Photos: American Rapper Cardi B. Performs in Ghana

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Cardi B. is one of hip-hop’s most commercially successful female artists and she has a legion of fans around the world, including in Ghana.  The artist performed on Sunday 8th December at the Accra Sports Stadium to an eager crowd of fans. When she burst onto stage giving a packed performance of dancing and fireworks the crowd went wild with some rapping along to all the lyrics.

She was dressed in a costume that paid homage to the Ghana flag in red, gold and green with the black star. Even her wig, which she took off and threw into the crowd at the end of her show, was streaked with the colours of the Ghana flag.

Ahead of her performance, she had a meet and greet at the Kempinski Hotel which included celebrities, creatives, business people, media and some of her die-hard fans. Cardi arrived to cheers as everyone had waited to see her most of the day.  Originally scheduled to happen earlier that afternoon, many invited guests had waited for many hours.  Some of the invitees took to social media to express their feelings of anger and disappointment when she didn’t make an appearance in the afternoon.  Cardi explained to the audience that she wasn’t aware that a meeting with her fans and local celebrities was scheduled and assured everyone that she loves her fans and never intended to disrespect anyone.

Ghanaian Singer/Songwriter Becca moderated the Q&A session and also gave women in the audience an opportunity to ask questions directly to Cardi.

The interactive session also gave some local talents an opportunity to gift Cardi with some of their products.  Kwaku Bediako, CEO of Chocolate Clothing GH, gave her two items.  Bediako explained that he normally designs for men, but has created a new concept of unisex designs.  Cardi loved it and even asked him for a belt to wear the style he gave her. Other designers including Kua Designs took the opportunity to share their made in Ghana brands with Cardi. An artist even revealed a portrait he made of the rapper and she gave him a hug to thank him for the gift.

Nadia Adongo Musah, Deputy Director for Diaspora Affairs in the Office of the President, presented Cardi B with a Year of Return woven sash. It was also an opportunity for the Deputy Director to tell everyone more about how the Year of Return was launched by the President.

Cardi’s passion to connect with her fans meant she was willing to take pictures with everyone before she dashed off to get ready for the concert.

Akufo-Addo deserves to be praised for “Year of Return” initiative – Ablakwa

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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, has commended President Akufo-Addo for implementing the ‘Year of Return” initiative, ABC News can report.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, December 3, Mr. Ablakwa said Ghana has attracted considerable interest and high-level visits from Africans in the diaspora since the President made the declaration.

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”Mr. Speaker, it is most appropriate to commend our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for declaring in September, 2018 that this year – 2019, shall be observed as the: “Year of Return, Ghana 2019.” It is trite knowledge that 2019 marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia in the United States of America” the North Tongue MP told the House.

”Since this proclamation, it is fair to note that Ghana has attracted considerable interest and high-level visits from Africans in the diaspora, perhaps taken such Pan-African pilgrimages to the next level since President Jerry John Rawlings institutionalized the PANAFEST celebrations in 1992,” Okudzeto Ablakwa extolled.

Mr. Ablakwa was also full of commendation for President Akufo-Addo for conferring Ghanaian citizenship on 126 Africans in the diaspora. He noted that the country has done very little to take advantage of the provisions of the constitution that permits diasporans to be given such honour.

”Mr. Speaker, kindly permit me to also highlight the conferment of citizenship on 126 Africans in the diaspora by the President last week. The House will recall that last year I made a statement urging the State to make greater use of this provision in our laws,”

”Since the days of the exceptional intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois and that great poet Maya Angelou were granted citizenship, it remains my humble view that we have not made impressive effort to leverage this opportunity even though I acknowledge that in 2016 President John Dramani Mahama granted citizenship to 30 Africans in the diaspora,” he said.

In September 2018 in Washington, D.C, President Akufo-Addo declared and formally launched the ‘Year of Return Ghana 2019’ for Africans in the diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora.

A number of African Americans, including Steve Harvey, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Jai White, Anthony Anderson, Idris Elba, Jidenna, Samuel L Jackson and Deborah Cox have already visited Ghana as part of the initiative.

Source: ABCNewsgh.com

Ghanaian Actors Star in Caribbean-Produced Movie that Crosses Cultures

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Joseph-min

Step By Step Productions is a film production company based in Barbados. They’ve previously produced six feature films to critical acclaim including  Barrow – Freedom Fighter, which won an African Movie Academy Award for Best Diaspora Documentary.

