Ghana will host the first West African Music and Arts Festival on Juneteenth


Jasmine Young is director of the Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University, Warner Music

Ghana will host the first West African Music and Arts Festival (WAMAFest) from Wednesday 19th to 22nd June 2024.

This historic event brings together music, art and culture to celebrate West Africa’s rich heritage and its global influence.

Juneteenth holds huge significance for the African diaspora. On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Texas received news of emancipation, marking the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth, officially Juneteenth and National Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States. This holiday is celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

This day represents resilience, freedom and the ongoing struggle for equality.

By hosting WAMAFest on June 11, Ghana pays tribute to this pivotal moment in history and reaffirms its commitment to the unity and empowerment of the African diaspora.

Akwasi Agyeman, chief executive of the Ghana Tourism Board, said: “For us Ghanaians, rethinking tourism means rethinking what we do, and we see music and the arts as within our reach. Fruits that can help change the destiny of our people.

“Wamafest is a platform to give back to the community and the impact music gives our voices,” said Jasmine Young, director of the Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University.

The event kicks off on June 19 at the historic Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, followed by a vibrant music industry conference bringing together artists, producers, managers and industry experts.

Attendees will engage in thought-provoking discussions, explore emerging trends and exchange views on shaping the future of West African music.

In addition, renowned musicians, songwriters and producers will lead masterclasses and workshops. The event will also include a concert with a diverse line-up.

Throughout the festival grounds at Labadie Beach Hotel, captivating art installations will showcase the creativity of West Africa. Sculptures, paintings and multimedia displays will celebrate cultural heritage, identity and artistic expression.

WAMAFest, in partnership with the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG), will organize a grand parade through the streets of Accra on Saturday, June 22, to celebrate shared ancestry.



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