The 2023 PANAFEST/Emancipation Day Celebrations continued on Monday, July 24, 2023, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the W.E.B. Du Bois Centre, the George Padmore Library, and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra.
Government officials, chiefs, media personalities, and Africans from all over the world, including delegations from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe, attended the wreath-laying ceremony.
The Osu Mantse Nortse Nii Nortey Owuo IV laid a wreath on behalf of the traditional leaders, while Miss Tourism Ghana 2022 winner Christabel Nhyira Agyepong laid a wreath on behalf of the youth of Ghana.
The wreath-laying ceremony was a solemn occasion to remember the victims of the transatlantic slave trade and to celebrate the progress that has been made since their emancipation.
The speakers at the ceremony all stressed the importance of remembering the past and working together to build a better future for all
In his speech, the Tourism Minister, Mohammed Awal, said that PANAFEST is “a time to reflect on our history and to celebrate our resilience.” He stressed that “it is time to renew our commitment to fighting against all forms of discrimination and injustice.”
This year’s PANAFEST/Emancipation Day celebrations commenced on July 19, 2023, with a Northern Pilgrimage. The five-day tour took participants to the historical slave routes that their ancestors traveled before they were taken to the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles.
The pilgrimage began on Wednesday morning in Accra and took participants to the Pikworo Slave Camp in the Upper East Region, the Salaga Slave Camp in the Northern Region, and the Bono Slave Market in the Bono East Region. The tour ended with the crossing of the River Pra at Assin Praso in the Central Region.
The theme of the 2023 PANAFEST/Emancipation Day Celebrations is “Re-claiming the African Family: Confronting the Past to Face the Challenges of the 21st Century.”