Joseph - Miriam

Joseph - Edward

This year, the production team took on a story that crosses cultures and bridges the gap between Ghana and the Caribbean.  The movie, ‘Joseph’ is directed by Marcia Weekes and Produced by Marietta Carter-Narcisse.  The film, which has its world premiere on 7th December in Accra, explores the life of a Jamaican doctor who has ancestry tied to Ghana through his Grandfather.  The lead character, Joseph, is played by Actor Kevoy Burton from Jamaica and he is currently in Ghana to attend the premiere. Scenes were filmed both in Ghana and the Caribbean and feature a diverse cast of both African and Caribbean actors.

Joseph - Anang 

The Year of Return team visited the production when they were filming in Ghana earlier this year. We spoke to some of the actors about their experience and what we can expect from the movie.  Ghanaian cast includes Mawuli Gavor, Harold Amenyah, Miriam Owusu-Poku, Sika Osei, Edward Kufuor, Richard Yaw Boateng, Ernest Odame, Adjetey Anang, Chloe Carter, and Edinam Atatsi.  There is also a Ghanaian production team who worked on the film. 

Joseph - Mawuli

Mawuli Gavor, who plays Kweku, the best friend of Joseph in the movie, is a Ghanaian-born TV presenter, actor, producer and entrepreneur.  Now based primarily in Nigeria, his career as an actor has seen him in roles on the telenovela series, ‘Hush’ and in hit films including ‘Chief Daddy’and the upcoming ‘Sugar Rush’. When speaking about his role in the film Gavor said, “Kweku becomes instrumental in pushing Joseph to make the move to connect with his African roots.” When asked how this film would connect Ghanaians and Caribbeans Gavor acknowledged the realities. “It’s a bit ridiculous how disconnected our two worlds are considering how similar we are. Ultimately we’re just distant relatives, and the film helps all of us regardless of which side of the divide we belong.”

Joseph - Ernest

Joseph - Harold

Harold Amenyah also stars in the film and said he plays the character Nii, a friend of Joseph’s.  He takes him around Ghana showing him the culture and traditions of the country. Amenyah said that this film is important because it will show people in the Caribbean a sense of belonging [in Ghana]. “People who are going to watch this movie in the diaspora are going to realize how much of similarity and how connected we are,” Amenyah said.  

Joseph - Sika

The exclusive red carpet screening will be at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly on 7th December.  The premier event is invitation only, but there will be a public release of the film on 24th January 2020 at Silverbird Cinemas.

By: Ivy Prosper

 

 

Cardi B is on her way to perform for the first time in Nigeria and Ghana

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CNN Inside Africa

Grammy award-winning rapper and social media sensation, Cardi B is on her way to Africa to perform for the first time on the continent in Nigeria and Ghana.

The star shared a post on her Instagram page of her dancing in excitement in a private jet as she set off for the concert.
“1:03am drop my KK in NY on my way to Afrriiiiicaaaaaaaaaa baybeeeee!!!!!!,” she wrote in the post.
Last month she announced that she would be performing at the Livespot X Festival in Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana.
“Africa. I’m coming! Nigeria and Ghana,” she wrote at the time.
Cardi B (real name Belcalis Almanzar), broke into the music scene in 2017 with her hit single ‘Bodak Yellow.’
She will be performing at the two-day festival alongside top African artists from both countries.
Organized by Livespot 360, a digital agency based in Lagos, the festival will feature Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Shatta Wale, R2bees among others.

Immense popularity

Darey Art Alade, a Nigerian singer and creative director of Livespot 360 says Cardi B was picked to headline the festival because of her immense popularity.
“She is one of the biggest artists in the world… It’s really about her uniqueness, her star power. She has got great music and she is the girl next door character that everybody loves,” he told CNN.
Cardi B has won multiple awards including a Grammy Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, and four BET Awards.

How 'African Giant' Burna Boy became a roaring success

Alade, who will also perform at the festival, says bringing Cardi B to Africa has been in the works since 2018.
According to him, his team has been in conversation with her for months to make her trip to the continent smooth. “Getting Cardi B to come is a lot because there are many moving parts. She is specific about everything,” he said.
The festival has organized the lighting, stage, and design of the venues in Accra and Lagos to suit the rapper’s preferences.

