Pan-African event in Accra cancelled by fear-stricken gov’t

Estimated read time 3 min read

The Government of Ghana on Sunday out of fear cancelled an event it pre-approved two months ago to be hosted at the Black Stars Square in Accra. A last-minute decision was reached by the government to annul the event, leaving organizers and participants shocked. The pan-African event dubbed ‘The Convention’ was slated for January 7, 2024, in Accra.

Billed as ‘The Convention’ with the theme; “Igniting the Voices of Africa”, the Pan-African event had notable pan-Africanists such as Nigeria’s Peter Obi and Dr Arikana from Zimbabwe. Julius Malema, President of the Economic Freedom Fighters and P. L. O Lumumba, a former Director of the Kenya School of Law were also scheduled to speak at the event.

Musicians Wiyaala, Stonebwoy and Efya were the top acts scheduled to perform at the pan-African event. However, their appearances were curtailed when notice was accordingly sent to them by the Police and National Security asking each to remain at their hotels.

A statement from the Office of the President and signed by the Chief Director H. M. Wood for the Chief of Staff said the decision was merited by “an unforeseen State Event scheduled to take place at the venue”.

“We write to revoke immediately the permission granted per our letter No.OP/PH/02 dated 11th November, 2023 which approved your request to use the Black Star Square for the above event.

“This has been necessitated by an unforeseen State Event scheduled to take place at the venue.

“Under the circumstances, the amount of Ten Thousand Ghana cedis (Ghc10,000.00) paid by your office for the use of the venue will be refunded.

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause,” the statement concluded.

Office of the President release a statement cancelling the pan-African event The Convention in Accra

New Africa Foundation, Pan-African event organizers response

Meanwhile, the New Africa, organizers of the event released a statement expressing their disappointment at the turn of things. It said as organizers, they were informed about the cancellation merely hours before the event started.

“We regret to inform you that the Government has cancelled the above Pan African Event which was to take place today at the Independence Square in Accra, Ghana. All the special guests have arrived and thousands of people have come from all over Ghana as well as around the globe for this historic event. We have just been informed of the cancellation of this event a couple of hours before its commencement. This event was approved by the government in November of 2023. This came as a shock to us and a devastation to our dignitaries and special guests who flew in from around the world.

“We at the New Africa Foundation apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to our audience and the public alike. Please be aware that this situation is and was beyond our control,” the statement added.

A statement from the New Africa Foundation organizers of the pan-African event dubbed 'The Convention'

Meanwhile, many Ghanaians believed the event was to unveil the face behind the mask as in the New Force billboards. The New Force has become the talk of Ghana following the growing numbers of billboards across the city of Accra with a man in a mask promising a new dawn of leadership. Many have speculated names of who might be behind the mask especially when its spokesperson Shalimar Abbiusi was arrested and later deported.

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