‘Let's tell our African stories’

BY: Pacome Emmanuel Damalie
Mr Fredrick Adjei-Rudolph, Eastern Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority
Mr Fredrick Adjei-Rudolph, Eastern Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority

The Eastern Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Fredrick Adjei-Rudolph has urged the youth not to shy away from African histories. They should rather develop interest in them and propagate same to advance the good image of the continent and its many nations.

He said it would be an error for Africans to allow the West to be telling its story as they do not have the experiential knowledge of what the histories were.

"This is the time to reclaim our rights as Africans and tell our own story, we must weave our own narrative and tell our African stories as Africans. The West cannot tell our story for us, we must tell our own story," he said.

At a media engagement held on Friday (July 30) to commemorate this year's Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and Emancipation in the Eastern Region, he explained that the stories told about Ghana and Africa have the ability to drive the tourism industry of the Eastern Region and the country at large into the number one contributor to Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as targeted by the GTA, as they encourage international and domestic tourists to visit historical places.

Health Security; Appeal
Mr Adjei-Rudolph said the PANAFEST and Emancipation celebration have been marked with two different themes aimed at telling our different stories in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ravaging the world.

The PANAFEST whose theme has been "Securing the African Family: Our Health, Our Wealth and Our Soul", focused on the security of Ghana and Africa against the raging COVID-19 that has entered its third wave across the world.

The Emancipation, however, has been themed "Reclaiming Our Right to Weave Our Own Narrative", to tell the African history to the world.

He said the themes were "even more appropriate at this very difficult time when the whole world is bedeviled with the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic".

He added that the celebration represented the time to secure the African continent from the global politics that has characterized the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

"This is the time to secure the African continent from the global politics that has characterized the production and distribution of covid-19 vaccines. We must secure our health needs as Africans, we must secure our wealth needs as Africans and secure our soul as Africans," he said.

The Eastern Regional Director of GTA appealed to the youth not to continue dwelling on the past but leverage on it to build a better Ghana and Africa.

"As youth and new generation of Africa, we cannot continue to just dwell on the past but leverage on it and look forward to build an Africa better that we found it. We have a responsibility to aspire to build an Africa of Love, equality, and most especially Security for ourselves and generations unborn," he said.

Honour and Background
This year's PANAFEST and Emancipation celebrations would honour the memories of heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Burghart Du Bois, Dr. George Padmore and other great ancestors who have built on the Pan-African ideals and the liberation of the African continent.

PANAFEST has been a biennial celebration for Africans and people of African descent since 1992 in Ghana to promote and enhance unity, Pan- Africanism, and the development of the African continent.

It has been celebrated over the years to mark the strengths and resilience of African culture and achievements of Africans in spite of the transatlantic slave trade and its aftermath. It was designed to help Africans to reconnect with their strengths and thus inspired to eternal vigilance, rededicate themselves to fully assuming the reigns of their own destiny in recognition of the lessons of history.

Emancipation, on the other hand has been a national and an annual event observed to commemorate the resilience and liberation of African people in the diaspora against enslavement and violation of their human rights.

It was originally celebrated in the Caribbean to commemorate the final abolition of Chattel Slavery in the British colonies on August 1, 1834. However, it has been on Ghana’s tourism calendar since 1998 when Ghana became the first African Country to re-affirm its status as the gateway to the homeland of Africans in the Diaspora.