PANAFEST 2017 starts on July 25

The 2017 Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) was launched on May 25, 2017 at Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana.

This year’s festival which marks 25 years of its inception was launched by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Afeku, after a similar launch had been held earlier in Accra.

There was a Bonfire Night at the Elmina Beach Resort on Wednesday 24th May as a precursor to the ceremony. On the following day, there was a walk from London Bridge through the principal streets of Cape Coast, to Heritage House.

Some activities to mark the festival scheduled for July 25 to August 2, 2017 are wreath laying, welcoming of Africans in the Diaspora, durbar of chiefs and queens, an expo and inter-religious dialogue to examine the roles played by religion during the slave trade.

There will be performances and work in the areas of theatre, drama, music, and poetry and tours to various places of historical study and interest such as slave castle dungeons and resorts.

The Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) was conceived in the 1980’s as a means to assess effects of 500 years of the slave trade and its resulting Diaspora. Centered on the ideas of W.E.B. Dubois’ theories of Pan-Africanism, the festival includes celebrations of Emancipation Day, academic lectures, musical and dance performances, and commemorative visits to coastal forts and cities on the Atlantic that played critical roles in the development of slavery beginning in the 15th century.

PANAFEST, birth in 1992, is held in Ghana every two years for Africans and people of African descent.

By: Kwame Dadzie/


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