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PANAFEST Launched But Diasporians Unhappy   
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A member of the diasporian community in Ghana, KOFI EL SHABAZZ, has accused successive governments of systematically undermining the objectives of the Pan-African Festival (PANAFEST), and Emancipation Day.

She said while PANAFEST and Emancipation Day were established with the noble objective of reuniting Africans in the diaspora with their kindred on the African continent, the actions and inactions of governments over the years have tendered to contradict this objective.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s joint PANAFEST/Emancipation day celebrations at the Accra International Conference Centre, an emotional EL SHABAZZ, told the Tourism Minister Akua Sena Dansua, that the government and her ministry had failed to make the necessary investments to make the celebration the global event that it is supposed to be.

She protested the launching of the celebrations in Accra, arguing that Cape Coast, which is the centre of the celebrations ought to be where the launching should have been done.

EL SHABAZZ, who manages the One Africa Guest House, a health resort, located at the Iture village near Elmina, said PANAFEST risks becoming a total failure if government doesn’t attach seriousness to the celebrations.

She said even though she had lived in Ghana for 21 years, she had no citizenship and wondered how government intended and hoped to encourage Africans in the Diaspora to return to the continent and invest and help propel the continent’s growth if the people will not be granted dual citizenship.

Other Diasporians who were present at the event shared similar sentiments. Responding to the concerns, the Tourism Minister explained that the government was fully committed to achieving the objectives of reuniting the African people and their Diasporian brothers and sisters.

As a demonstration of that commitment, she said the government, in spite of the budgetary constraints, had made some funding available for the celebrations.

On the question of why the events were being launched in Accra and not Cape Coast, Mrs Sena Dansua explained that majority of the stakeholders including the media were in Accra. That she said was the reason why the media launch was done in Accra, assuring that the programme launch will be done in Cape Coast.

She admonished EL SHABAZZ and the others to help the government make the programme a success by inviting as many Diasporians as possible.
Source: Joy News

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