2019 HACSA Summit launched for August 5-11, event expected to draw in global leaders

Dr. Mensah, Madam Appiagyei, Madam Svanikier, Madam Oteng Gyasi & Mr. Newman on the HACSA stage

The Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (the HACSA) has launched the HACSA Summit set for August 5-11.

The April 30 event at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra had in session HACSA board members, Founding President and CEO of HACSA, former ambassador to France and Portugal, as well as Ghana’s Permanent Delegate UNESCO; Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, Dr. Thomas Mensah, Henry Martey Newman, Barbara Oteng Gyasi and Patricia Appiagyei and a host of culture, history and technology enthusiasts.

Being a non-profit organisation, the HACSA leadership is reaching out to well-meaning individuals, philanthropists and the masses to purchase HACSA merchandise make handsome donations or opt to sponsor portions of the organisation’s programmes to enable it materialize many dreams and plans hatched for the well-being of historical sites and affected people.

According to Madam Johanna Odonkor Svanikier; given that this decade has been declared the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015–2024) by the UN General Assembly in Resolution (68/237) adopted on 23 December 2013, there is need to harness all the goodwill and support which can be got to better preserve existing cultural and historically significant sites and edifices while unearthing or discovering new ones aided by research.

She said with 2019 declared as “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” for Africans in the Diaspora by President Akufo-Addo in the US in September 2018, there  was need to reconcile communities affected by the slave trade .

Madam Svanikier mentioned a lot remains to be done so as not to waste the year noting during the summit there will be panel discussions, academic presentations, an innovation, trade and investment expo, an archeological exhibition of objects salvaged from the marine drive site by the Department of Archaeology of the University of Ghana as well as a film screening with some cast/crew of the Black Panther movie.

Other planned activities on the schedule include guided tours of key heritage sites in Ghana as well as a candlelight vigil, a gala dinner dance showcasing Africa food, fashion and music.

As HACSA is a volunteer-led, volunteer-run, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organisation and social enterprise for improving living standards in Africa as well as highlighting the importance of heritage and culture for socioeconomic development, its doors are open to receive youth as well as African and non-Africans in helping achieve its goals.

That drive has led to collaborations with the All Africa Students Union (AASU), University of Ghana and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and others.

Sponsors for this year’s programme include Kempinski Hotel, Accra City Hotel, Zaina Lodge, Royal Senchi, Fidelity Bank, Sonitra, Dream Oval, Svani Group Limited, Le Magellan Restaurant (Osu), Brussels Airline, who are promising a 10 percent discount on flights for HACSA Summit bound attendees.

The summit is for Africans on the continent and beyond and provides a unique opportunity to meet people of various background and standing.

Speakers scheduled to address patrons at the August Summit at the Kempinski Hotel include former president; John Kufuor, Amb. Kwesi Quartey, President Akufo-Addo, Michael B. Jordan, Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Prof. Molefi Asanti, Michelle Obama, Bodo Deputy Mayor, Dr. Thomas Mensah and others.

Dr. Mensah a Ghana born, US based chemical engineer and inventor has works in fields relating to the development of fiber optics and nanotechnology. He holds 14 patents and is an inductee into the US National Academy of Inventors in 2015. He informed the participants that together with his team, they  are helping train 150 girls to learn coding explaining at the summit he would reveal more work which has been done in Ghana regarding coding and his book “The Right Stuff Comes in Black, Too” which is soon to have its Africa launch.

Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Mrs Patricia Appiagye noted the earth was a source of life and not a resource. She stated one way of preserving heritage was to apply science, technology and innovative techniques to ways of doing things.

For Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Minister; Barbara Oteng Gyasi the ministry and HACSA must forge a formidable partnership to identify neglected and buried historical structures and restore them to serve the people which can also stimulate domestic tourism.

She stated the Year of Return i.e. the 400th anniversary since enslaved Africans arrived in the US was a significant period where tangible and intangible cultural relics must be given the shine as it has the potential to help raise the standard of living of the community dwellers, create employment while taking the chance to showcase ‘Made In Ghana’ products.

It emerged the Mole National Park is a potential world heritage site as research is showing it was a slave raiding site despite being a sanctuary for animals of different composition.

Folks can check out www.hacsa.org, info@hacsa.org or call +233(0)505008002 to get more information on registration terms for the summit. On all social media platforms also searching @thehacsa should land you at the door of the organisers. This year’s theme is 400 Years on: Legacy, Communities; Innovation.

By Michael Eli Dokosi/goldstreetbusiness.com