Government has budgeted GH¢80,000 towards the 10th Biennial PANAFEST and Emancipation celebrations this year, Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism said in Accra on Thursday.
They are significant events aimed at healing the painful wounds of the Slave Trade that took millions of Africans into the Diaspora, and promoting unity of the African family as well as the principles of Pan Africanism.
Ms Dansua, Member of Parliament for North Dayi, however, said: “We need about GH¢400,000 to take us through the programme.”
Addressing a press conference to highlight state of preparation towards the two events, Ms Dansua said event would commence on July 21 to August 3.
She said the sector had received indications that a number of countries including United States , Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, Jamaica and Brazil would participate in the celebration.
The Sector Minister said preparations for various activities were on course and publicity on those events would be rolled out soon.
She said for the first time, the two events would open up the North which had slave routes.
She appealed to the citizenry to work together to ensure the success of the events, which she noted would further enhance Ghana’s national dignity and respect as the centre of Pan Africanism and standard bearer of the “Black Star” of Africa.
“We make a special appeal to our collaborators and sponsors especially Ghana Airport Company, Civil Aviation Authority, Ghana Immigration Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, airlines and hotels to help and ensure its success,” she added.
Dr Erieka Bennett, Head of Missions for the African Union Diaspora African Forum, noted that the events marked the time for Ghana to shine among her peers, adding the country had always been a leader in the Pan African Movement.
She said more than 5,000 people including local and foreign nationals were expected to attend this year’s events which marked the 20th anniversary celebration.
She appealed to the public to show the world the Ghanaian hospitality spirit.
Mr Kohain Nathanyah Halevi Rabbi, Executive Secretary, PANAFEST Foundation, indicated that the events would involve the youth who would take up the torch of Pan Africanism.
He said the Foundation had so far set up Pan African clubs in some second cycle schools and urged people to contribute generously to sustain it.
Activities lined up include: “Akwaaba” Dinner at La Palm Beach Resort, Wreath laying at Du Bois Centre, Padmore Library, Nkrumah Memorial, Pilgrimage to Slave Routes in Salaga and Gwollu, Durbar at Bono Manso, River Crossing at Assin Manso, Reverential Night at Cape Coast Dungeon. GNA