The Emancipation Day celebration is an annual event observed to commemorate the resistance and liberation of African people in the Diaspora against enslavement and violation of their human rights. Emancipation Day is celebrated on the 1st of August. On this date in 1834, slavery and the slave trade were formally abolished in most of the British Empire. Slaves over 6 years old were ‘redesignated’ as ‘apprentices’ and then legally achieved full emancipation. Ghana formally Gold Coast was the first African country to celebrate Emancipation Day in 1998 to re-affirm its status as the Gateway to the African Homeland of Diasporans.

Ghana claimed the position as the gateway to the African Homeland, which is well-grounded in the fact that Gold Coast was a major exit point for slaves on the West Coast in the period that the infamous slave trade took place.
The climax of the celebrations in Ghana is held each year, with a grand durbar of Chiefs at Assin-Manso in the Assin South District to mark the abolition of chattel slavery in the British colonies in 1834 and others in the Americas and Caribean.

The Assin Manso community hosts the event at its Memorial Park and later participants mostly Africans from the Diaspora visit the Nnonkosuo (Slave River) where the slaves from the Northern parts of the Country were taken for their last bath before being sent to the Cape Coast and Elmina castles to be transported overseas.

The Town also has the slave market where slaves were sold, historical edifices, and the Reverential Garden hosting the tomb of three renowned African slaves including Carson and Crystal whose remains were transported overseas and were reinterred there, some two decades ago.
As part of the celebration, wreaths were laid on behalf of the Government and the people of Ghana, Traditional Rulers, the global African community, and the youth of Africa while mediation, reflection, and healing prayers were said at the riverside.

The Assin Manso Slave Market

The celebration, which was under the Pan-African-Historical-Theatre-Festival’s (PANAFEST) theme: “Securing the African family: Our health, our wealth, our soul,” and Emancipation Day theme “Reclaiming our right to weave our narrative”, brought together Government officials, chiefs and Africans from the Diaspora.

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