Social media excitement

Meanwhile, social media is buzzing as fans share their excitement ahead of Cardi B’s first Africa performance.
Darey Art Alade says he is hoping for a “hitch-free” concert. In the past, Alade has hosted celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kelly Rowland in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial center.
“I am hoping people are looking forward to having a good time with Cardi B. We are looking forward to a hitch-free festival, no incidents,” he said.
“We are looking forward to this further cementing us on the world map in terms of our tourism potential.”

Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’

The artist’s visit to the continent comes at a time where Ghana is pushing for a more united Africa.
In 2018, the West African country declared and formally launched the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019,” marking 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in North America.
The campaign encourages people of African descent, whose ancestors were victims of slave trade, to return to Ghana and invest in the continent.

Ghana is being heralded as the next big tourist destination. Here's why

Alade, says part of extending the Livespot X Festival to Accra, Ghana’s capital city is to spread love across the continent through music.
“We want to spread the love, we have Nigerians performing in Ghana and we have Ghanians performing in Lagos as well. It’s a bit of a symbiotic relationship about love and unity,” he said.
It also creates an environment for international artists like Cardi B to share the stage with some of Africa’s favorite music stars, Alade said.

Africa to the world

Cardi B’s visit to Africa is one of many from A-list music artists. Over the past years, stars like Beyonce, Jay Z, Skepta, Kelly Rowland, and Toni Braxton have performed in different countries on the continent.
There has also been a rise in international collaborations with African artists. Drake and Nigerian musician, Wizkid teamed up on 2016 hit “One Dance” making Wizkid the first Nigerian artist to top the US Billboard Hot 100.
In July, Beyonce teamed up with multiple African acts including Ghana’s Shatta Wale, Cameroon’s Salatiel and South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly on her ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ album.

Beyonce sends 'love letter to Africa' with new Lion King album

Toye Sokunbi, a Nigerian music analyst says the internet and social media are part of why more people are paying attention to the continent’s music scene.
According to him, it is faster to access and share African music compared to many years ago.
“The internet, for example, has made the world smaller. This also means the synergy between African diaspora and Africans in Africa is strengthening,” he told CNN.
“So, the communication between those two arms means there is a more unified African consciousness which expands the possibilities of music,” he added.
Sokunbi, who is also the Editor-at-large for a Nigerian pop culture magazine, says the attention on the music scene can also be associated with an ongoing trend for African creativity and culture.
Over the past years, there have been movies, food, and fashion collaborations from outside the continent.
In August, Swedish retail giant, H&M, partnered with South African brand Mantsho in its first-ever collaboration with an African designer.

Exclusive Premiere of ‘Joseph’ Connects the Caribbean to Ghana

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ACCRA, GHANA – DECEMBER 2, 2019

Step By Step Productions Inc. presents the ExclusiveWorld Premier of the feature-film, ‘Joseph’. Directed by Marcia Weekes and Produced by MariettaCarter-Narcisse, the film screens on 7th December 2019 at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly in Accra, Ghana. The exclusive invitation-only event is in partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority, and the Year of Return.

The film follows the life of Joseph King, a successful Jamaican doctor, who is haunted by the memories of his beloved grandfather in Accompong, the Maroon village his family originated from. Although he’s considered himself to be Jamaican all his life, he yearns to visit Africa. His father is dismissive of any ideas of going ‘back to Africa’ because he feels it’s a step backwards for their modern family and conflict arises. Through the encouragement of his friend from medical school, he embarks on a life-changing trip to Ghana, which takes him on a journey of self-discovery.

This film premieres in Accra as an officially endorsed program on the Year of Return – Ghana 2019calendar. ‘Joseph’ is an African-Caribbean drama that aims to rebuild relationships between the African and it’s Caribbean and diasporan family. It exemplifies the vision of bridging the gap between cultures.

The diverse cast includes Kevoy Burton (Jamaica), Christopher MacFarlane (Jamaica), Alison Hinds(Barbados), Shontelle Layne (Barbados), and Stogie Kenyatta (Jamaica/USA). There is also a strong cast of Ghanaian talent in the movie including Mawuli Gavor, Harold Amenyah, MiriamOwusu-Poku, Sika Osei, Edward Kufuor, Richard Yaw Boateng, Ernest Odame, Adjetey Anang, and Edinam Atatsi.

