As part of Ghana’s quest to rise above and beyond the shadows of slavery and celebrate the African spirit of resilience through the celebration of PANAFEST, the Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the PANAFEST Foundation has launched the 2021 PANAFEST celebration.
The PANAFEST 2021 which was launched virtually via zoom on 1st July 2020 is under the theme, SECURING THE AFRICAN FAMILY: OUR SOUL, OUR HEALTH, OUR WEALTH’
The theme, according to Mrs. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and culture is timely and appropriate, as “we confront the COVID 19 pandemic which is ravaging the entire world”.
“Even though we are diverse people with different languages and cultures, we are one people and must not allow our differences to affect our unification. We must as a continent take whatever we have and everything we can offer to make for a united Africa”. She added.
Mrs. Oteng Gyasi again said the launch of the 2021 edition of the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival, is to honour heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois and other great ancestors who have built on the Pan-African ideals.
The Chairperson of the PANAFEST Board of Trustees, Prof. Afua Sutherland Addy, in her speech said the “PANAFEST 2021 was planned to bring the African Family together this time, to review the dynamics of The Return or the Sankofa Principle and explore it as an impetus for the future”.
According to her, the idea was generating a review of the true value of collectively reviewing the past with an agenda for creating visions of the future Africans would all like to see.
Speaking on PANAFEST 2021, Afua Sutherland elaborated that, PANAFEST 2021 is designed to establish a buildup which will start in August 2020 and it is expected to provide Platforms of dialogue and expression in all forms of artistic expression which speak to the raging interrogation of the state of African life in the global context.
” It is expected that activities at the festival will demonstrate beyond doubt that the African Family needs to re-assess and secure and own its own history but also set itself up to be vigilant”. She opined.
Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, congratulated PANAFEST foundation for organizing the virtual launch, he also assured them that ‘GTA will continue to be a worthy partner for the PANAFEST festival’.
He again stated that the common thing COVID 19 pandemic has brought apart from its negative effect is the ‘resilience of African support’. “I believe moving from 2019 to 2020, there are lessons that we have learned that can be incorporated in the PANAFEST 2021 program, and the theme and activities will be a follow up of the historic ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’”.
PANAFEST 2021 is structured around experiences and platforms which are designed to constructively raise and examine important belligerent issues, foster healing processes, and also celebrate the strengths and resilience of African culture and achievements of Africans. The Festival is to be seen as a home and hub for creative Africans across the globe to both showcase their work and interact with each other in a meaningful way.
The PANAFEST will however feature community events that involve immersion of African-descended participants in everyday and ceremonial life.