Ghana is home, we are coming – Jamaica endorses Year of Return

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Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange have jointly endorsed the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.

The Year of Return is an initiative of the government of Ghana which is intended to encourage people of African descent to visit Ghana.

Related Story: CNN Travel lists Ghana as place to visit in 2019

Both Ministers commended the President and people of Ghana for taking this initiative to cement Ghana’s Pan African Legacy dating from the relationship amongst leaders of the Caribbean and Ghana.

Honourable Grange said Jamaica looks forward to a successful year of return. “We will work with Ghana towards a successful year. Jamaica observes the international Decade of People of African Descent and so it is very timely that we work together.”

She added that “as Jamaicans, we’re proud to see that our Reggae music will form the soundtrack for the Year of Return.”

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Hon. Catherine Afeku led the delegation made up of Members of Parliament (MPs) and representatives of Ghana Tourism Authority(GTA). The delegation included Hon. Alex Agyekum, Hon. Kobla Wayome, Hon. A.B. A Fuseini, Hon Kofi Amoakohene and Mr. Akwasi Agyeman of GTA.

Related Story: Year of Return to attract 500,000 from diaspora

Hon. Afeku said Ghana is ready to welcome the global African family home. “The ease of Visa acquisition, upgrades of Tourism and hospitality facilities, capacity building are all being tackled through an inter-ministerial committee with anticipated positive results.”

Come March 2019, the Jamaica-Ghana Homecoming Festival (Jagha) will feature as part of the activities to commemorate the year of return and celebrate African survival.

Source: Ghanaweb

2019 Chocolate Day Marked

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Ghana: 2019 National Chocolate Day marked

The national Chocolate Day celebration was instituted in 2005 to coincide with Valentine’s Day which falls on February 14 every year.
This year’s theme dubbed, “My Chocolate Experience” focused on the need for Ghanaians to patronize and consume locally made chocolate and other cocoa-based products to promote our heritage, agro-tourism and promote healthy living.

In his speech, Managing Director of the Cocoa Processing Company, Nana Agyenim Boateng said, in season of love, where people share gifts and hampers to loved ones, there’s no perfect way to show the heights of your love than with chocolate from Ghana. “It says it all,” he added.

However, he noted that the local chocolate market has seen low patronage as compared to consumption of imported chocolate to the country over the past decade.
According to him, Ghanaians consume only 400 grams of chocolate daily compared to other developed countries that consume twice the number.

The global chocolate market is worth some 103.28 billion dollars and has been estimated to reach approximately 161.56 billion dollars by 2024. In 2017, it is estimated $45 million worth of chocolate was imported into the country.
Ghana’s major producer of Chocolate, the Cocoa Processing Company produces 2000 metric tons of chocolate annually, yet low patronage has proved to be challenging hindering value addition over the course of time, thus the necessity for campaigns to boost local consumption.

Nana Boateng emphasised the need to inculcate the habit of consuming cocoa and locally made chocolates into Ghanaians. He consequently urged parents to give their children chocolates and other cocoa based products to boost their energy as well as improve brain function.

Chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, reduces cholesterol levels, good for the heart and blood circulation, reduces stress, improves memory in old age, helps in digestion, increases alertness and general vitality. Cocoa has over 300 compounds with three of them being Travino-Anti Oxidant, Troboman and Magnesium. The health and nutritional benefits are just enormous.

The National Chocolate Day is a Ghana Tourism Authority in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Cocoa Processing Company and under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Source: Voyages Afriq

National Chocolate Day celebrated in Accra

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The 2019 National Chocolate Day has been held in Accra with a call on the public to make the consumption of locally made cocoa products a daily exercise.

That would not only offer them an opportunity to make the most of the health benefits of cocoa, including improved blood circulation but also contribute to maximising the local processing of cocoa which is produced in the country.

This year’s celebration, on the theme: “My Chocolate Experience,” was held at the forecourt of the National Theatre yesterday.

The celebration, marked every February 14 to coincide with Valentine’s Day, is targeted at boosting the local consumption of cocoa-based products and to promote local tourism.

