Re-uniting the African Family: Beyond 400 Years, Reaching Across Continents into the Future.”
Originally launched in 1992 as the Pan African Historical Theatre Project, the event used the arts and theatre to tell African history. It’s now known as PANAFEST and has evolved into what it is today, a cultural event that promotes unity, Pan-Africanism and developing Ghana and Africa as a whole.
Ghana has historically been one of the most Pan African countries and with the year of return inviting people from the diaspora home, all the activities surrounding the events hold a high level of importance. The official dates for PANAFEST & Emancipation are 24th July- 2nd August with the majority of activities taking place in the central region and some in Accra.
Before the official events begin, a ceremony at Assin Praso has already taken place on Saturday 20th July. It was the Slave Route Pilgrimage and Atonement Ceremonies that took place through the path where enslaved Africans were taken. It was an emotional day where the people who suffered and taken from Africa were remembered. The re-enactments by local performers were touching and very emotional for all who were there.
On the first official day of Panafest, 24th July, there will be a wreath laying ceremony in Accra. This is a tribute to three pioneers in the Pan African movement; W.E.B. DuBois, George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah will all be honoured through their own wreath laying ceremony.
Several activities will take place in the Central region including a Bazaar, Akwaaba ceremony, cultural performances and a cooking competition.
A.J. Johnson, an African American Actress and Lifestyle Coach, is screening her movie, Sins of The Father, as part of Panafest activities. Her movie will have an Exclusive Private Screening on the evening of the 24th July at Silverbird Cinemas in Accra. Johnson visited Ghana for the first time last year with the Full Circle Festival and loved Ghana so much, she has returned four times already.
The Grand Durbar with a Royal Procession of Chiefs and Queen Mothers will take place during events on 27th July in Cape Coast. This is expected to be one of the most diverse displays of Ghana’s culture, tradition and heritage. Special guest of honour is H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. There will also be other dignitaries in attendance including other members of parliament.
For more information on registrations and tickets for the events, visit the website at www.panafestghana.org.