President Mahama: Human Trafficking, Racism Our Bane

President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday said the menace of human trafficking and racial discrimination were enough threats that demanded the rekindling of Pan African struggle to ward them off in the coming years. He also paid glowing tribute to founders of Pan Africanism, whose contributions ensured the independence of the African Continent during the colonial era. "While celebrating the festival of African culture, and the African heritage, let me use this occasion to pay a tribute to leaders such as; Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, W.E. B Dubois, Marcus Garvey and many others, who spear headed the struggles for the African Emancipation." President Mahama said this when he opened the Pan African Festival and Emancipation day, under the theme: "Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance- The unfinished Agenda," at Cape Coast. The opening ceremony formed part of his two-day official visit to Cape Coast, in the Central Region, where he earlier laid a foundation stone for commencement of work on the Professor Atta Mills memorial library. The PANAFEST Programme attracted patrons from all over the country and Africans in the Diaspora, amidst rich and splendid traditional drumming and dancing from the people of the Oguaa traditional area. President Mahama said it was regrettable that slave trade and slavery, which demeaned Africans so many years ago, were resurfacing in the form of human trafficking in the continent. He said as President of Ghana, he would continue to promote issues that would facilitate the elimination of the practice that had over the years reduced humanity to the level of commodities. The President appealed to the youth of the country to develop special interest in Pan Africanism, as that would provide them with an in-depth understanding of the history of Africans and their cultural activities. Madam Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Minister of Tourism said in so far as oppression of Africans was still existent in the world, Pan Africanism would still be used to infuse the struggle among Africans to be conscious of their rights and Responsibilities. She promised to use PANAFEST and other fora to drum home the need for Africans to fight against oppression and racial discrimination in all the socio-economic sectors of development. Mr Samuel Sarpong, Central Regional Minister, commended the planning committee for the successful Organisation of the Programme, which has been historical over the years. He urged the patrons to use platforms such as PANAFEST to re-strategize for the socio-economic development of the country, by forming synergies in areas of tourism and other economic ventures. Professor Esi Sutherland Addy, a member of the PANAFEST Foundation Board, stated that Pan Africanism and its core principles were still relevant in the face molestation of people of African descent and the racial discrimination being meted out to African sportsmen and women all over the world. She appealed to the leaderships of various African countries to regenerate the spirit of Pan Africanism that would re-orient Africans to take their development agenda into their own hands.