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Dr the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly – Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts gives the feature address at the Launch of the Pan African Festival 2016 and Commemoration of African Liberation Day at the Lions Civic Centre, on Wednesday 25th May, 2016 

Dr the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts launched the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago’s (ESCTT) Pan African Festival 2016 on Wednesday 25th May, 2016 at the Lions Civic Centre, Fitzblackman Drive, Port of Spain.

In giving her official address on the 2016 theme - Emancipation: Celebrating the Resilience of a People, Minister Gadsby-Dolly said, “It is an honour to share in tonight’s launch of the 2016 Pan African Festival. Today is also of great significance as we commemorate African Liberation Day. This year we are celebrating the resilience of a people … The steel which the fire produced.”

The Pan African Festival will run from Monday 18th June, 2016 to Monday 1st August, 2016. According to Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada – Executive Director, Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago, “We have chosen to market this festival in a broader context. Most people think of Emancipation as one day. This Pan African Festival is to promote all things African while engaging Africans in the diaspora and across the continent. Its goal is to promote the beauty of Africa, raise the consciousness of persons and make linkages between the diaspora and continent.”

Minister Gadsby-Dolly praised the organisers, the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago for the impact their programme has. “I’d like to commend your work. For 24 years you have successfully taken up the mantle for the Pan African Festival. This Festival creates opportunity for awareness for our citizens. It bolsters cultural tourism. It involves members of the creative industries in communities across the nation. These include individual artistes, groups, community performers and craftspeople.”

Also speaking at the Launch were Dr. Denise Tsoi a Fatt-Angus, Secretary of Community Development and Culture who expressed her desire to “strengthen the ‘and’ between Trinidad and Tobago.” She also indicated that for the first time the Tobago House of Assembly would facilitate drummers to perform at the Drum Festival in June.

Other speakers at the launch included His Excellency Guillermo Vazquez Moreno, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba and Felipe Noguera, Caribbean Pan African Network Liaison for the Organising Committee for the 8th Pan African Congress. Performances by Helon Francis, Young King 2016 and the Sogren Trace Laventille Enhancement Organisation were well received at the event.

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts supports activities that contribute to building cultural, religious and creative sectors in Trinidad. 

 

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 From left: His Excellency Guillermo Vazquez Moreno, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba; Kafra Kambon, Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee and Minister Gadsby-Dolly.