It was organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC).

The event

The scores of participants included dignitaries from the GTA, COCOBOD, schoolchildren and stakeholders in the cocoa processing and marketing industry.

The celebration was characterised by performances by cultural troupes, a demonstration on cocoa recipes, exhibition of cocoa-based products among other activities.

Various cocoa products such as chocolate, cookies, soap, pomade and literature on the nutritional benefits of cocoa were displayed by diverse cocoa processing companies and individuals who had pitched camp at the event.

The COCOBOD also presented hampers to some individuals who had, in diverse ways, contributed to promoting the consumption of cocoa-based products in the country.

Mr. Benedict Obuobi and Ms. Edna Adu-Serwaa, both journalists at the Graphic Communications Group Limited, were among five other persons who emerged winners in the Digital Campaign Competition on the consumption of cocoa introduced by the COCOBOD as part of the 2019 National Chocolate Day.

 From left-right: Dr Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, Ms Adelaide Ahwireng, Board Chairperson, Ghana Tourism Authority, and Nana Adwoa Dokua, COCOBOD board member, enjoying cocoa drink during the celebration

Local Processing

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at COCOBOD, Dr Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh, stated that the government’s vision that 50 per cent of cocoa produced in the country should be processed locally could only be achieved if there was a significant increase in the local consumption of cocoa.

He said as of 2018, the annual local consumption of cocoa per person was 0.52kg and described it as inadequate for a country that is recognised as the world’s second largest producer of cocoa.

Dr Dwomoh said an increment in the consumption of cocoa-based products would lead to an increase in demand and supply, which, he added, would have a direct bearing on the rate at which cocoa was processed locally.

“Africa contributes about 70 per cent of global cocoa production but can only account for three per cent of domestic consumption of cocoa products. This cannot be accepted considering the volumes of cocoa beans we produce as a continent,” he contended.

Hospitality industry

For his part, the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, urged players in the hospitality industry to lead the campaign on the consumption of cocoa-based products in the country.

He appealed to them to include cocoa recipes on their menus to boost exposure to cocoa-based foods and encourage consumption on the part of their customers.

The Managing Director of the Cocoa Processing Company, Nana Agyenim Boateng, pledged the company’s resolve to continue to add value to the country’s cocoa in a bid to create wealth and employment opportunities for the citizenry.

He, therefore, appealed to the general public to patronise the company’s variety of products to enable it to garner enough revenue and expand its operations.

Source: Graphic Online

Tourism Act and Regulations Are To Develop Sector

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Mr. Alex Boakye, Director, Standards and Quality Assurance, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has said the revised Tourism Act (2019), would expand the mandate of the Authority.
This he said would reposition the industry by ensuring strict compliance with laid down regulations on facilities and their management.

He said the new regulations would boost the nation’s tourism growth and also guarantee the safety and delight of patrons.

The Director said this when he took stakeholders including tourism operators and Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Volta Region through the Draft Bill of the 2019 Tourism Sites Regulations Act in Kpando on Friday.

Mr. Boakye said the aim was to have sites in good shape and safe for public use towards automatically generating the needed reviews to direct tourist traffic to the country.

Mr. Elvis Gyampoh, Kpando Municipal Chief Executive said security was a key feature that must be well provided for in the Act.

Togbui Kodzoga V, Chief of Kpando Gadza who chaired the forum said the people of the region must show more interest in its tourism potential and create opportunities to enhance their livelihoods.

He said the region had invested little in tourism, particularly in the middle and the northern belts, despite an abundance of sites and cultures.

Togbe Kodzoga called on the GTA to work more with local authorities to develop sites into iconic locations.

The New Act demands best practices and standards in management, layout, access, services, security and sanity.

These would include strict codes for hygiene and maintenance and also records on activities, patrons and staff.

The new Act would reposition the Tourism Authority to bring recalcitrant operators to book.

