This year’s Emancipation Day has been celebrated at Assin Praso in the Central Region.
Dozens of Africans in the diaspora joined Ghanaians from all walks of life to mark the day, which was on the theme: “Securing the African family: our health, our wealth, our soul.”
Speaking at the ceremony, the Omanhene of Assin Praso, Nana Owurodo Aseku X, called on the government to develop the Assin Praso Heritage Village into a world-class tourist destination.
He said the facility had been poorly packaged even though it had vast natural resources and historical monuments that could contribute to tourism development in the country.
Nana Aseku stated that the location of Assin Praso and the strategic transit role it played in the transportation of slaves from the northern part of the country through the Ashanti Region to Cape Coast and Elmina Castles could not be underestimated
“The Assin Praso Heritage Village has an information centre, catering facilities and a mausoleum displayed with slave chains and artifacts associated with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the early 19th Century, and has Ghana’s oldest mango tree which is not known to many.
I will plead with appropriate authorities to put this great facility on the map to attract foreign eyes”, the Omanhene appealed.
Nana Aseku emphasised that a closer collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; the district assemblies, traditional authorities and the private sector was the way forward to boost visitation, generate revenue and create employment opportunities for the youth in the area.
“This historical heritage site will not only increase revenue for the government when efforts are made to preserve it; It would make Ghana a gateway and homeland for Africans in the diaspora and create an employment avenue for our indigenes”.
When he took his turn to address the gathering, the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, said the government was committed to promoting local tourism, adding that the concerns would be addressed.
He advised the community to devise profitable activities that would attract tourists to the community.
Tell our story
The deputy minister appealed to the traditional leaders to help tell the African story in a manner it ought to be told.
“Our story has been told differently and this is the time for us to tell our story the way it should be told.
“Our race can tell our story the way it ought to be told, so let us tell that within our families and extend it to the world to preserve our identity as Africans,” he added.
The District Chief Executive of Assin North, Mr Charles Ohene Andoh, said the assembly was ready to collaborate with stakeholders to give the facility the facelift it needed to boost local tourism in the Central Region.