The second edition of the Black History Festival, an annual celebration in the United States, honouring important people and events in the history of Africans in Diaspora, is gradually gaining momentum all across the United States.
This is in spite of the Febuary cold, 38 degree or less on most days.
Also known as the African-American History Month, the event has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently been observed in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
According to a partner and President, Tebb Club, Princess Dumebi Grace Echiemunor, the celebration is scheduled to commence on February 15 to February 19 at Columbus Ohio.
Echiemunor, whose firm is a major stakeholder for the festival, listed the highlights to include plenarys sessions, Gala night, panel on innovation and digital transformation, Diaspora history heritage and culture, US/ Africa trade and development forum, trade Expo on bilateral trade among others.
Expected to speak at the event are; Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo, Snr. Presidential Adviser, Ghana, Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Ghana, Hon. Awal Mohammed, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana.
Others include; Hon. Ursula Owusu, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ghana, Mbaye Mbengue, International Education Advocate, USA/Senegal, Kamal-Deen Yakub, Co-founder, Trotro Tractor, Africa and Nathaniel Kwabena Adisi, CEO EIB Network, among many others.
The event will also host representatives from the Nigeria/American chamber of commerce, Ghana/American chamber of commerce and other trade partners.
Ealier, main organisers of the event, the Bureau for International Development, Exchanges and Commerce, Young Africa Media Center, and partners, communicated the state of the Black History Festival to the media.
Speaking at the press briefing held at the Maxlot Hotel, the Coordinator of the Black History Festival, Stephen Selasie Asuo, announced that the event would take place at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel under the theme “Strengthening US-Africa Ties, Consolidating the Heritage of Africa’s Diaspora.
He noted that since the launch on 16th December 2022, the Bureau for International Development, Exchanges, and Commerce (BIDEC), had been working hard to give participants a captivating event in the USA,
According to him, the Festival has so far attracted the involvement of several high profile institutions and corporations which is a good sign of building an effective partnership for socioeconomic development.
A statetment quoted him as saying, ‘’ Organizing this Black History Festival has not been devoid of challenges.
“Firstly, there have been difficulties to secure travel documentation for registered exhibitors and delegates from Ghana. Technical challenges are beyond the control of the organizers, however, relevant authorities are doing their best to ensure over the next two weeks a good number of attendees from Ghana will be enabled to witness the BHF 2023.
“Secondly, sponsorship for the festival has not been encouraging and it’s due to obvious reasons of the economic crunch the nation and world at large are facing. We hope that some corporate entities would take advantage of the platform to promote their brands to the diaspora while supporting a pan-African agenda.’’
He assured that the orgnaisers would be making immediate preparations for the Homecoming/ Africa edition in July 2023, the European edition by October 2023 and the 2024 America edition slated for either New York, Texas or Georgia in the USA.’