The film aims to break into the Nollywood film market and open doors in the Caribbean. It’s already secured a distribution deal with Film One Distribution in Nigeria and will screen at the BarbadosInternational Film Festival in January 2020. Releases are planned in the new year for New York, Toronto and London. The Accra premiere on 7th December, is an invitation-only event, with plans for release to the public on 24th January 2020 at Silverbird Cinemas.

Step By Step Productions is an independent film company based in Barbados. They have produced six feature films with success in both local and international markets. Previous films include Barrow- Freedom Fighter, which won an African Movie Academy Award for Best Diaspora Documentary.

Contact for Film Premiere:
Year of Return Secretariat
+233 24 040 2408
[email protected]
Contact for Movie Production:
Dave & Marcia Weekes – Praise Academy & Step By Step Productions
+1 246 837 1104 / +1 246 268 1578 (Mobile)
www.stepbystepfilms.com

The Allure Of Travel & Tour

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Myriad reasons exist as to why we find travel and tour alluring or why we find it a necessary form of escapism, yet even through these reasons we are not absolutely sure why we are drawn to it. In its barest form, we tour and travel largely to sate our curiosity about our world. It is a purely instinctive trait innately fixed within our psyche; take this for an example, When you set foot in a new environment or area it becomes a natural response to want to know more about where you are or to explore and familiarize with this new environment. Therein lies the process of touring, discovering, exploring and experiencing things that the new locale has to offer as a means of satisfying our curiosity. There is not a concrete answer as to why we tour but there is safety in assuming that we do so as a perfectly instinctive response to being thrust in a new, unfamiliar environment. Tourism then became the commercial structure and organization borne out of the innate need to explore our world, to familiarize and connect deeper with our surroundings and general places of interest.

Legon botanical garden

The world is full of splendour and mystery, often found in areas that suspend belief effortlessly and humans, being creatures that are drawn to the bizarre and unusual take the time to tour these places. From the Great Pyramids at Giza to the Great Wall of China and to Mount Everest, visitors find themselves struck with awe and excitement and some find the experiences humbling and emotional as it resonates deeply with certain aspects of our personal lives; a person’s joy at cruising over the Lake Volta because of their love for water or swimming at a different time in their lives or a person’s love of heights takes them on a tour to Mount Afadja to conquer its precipice. The act of touring although natural, usually does not occur without a catalyst to ensure a person is in a position to even tour a new locale. Here we can find name some scenarios that almost perfectly serves as a reason to explore and tour.

One such scenario we can imagine is going on a business trip or attending a professional event. With this its often common that as a means to familiarize with the environment in which a business or professional occasion is going on, we take tours and discover new things. It also serves as a means to escape from the tedium of work and business, to relax when all professional activities are at an end. Some examples of this are conferences or workshop events that a company or business professional attends in a foreign country. Another well-known scenario is traveling on a religious or spiritual pilgrimage. For many, leaving their homes and embarking on a pilgrimage to holy sites, monasteries, temples and churches far off and away is part of their religious or spiritual activities and it holds great significance to them. However even while on these trips, the need to tour and connect with these new locations becomes apparent as for some it serves as a way of deepening their faith or belief in these areas while for others it is a way to gain greater knowledge and experience about their destination.  Pilgrimage to the holy site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, trips to the Vatican City enclaved within Rome, or to the Shaolin Temple in Songshan Mountain, China, are some examples of religious trips.

 

 

Sporting events are also a great way for people to have a chance to explore a new place, and to witness the charm of a city preparing for a sports event. Athletes, Coaches, Managers all right down to sports fans all troop to the location of which a sports event is to take place, and so it is not uncommon to find tourism in full effect here, as these visitors are probably in the new location for the first time and might want to acclimatize with their new environment. It adds to the excitement and joy of being part of a sports event or festival in a place other than what is familiar and fosters a sense of belonging with locals as they share together in the passion of the sporting event being held.

