Pan African Festival of Arts and Culture

18 April 2012

This year marks the 20th anniversary celebration of the PAN AFRICAN FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND CULTURE. It promises to be exciting because it is also an election year and politicians may use the celebration to reinforce their Pan African Agenda.

The highlights will include

1) A lecture by prominent African writers at the W.E.B Dubois Centre in Accra which is the former home and burial place of the prominent American Pan -Africanism

2) A Tour of the Kwame Nkrumah Royal Mausoleum in Accra. The mausoleum has the final remains of Our first president

3) The re – enactment of resistance to the slave trade

Because it is the 20th anniversary, the events will last longer than usual. It will take place between July 21st 2012 to 30th July 2012.

The itinerary for the event is as follows.

DAY 1              Arrive Accra, meet assist and transfer to hotel On this day, there will be an orientation which includes a discussion on our rich Ghanaian history and culture. There will be a welcome dinner amidst fashion shows.

DAY 2              After breakfast, we will have a city tour of Accra. Highlights will include
                        The interesting Kwame Nkrumah Royal Mausoleum and museum, where we will pay a glowing tribute to Ghana’s first president. The place was formerly called the Polo Grounds. It was where our president stood to declare our independence. The Polo Grounds now holds the final remains of Kwame Nkrumah and his wife. The mausoleum also houses various personal items used by   Osagyefo.

DAY 3              On this day, we will be leaving Accra to Kumasi, the capital of Region of Ashanti. We will also stop at Aburi Gardens overlooking the coastal plain at an elevation of 1,200 – 1, 500ft  above sea level. The Garden has a lot of trees which are of medicinal purposes. We will learn about that as well as the cultural importance of the trees.

DAY 4              Today, we will delve into the region to witness for ourselves Ashanti craft and culture as well as learn from them.  We will observe closely and have a first  hand knowledge on the creation of Adinkra cloth which is worn for funerals and other special occasions

DAY 5              A full day tour of Kumasi where we will visit the Manhyia Palace which is being used by the Asantehene  and his subjects. The Asantehene settles issues , using centuries old customs. He has the final word to all issues. From there we will visit the Okomfo Anokye Sword. The sword is said to be an important symbol of the Ashanti’s unity.
                        Legend has it that the Ashanti Kingdom would collapse should the sword be ever removed.

DAY 6              After breakfast , depart Kumasi to Cape Coast with a stop at Assin Manso vwhich is the burial site of two former slaves from the U.S and Jamaica whose remains were re – interred in August 1998 during Ghana’s first Emancipation Day Celebration. Visit the Slave River where the slaves were made to take their last bath to await shipment to the Americas and the Caribean. After arriving in Cape Coast , we will enjoy the PANAFEST activities and Emancipation celebration

DAY 7              After breakfast, our journey will take us to Cape Coast Castle, a restored UNESCO World Heritage site.  It was once the seat of colonial administration. This castle has the infamous DOOR OF NO RETURN. That door of no return gives a vivid reminder of the colonists slave trade. In the afternoon tour Elmina Castle, also a UNESCO World Heritage site built in 1482. The Castle was the first to be built by the Europeans in Sub Saharan Africa.

DAY 8              Continue Panafest celebration, visit the Panafest Village Expo /Bazaar , and attend a Traditional Naming Ceremony. Overnight at Elmina Bay Resort or similar

DAY 9              The Kakum Park is one of West Africa ‘s surviving tropical rain forests. We will drive there  early morning. Kakum is the home to over 40 large mammals and 400 bird species as well  as many species and butterflies , flora and fauna. The most popular  attraction is the canopy walkway, which is made up of seven bridges extending 330m, hanging 30m above the forest floor. We can choose to walk  through the forest to discover the wide variety of exotic floral species and the medicinal values they offer, or a walk on the canopy.

DAY 10            After  breakfast return to Accra, with a stop at the village of Abandze, the Ancestral Home of Louis Armstrong and the famous American jazz musician. Farewell dinner in Accra, transfer to the airport for your flight back home.