Source: GNA

Year of Return: AAAG Ghana launches Black History Month 2019

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Ghana today begun the celebrations of this year’s Black History Month with a launch, joining the US, Canada, UK Ireland, and the Netherlands to commemorate month dedicated to remembering important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora.

The theme for the celebration is “Black Migration: Exploring our roots and beyond. The launch which was held at the W.E.B. Dubois Centre in Accra, had in attendance a broad spectrum of dignitaries including the US Ambassador to Ghana, CEO of GTA, PANAFEST Foundation, Director of the W.E.B. Dubois Centre, Director of Diaspora Affairs at the at the Presidency, President of the Women in Tourism Ghana, Honorary Consul of Trinidad and Tobago, members of the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG) and the general diaspora community in Ghana.

AAAG President, Gail Nikoi

 

The observation of Black History Month is part of the many activities earmarked for the Year of Return – Ghana 2019 and it is being spearheaded by AAAG and the Year of Return Secretariat.

President of AAAG, organisers of the event, Gail Nikoi, in a speech said that it was extremely important that we come together for Black History Month, especially in the this Year of Return, acknowledging and giving honour to both those who perished during the journey to the Americas and those who survived.

Some of the dignitaries at the launch

On her part the US Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Stephanie Sullivan said: “As we celebrate Black History Month, we recognize both the challenges and achievements of African Americans. This week at the US Embassy, we had an amazing Black History Month programme held by our staff as we recognised that Black History is American History. Black migration in the United States, as well as globally have created important connections that have both challenged and inspired us.”

Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, Akwasi Ababio said government working to ease the process of reintegrating African Americans into Ghana. He mentioned that those who have successfully acquired Ghanaian citizenship will soon be introduced and that opportunities are being created for more diasporans to come into the country.

US Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Stephanie Sullivan

 

As part of the celebrations, the AAG will host for days, Dr. Nia Imara, the first African American woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from University of California, Berkley and currently lectures at Harvard. She is expected to interact with almost 3,000 students in several different regions about science technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Dr. Imara is due for Ghana next week.

A section of participants at the launch

The African American Association of Ghana is committed to facilitating the cultural, social, educational and economic integration of African American and other people of African descent returning from the Diaspora into Ghanaian society.

Source: Voyages Afriq

YEAR OF RETURN: ACAWF Regeneration Concert performances thrills patrons

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The Aburi Botanical Gardens on the February 9, 2019 hosted the African Culture and Wellness Festival (ACAWF) as part of the events lined up for the 2019 Ghana’s Year of Return.

The festival started with an early morning health walk challenge from the Ayi Mensah Police Station to the Aburi Gardens.

Health Walk Challenge
Health Walk Challenge PHOTO: GTA

The ACAWF continued with an exhibition where exhibitors displayed Cultural Arts, Books, Music, Fashion and Health products. There were lots to eat and drink. The Healers Village at the Festival provided participants with healing services: massage, reflexology and Reiki. There was also spiritual consultancy services available.

The festival was climaxed with a Regeneration Concert which witnessed incredible performances from musicians home and the diaspora.

The concert which was hosted by Hitz FM’s King Lagazee and Seestah Imarkhus Okofo began with a performance by a Djembe Drummer followed by Aburi-based Gye Nyame Cultural Group who treated audience with great acrobatic displays.

Musicians John Christian, Afia Khalia, Nananom Band, Oyaida band, Jahwi and Oga Chux took turns to put up impeccable performances while patrons dance and sing along. Performance by Oga Chux lighted the atmosphere with patrons getting on their feet.

Stephen Da Poet had a bad night; he forgot his poem. He tried to recall them by repeating lines but proved futile.

The fun doubled when Poet and radio personality Mutabaruka wowed the audience with his poets and lectures. He reminded Africans the need to stay true to their values and appreciate the good things they have so as not to throw them away for the whites.

Mutabaruka at ACAWF 2019

 

In attendance included Samia Nkrumah, Kofi Adomah of KOFI TV, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority Akwasi Agyeman, a member from the Right of Return Planning Committee, and many others.

