Youth to play central role in this year’s Afenorto Festival

Accra- The youth and their contribution to community and national development will take centre-stage at the celebration of this year’s Mepe Afenorto Festival of the chiefs and people of the North Tongu Area in the Volta Region.

The three week-long festival, which begins on Saturday, 22nd July 2019, with fundraising and mini-durbar at the Mepe Presby Basic School Park, continues with a number of activities, and ends on 12th August 2019, with an inter-denominational thanksgiving church service.

It is being organised by the Mepe Development Association (MDA), on the theme: Building the Structures for Sustained Development; Role of the Youth.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour.

The launching took place in Accra, with a call on the youth not to allow themselves to be manipulated for evil ends.

You must remember your value to yourself, your family, your community, your nation and resist the temptation to be used as tools of destruction and mayhem, Mr Kojo Mawulenu Fabian, the Chairman of the Mepe Development Association said.

The launching was attended by traditional chiefs, elders, an Asafo Group; and both Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu; and Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, MP for Ledzokuku Constituency.

Mr Fabian zeroed in on politicians, and called on the youth not to allow themselves to be used by political parties and politicians to cause mayhem.

Our youth must shun politicians who persuade you to cause violence, Mr Fabian cautioned, and reminded the youth not to allow politicians to influence them with money to fight, as the 2020 elections approach, but rather be unified to build a vibrant community, society and nation.

He called for more educational opportunities and access to health care for the youth and advised them to involve themselves in communal activities, such as clean�up exercises and other voluntary activities that inure to the benefit of all.

The youth must also report elders and young people who suggest vices and encourage you to involve in crime.

Mr Ablakwa, in a statement, commended the people of the area for their unity that has ensured uninterrupted celebration despite the community waiting to have a paramount chief installed.

He announced that a textile company would soon be established in the Dawa Industrial Zone, which would employ about 2,000 people from the North Tongu area, and urged the chiefs and people to keep the peace of the area, and document land ownership to promote the area’s industrial development.

Mr Ablakwa also commended the executives of the development association for their efforts to keep the festival alive.

Dr Boye, who said he was a junior to Mr Ablakwa in their secondary and university days, urged the people to maintain unity in diversity to propel the development of the area, adding that, a number of communities are struggling to get development because they are not united.

He promised to be present at the festival.

Mr Richard Collins Arku, North Tongu District Chief Executive (DCE), called on all sons and daughters of the Mepe Area, to be actively involved in the development of the area, and threw an invitation to investors to come to the area.

He announced that the District Assembly would construct the foundation level of the proposed Mepe Community Centre Complex.

Mr Kojo Duncan, CEO of Dunamis Commodities and Trading, who chaired the launch, appealed for support towards the festival and development drive for the area.

The 65th Mepe Afenorto festival magazine was also launched, which had chronicled, with very bright pictures, some of the activities of last year’s celebration.

Afenorto, meaning ‘period of rest at home’, is a celebration by the people of Mepe, usually between the months of July and August every year with a commitment to mobilise resources to fund development projects in the area.

It is aimed at renewing the sense of oneness among the people. It also provides unique opportunities for reunions, and bonding with families and the remembrance of ancestors.

Activities lined up for the celebration include an inter-school gala competition, a cultural musical fair, a lighting procession, a clean-up exercise, a vigil at all hunting shrines in the community and a film show.

There will also be a grand durbar of chiefs and people of the Mepe Traditional Area on August 3, 2019, to be followed by a state harvest, health walk, inter-clan regatta, health screening and a dinner dance.

Source: Ghana News Agency