Perhaps the most common way by which touring and travel even occurs is because we do them for leisure. Sometimes there does not need to be a reason to explore a new place other than the simple fact that we just want to, at our own pace, budget and time. Touring takes place here without external pressure and tourists are free to take on adventures to their hearts’ delight, some prefer self-guided tours while others sign up to tour groups. Either way, chosen, tourism still remains prevalent in the drive to become familiar with a new and unknown place.

Understanding why people are drawn to tour and travel is a necessary step into boosting a nation’s Tourism sector for the benefit of the people, visitors and the nation’s economy. Making tourist sites safe, fun and easily accessible are some of the things that a tourism industry should be concerned with and with the above reasons why people tour we can see that Tourism in and of itself is part of our psyche and from ancient times has always been a way by which we humans connect and learn of our world. For a true boost to a nation’s tourism sector, a lot more work is needed in ensuring that it effective and profitable from finding the right places to make a tourist attraction to maintaining and regulating existing sites to bolstering hospitality and enriching cultural values, Tourism within a nation can well become its top economic benefactor.

Bojo beach tourist

In Ghana, tourism plays a key role in driving the economy by way of foreign exchange generation, creating employment avenues and wealth generation as well as stimulating other sectors of the economy. Currently, the fourth largest source of foreign exchange earnings, Ghana’s tourism raked in an estimated US 2.2 million in 2015 with arrivals reaching up to 1.2 million visitors. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture under the leadership of Honorable Lawyer Barbara Oteng Gyasi has managed and sustained a vibrant tourism industry through the ministry’s able agencies. The Ghana Tourism Authority, headed by Mr. Akwasi Agyeman is one such agency that has served well to keep the tourism industry within Ghana a leader in African tourism and an all-round attraction for eager tourists far and wide. From effective vetting and licensing of tourist sites, hospitality services and institutions to event organization and authorization, the Ghana Tourism Authority has a solid grasp of the tourism sector and works diligently to ensure tourists and visitors get to experience the deep culture, absorb the firm heritage and appreciate the fascinating arts that Ghana has to offer. Beyond being innately drawn to tour, it falls on the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to promote domestic tourism amongst indigenes.

Conclusively, it must be known that people will always want to travel and tour, we have been doing so from the age of early man right down to the digital age we are currently in, therefore commercialization of this activity is bound to always happen. For any country, Tourism has the most potential to bridge ethnic differences, promote cultural diversity and, encourage unity and overall rake in foreign exchange hence it should not be taken lightly in order to truly reap the benefits of a vibrant Tourism industry.

By: Edward Koku Alao-Crystal/NSP/GTA

Daily Graphic’s Edmund Smith Asante Wins Best Domestic Tourism Writer At GJA Awards

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The story “No pleasurable experience at La Pleasure Beach” by Edmund Smith- Asante of The Daily Graphic is a riveting article that takes a surgical dive into one of Accra’s most popular beach sites, La Pleasure Beach. Edmund presented his experience at the Beach hub in a manner that allowed for all readers to truly have a first seat feel of what transpired at the beach. Masterfully detailing each and every activity from arrival to departure from the beach, he left before us the grit and grime of what truly happens at La Pleasure Beach and although he concluded that there were no pleasurable experiences, It indeed was left to the readers to make that conclusive decision themselves.

His devoted time in this article is praiseworthy and allowed for him to be picked as the winner of the category of Domestic Tourism Writer at the 24th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards held recently. It goes to show the recognition and affinity that many readers and journalists alike had with his article, most especially as it highlighted aspects of domestic tourism and aimed his publication at raising awareness for the proper handling and refining of our domestic tourist sites as these sectors single-handedly could make or unmake a vibrant tourist economy. The experienced journalist received his award amidst cheer and salutations as his article had received the expected support and acceptance that led to his big win in the first place.

Edmund Smith – Asante is the current acting Regional News Coordinator of the Daily Graphic.

He completed the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 1991 and has remained a journalist for 28 years. He was the Editor for The Independent newspaper and Founding Editor for the Ghanaian Observer. He also was the Assistant Online Editor for Ghana Business News, an online portal. He enjoys writing on issues concerning the environment, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH), Tourism and generally on developmental issues. Edmund was born on December 14, 1965, and is happily married with two girls. A wondrous writer he is and his dedication to tourism and journalism shine true.

