The Pan African Festival TT will be launched virtually on Monday and Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, will deliver the feature address.
Hosted by the Emancipation Support Committee of TT (ESCTT), the festival commemorates Emancipation. However, due to the restrictions placed on social gatherings as a result of covid19, this year’s observances will be on a virtual platform, starting with the live launch on UWITV at 5.30 pm.
A collaboration with The University of the West Indies, Open Campus (UWIOC) will allow the launch to be transmitted across the region on UWI TV Global via multiple Flow Evo channels. In Trinidad, it will be shown on Flow Channel 102, at 5.30pm EC time (4.30 pm JA, and 3.30 pm Belize), as well as live streamed on uwitv.org, Open Campus and ESCTT’s social media platforms, and www.emancipationtt.com.
Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada, ESCTT executive chair said, “We intend to take the positive out of this very complex and challenging scenario that is affecting everyone across the world, especially as this year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Black Power Revolution.
“After much consideration and exploring what is possible, we have decided the best way forward is to move programmes online. Such an approach will allow not only people from Trinidad and Tobago to participate and enjoy events but persons from the Diaspora and the African continent.”
2020 is the sixth year of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, and the theme of the festival is 1970 Remembered: Reconnection and Recommitment.
A statement from ESCTT said Mottley, who is also chair of Caricom, was expected address issues relevant to Africa and its diaspora as well as issues of Caribbean unity.
It recalled Mottley’s December 2019 mission to Nairobi, Kenya where she said, “Our region and Africa have been separated, not just by the Atlantic Ocean, but by centuries of division and exploitation. And we as a region are adamant that we will not allow this separation to continue any further. When we claim our Atlantic destiny, we are conscious that we are coming home... We believe that it is incumbent on our generation to move to the next level and …remove the separation that was foisted upon us for centuries.”
There will also be addresses by Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly; Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission, Kwesi Quartey, in Ethiopia; and Director of Regional and Pan African Affairs of the ESCTT, Khafra Kambon.
There will also be performances by Brother Valentino, Dr Eintou Pearl Springer, Muhammad Muwakil, and more.