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Yenko festival launched in Accra

BY: Nii Martey M. Botchway

As part of activities marking the Year of Return, an Afro-Latin music and dance performance comprising Kizomba, Semba, Salsa, Urban and Afro dance steps took centre stage at the launch of this year’s Yenko festival in Accra.

The Yenko Festival which is one of the headline events of the ‘Year of Return Ghana 2019 seeks to promotes African culture, tourism, music and dance, and also serve as a platform for emerging African artistes to showcase their talents.

In an interview, organisers of the event, Ms Afia Biney and Mr Joseph Houmey explained that the festival is aimed at projecting Africa’s resilience in line with the ‘Year of Return’ secretariat and the Ghana Tourism Authority.

The festival, they said, would be an annual event which would focus on educating and teaching the younger generation about African culture through dance while deepening the synergy between the various adopted dance traditions on the continent.

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Speaking at the launch of the festival, the Director of Diaspora Relations at the Office of the President, Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio said it was important to recognize that the African continent is endowed with various cultural traditions of which dancing plays an integral role.

According to him, the festival would among other things spice up and add flavour to the array of events slated for the celebration of the Year of Return.
Year of Return

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a landmark marketing campaign targeting the African – American and Diaspora Market to mark 400 years of the Slave Trade.

The programme is being spearheaded by the Ghana Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, the Panafest Foundation and the Adinkra Group of USA.

The project is also aimed at making Ghana the focus of activities to commemorate the landing of the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies in North America and also to offer huge opportunity to entrench Ghana’s leadership.

This year marks 400 years since some Black Africans and Ghanaians for that matter were shipped as slaves to foreign lands.