The Ghana Tourism Authority under the leadership of CEO, Akwasi Agyeman congratulates Mr Edmund Smith – Asante on his successful endeavour.

Year Of Return: President Akufo-Addo Confers Ghanaian Citizenship On 126 Diasporans

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Citizenship

 

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday, 27th November 2019, conferred Ghanaian citizenship on 126 Diasporans, who have lived in Ghana for many years.

Speaking after the conferment ceremony, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I am glad you have decided to make Ghana your home, and thereby, join several generations of Diasporans, who committed their lives to us.”

 

Citizenship3

He noted that several persons, including the likes of George Padmore, Bob Marley’s widow, Rita, Maya Angelou, and W.E.B du Bois all found homes in Ghana, with the latter buried in the country.

With the ceremony being part of the series of activities commemorating the ‘Year of Return’, the President stated that Ghana recognizes her position as the location for 75 per cent of the slave dungeons built on the West coast of Africa, through which the slaves were transported.

Citizenship6

“That is why we had a responsibility to extend a hand of welcome back home to Africans in the diaspora. Many have responded to this call, and the ‘Year of Return’ has so far proven to be a joyful and learning experience all round for all of us,” he said.

To the 126 Diasporans, the President urged them to respect and abide by the laws of Ghana and live in accordance with the tenets of Ghana’s Constitution.

Citizenship1

“You have the responsibility of preserving and promoting the image of a country whose reputation, amongst the comity of nations, is, today, high. You are citizens of a country that is regarded as one of the most stable on the continent, a beacon of democracy, governed by the rule of law and respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability, as a result of the commendable acts and deeds of past and present generations of your fellow Ghanaians,” he said.

Citizenship2

The President continued, “In all your actions, I urge you to guard jealously our country’s image. It is a charge, I am confident, you will uphold. In doing so, I suggest that to facilitate the process of re-integration, you learn at least one Ghanaian language of your choice – Akan, Ewe, Ga, Dagbani, Hausa, or Nzema, amongst others.”

President Akufo-Addo urged them also to be engaged fully in the realization of the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

“Simply put, I just want us to be self-confident, and accept that we shall never reach the level of development we aspire to by relying on aid or external assistance, no matter how generous. It is a mindset that I wish us to discard, a mindset of dependency and living on handouts,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo, in concluding, paid tribute to the late Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, Jake to others, who, as Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations under the Government of the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, the outstanding Ghanaian statesman, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, championed the cause for the return of descendants of the slave trade to their homes of origin.

“He instituted the “Joseph Project”, whose aim was to reconcile and unite the African peoples, on the continent and in the Diaspora, and to release their energies to help build Africa and the Caribbean. This ceremony would be a happy moment for him,” he added.

Year of Return Inspires Couple to Move to Ghana

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Since President Nana Akufo-Addo declared 2019 as the Year of Return, several people from the global African diaspora have heeded the call and made a trip to Ghana. Most have come to explore the history, heritage and culture and have life-changing experiences as they return back to their respective homes in the Americas, Europe and beyond.

For one couple, the President’s speech inspired them to uproot their family and move to Ghana. “We were very inspired by the Year of Return and moved to Ghana just over 2 months ago,” said Anna Acheampong. She said they couldn’t wait when they saw the door was open. She and her husband are both of Dutch-Ghanaian heritage. Both have fathers who are Ghanaian and mothers who are Dutch. Growing up in Holland as mixed-race children came with its challenges, but it also had its benefits. The couple said they were able to have the best of both worlds.


Both in their early thirties, Anna, who worked as a Social Worker in Child Protective Services, and her husband Kevin, who is a Corporate Account Manager, recently moved to Ghana to not only experience life there, but to also expose their children to a different way of living. “I think we are settled now and we’re trying to relax,” she said. “When we told our friends and family that we wanted to move to Ghana, they would always ask us, ‘Why do you want to move to Ghana?’…and now that we’ve made the move, we get people asking questions like, ‘Do you have electricity?’” …she laughed.

Anna said she couldn’t believe that people still thought that a modern lifestyle can’t exist in an African country. She says it’s largely why they decided to start posting videos on YouTube. She and her husband wanted to show their friends back in Holland, what they were experiencing on a day-to-day basis to see what their new life was really like. “With our videos, we are trying to show that what people think, is not the way Africans live.” She says they were concerned about the stereotypes that exist about Ghana and that inspired her to create content that shows another perspective of the country.

