The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority, has kick-started activities for this year’s Emancipation Day Celebration with wreath laying ceremonies in Accra.
The wreaths were laid at the William Edward Burghard Du Bois Centre, George Padmore Library and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in honour of these departed leaders and freedom fighters.
The 2020 Emancipation Day is on the theme: “Our Heritage, Our Strength,” with the sub theme: “Leveraging our Resilience: Black lives Matter.”
Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the sector Minister, said Emancipation was a time of celebration as it was a time of remembrance of the terror that swept across the Caribbean and Americas by the enslavement of human beings.
She said the call for African unity, championed by the illustrious Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was as relevant today as it was in the early days of independence.
It was, therefore, ironic that a people who had been traumatised by slavery and suffered discrimination because of racial differences should easily forget their common bond of brotherhood and tragically tear each other apart, she said.
“The stalwarts and heroes we honour today; Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr W.E.B. Du Bois, George Padmore, Fredrick Douglas, Nelson Mandela, just to mention but a few, soared above petty differences and sought the greater good of the bigger African family,” Mrs Oteng Gyasi said.
“As a people we must never lose sight of the fact that many of our African ancestors experienced the most inhumane conditions and were forced to endure cruelty in some of its most horrific forms.”
She said emancipation must, therefore, be held to signify the triumph of the human spirit over evil and atrocity and recognize the tremendous sacrifices made in the name of freedom by those who stood at the forefront of the battle for liberty.
“Ghana, our beloved country, stands as a model to the world because of our history of political stability, unity and relative peace and it is a reputation we all have a responsibility to uphold, before, during and after the December 7 General Election,” Mrs Oteng Gyasi said.
She said it was important to bequeath that liberty to subsequent generations of African youth to strengthen their resolve to building a more united and prosperous continent where all people could flourish and their talents nurtured to the benefit of humanity.
Mr Akewsi Agyemang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, said in such times of COVID-19 where all boarders and entry points were closed, it was important for Ghanaians to build the society by “loving our own, eating, wearing, feeling and seeing Ghana”.
Mr Rabbi Halevi Kohain, the Executive Director, Panafest Foundation, called for more strength and all hands on deck to continue with the emancipation struggle.
“Anytime we celebrate a piece of African history, we celebrate it for Africans all over the world. Let’s continue to celebrate African resilience.”
Madam Erieka Bennett, the Director, Diaspora African Forum, said emancipation was an effort to secure economic, social and political rights for Blacks all over the world and until that was achieved, the struggle must go on no matter what.