The annual festival in its 5th edition, was created by Dr. SharitaYazid, Naturopath, New Body Products Ghana Chief Operating Officer and a repatriate to Africa.

A group of natural healers, master African dance/drum instructors and fitness experts were consulted to help create this festival to deliver a sound platform for years to come.

2019 Heritage Fun&Fly Paragliding Launched

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Accra, Feb. 5, GNA – The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Tuesday launched the Heritage Paragliding Festival 2019 at Mpraeso, scheduled for April 19 – 22, on the Odweanoma Mountains at Kwehu-Atibea in the Eastern Region.

Mr. Akwesi Agyemang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, said the annual paragliding festival, initiated in 2005 as an aviation sport, was to coincide with the Easter festivities on the Kwahu mountains.

He said this year’s edition promised to be exciting with many activities alongside the paragliding such as live band music, games, food court, children play area, and lots of gifts to give to participants.

“Additionally, this year the site has been opened up with an open take-off point, and the road network is also been worked on in collaboration with the District Assemblies to attract more participants. The authority is also working with the Tourism Society of Ghana to get more students to participate.”

Mr Agyeman said it was their firm belief that once the road networks were improved, people would be encouraged to go up the mountain, saying they would provide the necessary atmosphere and ambiance for them to enjoy.

“We want people to come up the mountain not only for paragliding but to have a panoramic view of Kwehu, Nkawkaw and be able to enjoy themselves.”

He noted that this year’s paragliding would see 12 pilots from the United States of America, Japan, Romania, South Africa, and Japan, with two from Ghana, adding that an increase in their numbers would depend on the number of people who would register for the event.

He said the fare for flying is GHc 350.00 for single and GHc 600.00 for couples. Registration must be done online on the visitghana.com website, and mobile registration numbers which would open soon.

Mr. Agyemang commended the chief and elders of Mpraeso for their warm reception and assured them that the Authority would establish a tourist information centre in Kwehu, as a major tourist destination. 
Nana Ampadu Dadwiam II, Mpraesohene and Acting Benkumhene, welcomed the team to his palace and commended the initiators of the yearly event, which brings in so much economic gains to the people living in and around the area.

He said lots of people travelled far and near to the site to have fun and have the Easter experience and advised that the whole stretch be renovated to make the event successful.

He urged all who have plans of traveling to the area to comport themselves during the season to ensure discipline and called for effective collaboration between the GTA, the security agencies and the assemblies to ensure a successful celebration.
 Source:GNA

The 2019 edition of the festival is tied with the Year of Return, Ghana 2019 celebrations marking 400 years since the first enslaved African arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, USA. The year-long celebration is under the theme “Celebrating the African Resilience”. The Paragliding Festival is dubbed “Heritage Fun & Fly Paragliding

About Ghana Paragliding Festival (Fun&Fly Paragliding)

Ghana Paragliding Festival was launched in 2005 to create an alternate product for the growing adventure tourism market in the country. It was spearheaded by the Minister of Tourism, Late Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey with Walter Neser, a professional Pilot as lead Pilot. Test flight was conducted at. various places in Ghana until the Odweanoma Mountain in Kwahu was finally chosen as due to its wonderful take-off point it offered with the nearby Nkawkaw stadium serving as the landing ground.

The festival is held in Easter each year to coincide with the Easter celebrations of the Kwahu’s most of whom have a tradition of converging home from all walks of life to celebrate Easter each year. The festival has since been held annually but for a 2year hiatus (2008/2009)

GTA COCOBOD LAUNCH 2019 NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY

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The Ghana Tourism Authority and COCOBOD launched the 2019 National Chocolate Day at the Accra Tourist Information Centre on 4thFebruary 2019.

The 2019 National Chocolate Day which is organised under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in collaboration with Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ghana Cocoa Board and stakeholders is under the theme; “MY CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE”.

The Chocolate Day activities for this year will commence with a trip to Cocoa Research Institute Ghana (CRIG) at Tafo and Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm at Akwapim Mampong on February 11, 2019. There will also be an industrial tour of the Cocoa Processing Company on February 12, 2019.

