Ghana News Archive
Cape Coast, Aug. 1, GNA- Pilgrims made up of mainly Africans in the Diaspora, on Tuesday night, held a 'reverential' ceremony in memory of the former slave ancestors at the Cape Coast Castle to herald the declaration of Emancipation day, at Assin Manso on Wednesday.
The solemn ceremony, which is held as part of PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebration, was characterized by wailing by majority of the pilgrims who turned out in their numbers for the occasion. They had initially gone on a candle light procession before getting to the gates of the castle, where libation was offered before they entered the castle.
Libation was again offered at the 'Nana Tabiri shrine' beside the male dungeon, after which wreaths were laid in memory of the ancestors. Among those who laid the wreaths were Nana Kwabena Nketia, Omanhen of Esikado traditional area, Dr Leonard Jeffries, an academia from the United States, on behalf of the government of Ghana, chiefs and Africans in the Diaspora and those in Africa, respectively.
Professor James Small, one of the leaders of the Africans in the Diaspora in a speech to herald Emancipation Day, cautioned Africans and those in the Diaspora to ensure that "what happened to their ancestors never happened again to their children." He said there was nothing good about slave trade and that the motivating factor of the perpetrators of this heinous crime was to "selfishly" take away Africa's human and material resources to develop Europe and the Americas. He said as a result, he does not wear "gold or diamond ornaments" because it symbolized the blood of the ancestors that were spilled to extract the minerals.
Dr Jefferies, urged Ghanaians to open up to those in the Diaspora who want to come and settle in Ghana, and said the development of Africa was a duty incumbent on all Africans, including those in the Diaspora and urged all to contribute their quota to ensure the socio-economic development of the continent. Ms Bridget Katsireku, Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, said most of "our ancestors taken away from us" during the slave trade were the talented and skilled ones who could have helped in the development of Africa but were whisked away to develop Europe and the Americas. According to her, despite the pain and sadness which Africans often experience at the remembrance of the slave trade, Africans and those in the Diaspora still derive inspiration from the fact that "we have in the end realized that we are one people with a common destiny".
The Chief Director stressed that Ghana was still committed to hosting PANAFEST/Emancipation Day, notwithstanding, the desire of some African countries to also host the event. In a welcoming address, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, also urged the Africans in the Diaspora "to put into action" whatever plans they had to accelerate the development of Africa. He stated that from every indication the next PANAFEST/Emancipation day celebration was going to be bigger, considering that the festival has become popular and has attracted many Africans in the Diaspora.
Selection of older Ghana news 2007 - Jan 2015
Archive 2007 - 2015