One of Ghana's biggest national celebrations, the Independence Day Parade, is underway in the Volta regional capital, Ho.
The day marks exactly 66 years Ghana attained independence from British colonial rule.
On parade at the Volta Regional Youth Resource Centre, located at Adaklu-Tsrefe, near Ho, are 64 officers and 1,042 men from the various security agencies, contingents from seven senior high schools (SHS) and basic schools in the Ho municipality and Adaklu District, and representatives of voluntary organisations.
More than 5,000 people from various parts of the country are at the anniversary celebration which being graced by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who is the Chairman of the Economic Community West African States (ECOWAS), will be the special guest at the parade which is expected to feature exciting cultural displays, military exercises and displays such as rappelling, acrobatics and show of various skills and capabilities.
The Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, said 80 members of the diplomatic corps would also take part in the celebration.
The national parade which used to be held at the Black Star Square, with similar parades across the country in the regional and district capitals, has since 2019 been rotating around regional capitals.
The Northern regional capital, Tamale, was the first regional capital to host the national independence parade, which was held at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale.
It was the 62nd Independence anniversary of the country which was on the theme: “Celebrating Peace and Unity.” The Overlord of Dagbon, Ya Na Abdulai, was the guest of honour.
President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo explained at the parade that the decision to move the 2019 Independence Day celebration to Tamale was to solidify the peace and unity achieved in the Dagbon Traditional Area.
“In order to reinforce and support the process of reconciliation and the restoration of peace in Dagbon, I have decided that this year, the 62nd Independence Day celebration will be held in Tamale on 6th March.
“This will be the first time in our nation’s history that the celebration is being held outside of our national capital, Accra,” he added.
After the national parade in Tamale it was moved to the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, and was held at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in 2020.
The 63rd edition was on the theme: "Consolidating our gains”, with the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Christopher Keith Rowley, as the guest of honour.
However the 64th independence anniversary was marked at the Jubilee House, the seat of government, on the theme: “Working together, and bouncing back”.
It was as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, the Central regional capital, Cape Coast, hosted the 65th national parade at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium. The theme for the anniversary was, “Working Together, Bouncing Back Together”, a build-up from the previous year’s theme.
The Volta regional capital, Ho, which is hosting this year's March 6, national parade, together with its surrounding districts, has put up a preparatory work to meet the expectation of all patrons.
The day, as always, has been declared a public holiday. However, tomorrow is expected to be a holiday for only schoolchildren who usually take part in the national parade.
It is also a national holiday for the citizenry both within and in the diaspora to honour and celebrate the forefathers who led the country to attain its independence.
The first Prime Minister, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who became the Head of Government from 1957 to 1960 on March 6, 1957 declared Ghana’s independence from the British colonial rule on March 6, 1957.
“The African people are capable of managing their own affairs and Ghana our beloved country is free forever," he declared on the eve of Independence at the Old Polo Grounds, Accra.
Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to attain independence from British colonial rule.