Pan African Historical Theatre Project (PANAFEST): Celebrating unity and heritage


Stories and facts

The Pan African Historical Theatre Project, now known as PANAFEST, is a biennial cultural event held in Ghana.

First celebrated in 1992, PANAFEST aims to promote unity, Pan-Africanism, and the development of Africa. The festival features a rich array of performances in theatre, drama, music, and poetry, along with durbars of chiefs and tours to significant historical sites, including slave castle dungeons.

Conceived by the late Efua Sutherland in the mid-1980s, PANAFEST serves as a cultural vehicle to unite Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. It addresses the lingering issues of slavery, which significantly disrupted the natural evolution of African societies, eroding self-confidence and self-determination.

The festival uses Ghana's historical sites as venues for confronting the legacy of enslavement, acknowledging its impact, and fostering a collective healing process.

PANAFEST celebrates the resilience of African culture and the achievements of Africans despite the traumas of the transatlantic slave trade. It encourages Africans to reconnect with their strengths, remain vigilant, and take control of their destiny. The festival also provides a platform to address contemporary issues such as human trafficking, brain drain, and the marginalization of Africans in the global economy.

Additionally, it highlights positive developments like global conventions, transnational business initiatives, and the mobilization of the African diaspora's strength.

Since its inception, PANAFEST has positioned Ghana as a motivational force for African peoples, attracting participation from official delegations, individuals, and groups from Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and the United States.

The government of Ghana considers PANAFEST a significant national initiative and appreciates the support from agencies, communities, civil society organizations, and corporate bodies that have mobilized resources to complement governmental efforts.

The government also values the participation of sister governments and the African Union's endorsement of this unique cultural manifestation.

PANAFEST stands as a powerful symbol of unity and resilience, celebrating African heritage while addressing the historical and contemporary challenges faced by Africans worldwide. Through this festival, Ghana continues to play a pivotal role in fostering Pan-African solidarity and cultural revival.




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