Organised by the PANAFEST Foundation in Collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Leaders and People of the Central Region of Ghana

Under the Auspices of the Govement of the Republic of Ghana

Date: July 23rd to August 2nd 2021

Venues: PANAFEST 2021 is a Hybrid Global African Festival   Main Festival Venue: Cape Coast, Ghana

& In Virtual Space



PANAFEST- The Pan African Arts Festival originally known as the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival,- is a landmark biennial event  which is celebrated in the spirit of “Re-Uniting the African Family: Pan Africanism and the African Renaissance.”  Celebrated since 1992, the festival addresses the most traumatic interruption that ever occurred in the natural evolution of African societies which profoundly eroded the self- confidence and freedom for self- determination of a whole people. The festival consciously makes the most prominent European edifices through which the slave trade was conducted as  sites  and back drops for manifestations, ceremonies and performances aimed at purging the pain of Diaspora, acknowledging the residual effects of the trade on the Continent and re-uniting the two sides of the African Family to forge a positive future in the contemporary global environment. Alongside the healing processes, PANAFEST celebrates the strengths and resilience of African culture and achievements of Africans. It is designed to help Africans to reconnect with their strengths.

The 2021 Edition of PANAFEST

The African Family came together in large numbers to participate in the ceremonies, rites, performances and conferences which PANAFEST has become known for. Certainly the context of the commemoration of the infamous milestone of the 400th anniversary of the documented arrival of Africans in the English colony of Virginia and the declaration of 2019 as The Year of Retu provided a poignant focus for the Festival.

As a flagship event of the Year of Retu bringing the African Family  together in large numbers PANAFEST 2021 was planned to bring the African Family back together to review the dynamics of The Retu and beyond.  However, the shattering unpredictability of the global outbreak of the Corona Virus Pandemic  has unearthed some  chilling truths about the Global African Reality. These include the tragic threat to the African descended communities  by the disease often exacerbated by underlying conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Stark economic conditions and social trauma created by sustained inequity such as high incarceration are playing their role. Furthermore the erasure of people of colour from the global narrative about influential interventions such as sacrifices of frontline medical staff in the United Kingdom is current and apparent. The familiar refrain of targeting Africa for testing of vaccines in Africa without careful scientific rigour has also manifested in the case of the corona virus.  These developments are traceable to  generational trauma and entrenched inequities resulting from  the centuries-long enslavement of Africans and its aftermath.

In view of the unfolding pandemic and its very specific repercussions for the African family,  PANAFEST 2021 is designed as a stimulating, creative space for  recollecting and sharing  the multiple facets of the African experience of the pandemic. Reclaiming our right to weave our own the narrative, the  festival will not stop at the profound tragedy of the experience but will also  celebrate the courage, resilience and innovation demonstrated by our front liners, scientists, health workers   , inventors, artist(e)s and  community activists and carers. The grounds will be prepared for the crucial conversation of safeguarding our spiritual strength ,  health and wealth, all of which have been breached in these unchartered  waters.

The 2021 edition of the festival is structured in a  hybrid format to bring the African Family together across the world in spite of the odds dictated by the Corona Virus Pandemic.   Flagship Activities Are:

*  Wreath Laying Ceremony (Live Streamed)

* Traditional Akwaaba Ceremonies (Live Streamed)

* Grand Durbar of Leaders and People (Live Streamed)

* Bazaar/ Expo (in both virtual and live formats)

* Colloquium (This is a fully hybrid event. A separate call for papers and panels is provided)

* Global African Inteational Concerts (These will be live streamed)

* Reverential night/ Pre-Emancipation Vigil ( A hybrid event)

* Emancipation Day Celebration (Live Streamed)

* Naming and Burial Ceremonies

* Exhibitions – Art, Innovations, Cultural Heritage.  (In both virtual and live formats)

* Performances both intimate and mass (Theatre, Dance, Storytelling,Poetry, Martial Arts, Music, film) – (in both virtual and live formats)

* Practitioners’ Workshops   ( In both virtual and live formats)                 

* African Children’s World (Children’s day camp and virtual fun leaing experience)

* Tours to significant sites

 (Programme Brief . Subject to change)

Who Can Participate?

Category One

a) Individuals: Artists, performers, intellectuals (public, academic, religious), activists, entrepreneurs, STEM experts,

b) Cultural institutions, Govemental Agencies, Religious institutions.

 How Do We Apply

Participants are enjoined to submit proposals for participation in the activities listed. The proposal should include a synopsis of proposed activity (300words) indicating how it fits into the spirit of the standing theme Re-Uniting the African Family: The African Renaissance and/ or the theme for 2021: SECURING THE AFRICAN FAMILY : OUR SOUL, OUR HEALTH ,OUR WEALTH.   The proposal should also include a brief bio or organizational profile of not more than 500 words. Maximum number of words for synopsis and bio/profile: 800 words. You are encouraged to read the attached detailed program brief. Kindly indicate the format in which you wish to organise your event or make your contribution.

To help give you a great festival experience,  please indicate which of the following categories of events or capacities you are proposing to organise/ participate in:

Artist(e)/ speaker/exhibitor (Please underline)

*Practitioners Workshops

*Intimate Performance

*Large Scale Concert


*Bazaar/ Expo

*Colloquium (See call for papers)

*Children’s day camp

*Community engagement (participation in livelihood, community service   and ceremonial  activities)

*Repatriation and burial of ashes of loved ones (request for details)

More than one type of event/capacity – (Please specify)

Proposals should reach us by 31St January 2021. Please submit to the Executive Secretary via the email address supplied below. Feedback on proposals will reach between 10th and 28th February 2021

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants should kindly note that PANAFEST is unable to provide funding or sponsorship. We shall be happy however to provide letters of endorsement to confirmed participants on request.

Category Two

Category Two participants are  festival participants who would like to confirm their attendance or book their places at particular events. Please consult the PANAFEST website and face book pages for regular updates on special requirements for events from December 2020

Category Three : Participation of the General Public

Persons and groups wishing to follow the festival  or pop into sessions from time to time are requested to consult the PANAFEST website and face book pages for regular updates on special requirements for events from December 2020

Further Information

For further information, please consult the official festival

Twitter handle:@PANAFESTgh

Email Address:

Secretariat:  PANAFEST Executive Secretary

Address: P.O. Box 1096,  Cape Coast, Ghana

Tel: +233-(0)206238577; (0)243971762 ; (0)244962202