In a significant announcement, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyeman, revealed that starting next year, the annual celebration of Emancipation Day and PANAFEST will kick off at the historic Pikworo Slave Camp in Nania, located in the Upper East Region.
Traditionally, the celebration commenced from Accra, but Mr. Agyeman emphasized the importance of acknowledging the historical significance of Pikworo as the starting point of the slave trade, stating, “Clearly, the route starts from Pikworo, and must start from here going forward.”
The announcement was made during a mini durbar held to commemorate the 2023 Emancipation Day and PANAFEST celebration at the Pikworo Slave Camp.
The event, themed “Reclaiming the African Family: confronting the Past to face the Challenges of the 21st Century,” was jointly organized by the Upper East Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority and the PANAFEST Secretariat, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.
Mr. Agyeman asserted that this new initiative would become an annual tradition, with the celebration route stretching from Pikworo to Salaga, then to Bono Manso, Assin Manso, and concluding in Cape Coast and Elmina.
He stressed the importance of understanding the chronology of events related to the slave trade, emphasizing that “everything about the slave trade started from Pikworo and must remain as such.”
During the commemoration, a touching performance by school pupils from the Roveca International School in Paga left the audience in tears.
The pupils re-enacted the hardships endured by slaves captured from the region, as well as those from neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali, before being transported to the coastal areas and subjected to onward transportation abroad.
He called upon the people to recognize the collective progress made by the country and to uphold their rich African values, passed down through ancestral heritage.