Other activities of the celebration include a Chocowalk from Ayi Mensah to Aburi Gardens on February 9, 2019. There will also be a Quiz Competition; Chocolate Funfair; Chocolate Recipe Demonstration; Chocolate Bash; Display of various Chocolate Products and Musical concert on February 14, 2019, at National Theatre.

The National Chocolate Day is celebrated to promote the consumption of made in Ghana chocolate and Cocoa based products, with the main objective of boosting domestic tourism. Also, it aims at creating awareness for Ghanaians to appreciate the health benefits of Chocolate, and to promote Ghana as the preferred chocolate destination.

About Chocolate Day

The National Chocolate Day Celebration was instituted in 2005 to coincide with Valentine’s Day which falls on 14th February every year to boost the domestic consumption of Ghana chocolate and other cocoa-based products, promote domestic tourism and give a healthy orientation to the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Ghana in collaboration with Cocoa Processing Company, Ghana Cocoa Board and Cocoa producing Companies.

Year of Return Ghana to attract 500,000 Diasporan Africans

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Mr Akwasi Agyemang (left), Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, addressing participants at the press launch of “The Year of Return Ghana 2019” in Accra. Picture: ESTHER ADJEI

About half a million Africans in the Diaspora are expected to arrive in the country to take part in “The Year of Return Ghana 2019”, a historic campaign to mark the end of 400 years of the slave trade in Ghana.

According to the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), out of the number, 350,000 participants would come from North America, while the rest would come from the Caribbean, South America and Europe.

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The calendar of events include a Black History Month in February, Ghana’s Independence Day celebration in March, Heritage Paragliding Festival in April, Ghana-Jamaica Homecoming Festival between April and May, the Pan-African Festival of Arts and Culture (PANAFEST) from July to August and Emancipation Day in August.

The campaign was launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at America’s National Press Club in Washington, DC, in September 2018.

The tourism bonanza is expected to build on the legacy of other Pan-African projects, such as the Joseph Project, Emancipation Day and PANAFEST.

“We believe the event will present us with an opportunity to attract more people who will come and invest and employ Ghanaians,” he said.

Making Ghana attractive for youth

The Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, Mr Akwasi Awua Ababio, who also addressed the conference, said as Ghana continued to be the headquarters for the fight for African liberation and the symbol of hope for African emancipation, it continued to seek deeper socio-cultural, economic and political inclusion for “our kith and kin from the Diaspora”.

“As we mark the Year of Return to bring our Diasporan community home, the government is also committed to improving upon our economy and discouraging irregular migration by making sure that young men and women could achieve their dreams here in Ghana,” he said.

Showcase best part of Ghana

Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Dr Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, said the Ghana Embassy in the USA was making every effort to attract African-Americans to the country, not only to come and spend but also enjoy the hospitality here.

He expressed the hope that Ghanaians would grab the opportunity to display how loving and hospitable they were to those who would arrive in the country in 2019 and beyond.

“We have to take this opportunity to showcase the country and the kind of loving and welcoming people we are to encourage people to come and do respectable investments,” he added.

Source: Daily Graphic

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. The arrival of enslaved Africans marked a sordid and sad period, when our kith and kin were forcefully taken away from Africa into years of deprivation, humiliation and torture. While August 2019 marks 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived in the United States, “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019” celebrates the cumulative resilience of all the victims of the Trans Atlantic slave Trade who were scattered and displaced through the world in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

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

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(CNN) — When some of the most well-known faces from the African diaspora arrived for a recent vacation in Accra, Ghana, it looked like just another gathering of famous people.
Behind this meet-up of box office stars, fashion royalty and top creatives is a focused and ambitious strategy to make Ghana a major tourist destination.
The country recently unveiled a 15-year-long tourism plan that seeks to increase the annual number of tourists to Ghana from one million to eight million per year by 2027.
Ghana’s travel industry is projected to raise $8.3 billion a year by 2027, plus associated benefits, according to the plan.