Their two children, ages seven and three, have had their ups and downs. “One of the biggest challenges is they don’t speak English. They are gradually learning,” she said. “The older one has had the most difficult experience as she is having a hard time letting go of her old friends in the Netherlands.” She said during their research on moving to Ghana they noticed a gap when it comes to information available. “We were looking for content to show our kids how things would be in Ghana and we couldn’t find it anywhere. Through our videos, we are trying to motivate other families that are thinking about making the same move. We also want to show things from the perspective of a child, which, we couldn’t find anywhere.”

Anna said that when she was growing up in the Netherlands, she would often go to Ghana on vacation with her dad, but she was never really free to do what she wanted. Her family would keep her from exploring and she didn’t get a real feel of the country. It wasn’t until she and her husband came to Ghana together for the first time that she saw Ghana in a whole different light. “That was the first time that I really saw and experienced Ghana. It’s what I believe I should have had when I was growing up,” she said. “We want to give our children what we missed out on.”

She said that Ghana does have its challenges, it’s not perfect but you have to find a way to make it work. “You have to try to make it nice for yourself,” she said. “We found a house with a pool so our children have something nice to do every day.”

This was important to her because Ghana lacks the public playgrounds that they enjoyed in the Netherlands. “We also do a lot of things with the other kids in the neighbourhood.”

After a short time living in the country, they are constantly having new experiences and enjoying every minute of it. She said that every day is a learning experience and they are enjoying sharing it all on their YouTube Channel Acheampong Adventures.

Watch them on YouTube on this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1XHxRcQmpb-zTVgH9Xxtww

Written by: Ivy Prosper

GHANA HOSTS MAIDEN UNWTO REGIONAL CONGRESS ON WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN AFRICA

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Ghana is hosting the maiden United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Regional Congress on women empowerment in the Tourism sector – Focus on Africa.

File Photo – Some traditional leaders (Queen Mothers) at the Women In Tourism Summit

 

The 3-day congress (25 – 27 November, 2019) aims at analysing the current challenges and opportunities for women’s empowerment in the tourism sector, creating a synergy among the African countries and key stakeholders for greater cooperation in the promotion of women’s participation in the tourism sector and it will be held at the Accra International Conference Centre.

According to the second edition of the Global Report on Women in Tourism to be published by UNWTO, in collaboration with UN Women, GIZ, the World Bank and

Amadeus, ‘tourism has the potential to contribute to greater gender equality, providing women with more opportunities for empowerment than other sectors. It is also recognised more as a strategic tool for inclusive development’.

File Photo – 2018 Women In Tourism Summit

 

In 2018, Ghana hosted its maiden Women in Tourism Summit, a platform that served as a strategic driver to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, under the theme: ‘DRIVING WOMEN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT’.The summit explored how to drive women empowerment through tourism development. It also created an opportunity for women operating across the entire tourism value chain to network and learn from each other and to transform the tourism economy to become a fundamental pillar in advancing the role of women in tourism entrepreneurs, professionals and leaders.

2019 Women In Tourism Summit

 

The maiden UNWTO Regional Congress will bring together a number of tourism stakeholders and keynote speakers in a series of panels to discuss and share best practice and set common proposals to address gender equality in the tourism sector for inclusive development in Africa.

The themes to be addressed at the congress will include: Tourism Policies to Enable Gender Equality; Entrepreneurship in Tourism, An Effective Means for Women to Lead in The Tourism Sector; Financing Women Empowerment Through Tourism – Challenges and The Way Forward and education and Technology as A Tool for Women’s Socio-Economic Advancement in Tourism.

2019 Women In Tourism Summit

The congress is targeting Tourism stakeholders – National Tourism Administrations, Tourism Ministries, public authorities and public gender-equality institutions, private sector representatives with interest in working on women’s empowerment and tourism development in the region, civil society and NGOs related to women’s empowerment and gender equality and Representatives from other sectors which have an impact and interest on women empowerment in the tourism sector in Africa.

The Regional Congress is to empower women to have greater opportunities to speed up the progress of women empowerment towards the SDGs and to improve women’s participation in the workforce, increase women’s entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment in the tourism sector.