ACCRA, GHANA – Wednesday 24th July, 2019 – The flagship international conference of The Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA), a non-profit NGO based in Accra, Ghana will kick off at the prestigious Kempinski Hotel from 5th to 11th August, 2019.
The summit promises a full week of debate, learning, commemoration, celebration, networking and heritage tours under the theme 400 Years On: Legacy, Communities, Innovation.
A successful launch of the event took place in April and was attended by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, The Honourable Barbara Oteng-Gyasi MP and other notable personalities from both public and private sector institutions. The Summit will examine the 400-year legacy of the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved African people. It aims to link, reunite and reconcile affected communities and share examples of innovation and creative strategies to overcome its persisting negative effects.
The HACSA Summit 2019 will coincide with and is endorsed by Ghana’s National ‘Year of Return’, which symbolically marks the 400th anniversary since enslaved Africans arrived in the US and invites the African Diaspora back home. The Summit is organised under the patronage of UNESCO which has a mission to preserve the history and memory of the transatlantic slave trade within the context of the UNESCO Slave Route Project.
The Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa, HACSA is a volunteer-led, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organisation and social enterprise founded by Ambassador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, Ghana’s former Ambassador to France, Portugal, UNESCO and La Francophonie. HACSA’s mission is to highlight the importance of heritage and culture for sustainable socio-economic development and improved standards of living in Africa. Their work is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Targets, including promoting gender equality, job creation, economic growth and the preservation of heritage sites. HACSA believes that the continent should take advantage of its rich and diverse cultural resources in its quest for economic development. HACSA’s goals include showcasing Africa excellence in Africa and the diaspora and promoting African-made goods and services.
This event will bring together Heads of State, opinion leaders, practitioners, academics and participants from Africa and the diaspora to have open and meaningful debates about learning from the past for the future development of the continent. An impressive line-up of prominent personalities including several high-profile women have confirmed to speak. These include the Vice-President of Liberia.
H.E. Jewel Howard Taylor; Ghana’s First Lady, H.E Rebecca Akufo-Addo; former President of Ghana, H.E John Agyekum Kufour, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Prof. Arthur Mutambara; Former Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Congo, Ambassador Henri Lopes; Partner and MD of Goldman Sachs, Lisa Opoku; Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre de Gaétan Njikam; E-Commerce Pioneer and CEO of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne; Impact Investor & Board Member of the Africa Centre, Dana Reed.
The Summit will focus on three sub-themes – Legacy, Communities and Innovation. It will be a unique opportunity to bring people together, creating a valuable global network of Africans from the Diaspora including African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Afro-Europeans and those who interested in reconnecting and and exploring Africa’s amazing potential and opportunities.
HACSA has partnered with educational, youth and diaspora organisations such as UNESCO, the University of Ghana, Oxford University Africa Society, Blue Skies College, MEST Africa and Future of Ghana. The event will provide investment, inspiration and opportunities for mentorship by luminaries across different fields and industries from around the world.
The Summit will include panels made up of descendants of the renowned enslaved African-American Venture Smith, descendants of the founder of Barclays Bank and the enslaved African families they liberated, an Innovation, Wall Street Bankers discussing the transformative potential of fin-tech in Africa, a Trade and Investment Expo, an archaeological exhibition of objects salvaged from the Marine Drive construction site by the Department of Archaeology of the University of Ghana, film screenings, a Gala dinner dance showcasing African food, fashion and music and guided tours of key heritage sites in Ghana.