Star power

VIP guests attended events chaired by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, the architect of the plan to boost tourism and diversify the country’s economy through reaching out to its diaspora, while guests took part in conferences, festivities and trips across the country to discover its unique and sobering heritage.
The primary purpose of the festival was to forge closer ties between Ghana, the African continent and those of African descent living elsewhere.
It’s 400 years since the first African slaves were taken from countries like Ghana to mainland America, marking the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade route. This timing is based on the first recorded landing of a ship carrying Africans in Virginia in August 1619.
An estimated 75% of slave dungeons on the west coast of Africa were in Ghana — millions of people were taken and transported on ships that departed from Ghanaian ports.
President Akufo-Addo’s Year of Return announcement pointed to Ghana’s tragic legacy as a reason for diaspora descendants to return and learn about this chapter of history.
The celebrities who attended the Full Circle Festival were taken on guided tours of the slave dungeons.
“Every person of color needs to get on this pilgrimage,” said actor and co-organizer Boris Kodjoe who is of Ghanaian descent. “They need to experience this journey and get in touch with their emotional heritage, walk through the dungeons and see the ‘door of no return,'” he told CNN.
Marketing rockstar Bozoma Saint John — who has a series of marketing coups like Beyonce’s halftime Super Bowl show under her belt — worked with Kodjoe, inviting 100 of the most influential members of the African diaspora to party with them at the festival over Christmas and New Year.
Saint John, who works for global media conglomerate Endeavor and previously had high profile roles with Uber and Apple Music, says the project is close to her heart.
“As long as you have melanin and you are seeking a return to Africa, it is a must,” she told CNN.

Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo and wife Rebbeca pose with attendees at the Full Circle Festival.

Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo and wife Rebbeca pose with attendees at the Full Circle Festival.
Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture of Ghana
“I really felt that I wanted to show people the country I know and love. I take it as a personal mission and will use my professional weight to help the mission.”
Saint John says that returning members of the diaspora can expect joy on their trip to Ghana as well as moments of solemnity. Skyscrapers and restaurants feature prominently in her promotional material.

Attendees at the Full Circle Festival pose for a group photograph.

Attendees at the Full Circle Festival pose for a group photograph.
Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture of Ghana
“All the fun things you can do in Nice, Bali, Ibiza, you can do here in Ghana too,” she added.

Year of return

The celebrity-attended Full Circle Festival was the opening act of a broader Year of Return, announced by President Akufo-Addo in September 2018.
Speaking about the year ahead at Washington’s National Press Club Akufo-Addo said Ghana would open its “arms even wider to welcome home our brothers and sisters in what will become a birthright journey home for the global African family.”
The Year of Return includes a music festival, an investment conference targeting diaspora Ghanaians, and the Right to Return initiative, encouraging African-Americans to seek citizenship in Ghana.
This year-long initiative builds on a long tradition of looking outwards.
Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African country to win independence from colonial rule, has a history of pursuing ties with Africans overseas. It dates back to the country’s first President Kwame Nkrumah, whose vision of pan-Africanism included alliances with diaspora communities.
Nkrumah enjoyed warm relations with African-American icons such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, who both traveled to Ghana to meet him. Writer Maya Angelou spent time in the country after its independence and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois is buried in Accra.
Ghana has also sought to incentivize diaspora returnees through legislation such as the Right of Abode law of 2000 that allows people of African descent to apply for the right to stay in the country indefinitely.
It was followed by the Joseph Project in 2007 that encouraged Africans in the diaspora to return, officials have compared it to Israel’s Law of Return that allows Jews to become citizens.
These initiatives have had some success. An estimated 3,000 African-Americans had permanently settled in Ghana by 2014.
By the time Saint John is finished with marketing Ghana to the world, she is hopeful it will have knock-on impact across the region and wants to reshape people’s perceptions.
“We are going to use Ghana as a gateway to the rest of the continent,” she said.
“There are beaches in Kenya as well as snow-capped mountains. We need to tell the story of all the amazing opportunities Africa has to offer.”