‘Baby Like Me’ Doll Project Builds Self Esteem in Youth

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Giving back to the community is one of the most important parts of building and strengthening the connection between Ghana and our diaspora communities. This is why Beyond the Return’s pillar, ‘Give Back Ghana’ is essential in supporting people in various ways across the country.  Last year, during the ‘Year of Return’ it was one of the key items the diaspora was interested in.  Finding ways to give to Ghana through acts of service, donations or creating programs.  


Maurice Cheetham is the Founder and Executive Director of Art Cares Foundation, a non-profit working towards supporting and uplifting the self esteem of youth in Ghana.  Baby Like Me, is the initiative he launched for the purpose of disctirbuting Black dolls to little girls in Ghana.  Over the last few months they have given away hundreds of dolls in various communities throughout Greater Accra.


On December 5, 2020, they held another event in Mamprobi at St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church.  The dolls were given away as a Greene Family Initiative sponsored by Durham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Delta Delta & Alpha Lambda Chapters of DST, Lane College Alumni Deltas, Beta Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Paradise Dental and Back to Health Chiropractic.


Cheetham often recounts the story of seeing a young girl in his area who was carrying a doll that was not a reflection of herself.  Cheetham says that although it was a nice doll, he felt it was important for little girls in Ghana to see themselves in the dolls they are playing with.  After putting the story out on Facebook he was overwhelmed with the amount of support he received from the community both in Ghana and especially in the diaspora.  Since then, he’s been giving out dolls to girls with the help of others, through donations, who equally believe in the cause.  


Annabelle McKenzie, Manager of the Beyond the Return Secretariat, participated in the event and even gave some words of encouragement to the girls before the dolls were handed out. “I want you little ladies to always know that you are beautiful, no matter what your skin colour is, no matter what your hair looks like, every version of you is beautiful.” she told the girls.  Some of the children came with their parents, who were excited that these gifts were being distributed to their children. 


Art Cares Foundation plans to continue distributing dolls to girls and holding self esteem workshops. “We need to do everything we can to uplift our young ladies to empower them for the rest of their lives,” said Cheetham. He says the biggest response has come from the diaspora who are sending dolls and money.  He said it’s been such a great response that he has even turned away some donations because it’s so overwhelming.  He’s happy that so many people are interested in helping the cause and he looks forward to continuing to give back to Ghana by empowering young people. 

By: Ivy Prosper

Top Notch Artists Showcase Their Work At Sound Out 2020

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There is no past or future in Arts – Pablo Picasso
Ghana’s Art industry, usually border around music and dance, pottery, metal and wood carvings and textile works among others. Though music and dance have enjoyed the majority share of voice so far as this industry is concerned, the plastic arts have also received some level of recognition and patronage from stakeholders relegating fine arts into the background with little attention over the years.

It is against this background that the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Trade Promotion Agency mandated to promote and diversify exports, in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority’s Beyond the Return initiative, is organising a premium fine art exhibition to showcase existing talents within Ghana’s Industrial Art & craft sector.

The Industrial Art & Craft sector is one of the four key categories of Ghana’s non-traditional exports. The other three being the export of agricultural produce, semi-manufactured and manufactured products and last but not least; export of services i.e. educational, tourism, professional services.

The Art Exhibition is dubbed Sound Out 2020 and has the theme – “African Art lives on”. The 3-day event seeks to showcase the best of premium art to art-lovers and promote the rich distinctiveness and uniqueness of fine art and music to the Ghanaian public and the African continent.

With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) scheduled to begin on January 1st, 2021 coupled with the expectation that intra-African trade will increase by some Usd34.6 billion, events such as ‘Sound Out’ presents a premium platform to showcase high-end talent to the market of 1.2 billion persons on the continent; starting from home.

Work on display at the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre from December 18 – 20 will be from seasoned Ghanaian fine artists such as Wiz Kudowor, Betty Acquah, Amarkine Amarteifio, Afua Asabea Asare, Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Nicholas Kowalski, Sami Bentil, Nana Kwasi Agyare, Samuel Asamoah and many other top-notch Artists.

The Exhibition is open to the general public from 10am – 8pm on Dec. 18 – 20, 2020.

African Heritage Precious Minerals

Sankofa Medallion Launched to Commemorate Ghana’s Year of Return

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Brenda Joyce, Founder of African Heritage Precious Metals, held a special presentation on the Sankofa Medallion, a gold coin designed to commemorate the ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ campaign. “The world of gold medallions and coins has existed for many centuries, but only a fraction of that belongs to African history,” she said. “Gold treasures commemorate historical events or heroes of a time.” The coin is designed to create a sense of pride, promote legacy, an eternal reminder of the the ‘Year of Return’.

The medallion is available as part of a collection of jewellery created in different styles to suit each customer’s lifestyle needs. There is the signature medallion coin, pendant, dangle earrings, cufflinks, a ring, bracelet and pin. All the styles are made using pure 14k or 18k gold and available in different sizes. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity verifying it is pure gold.

The ‘Year of Return’ was one of the most successful campaigns in Ghana’s history that welcomed members of the diaspora community to Ghana. The year was filled with such a renewed energy about Africa and the continent overall. It was a time when everyone was looking for keepsakes to remind them of what a monumental year it was. This is exactly why African Heritage Metals Ltd., launched the Sankofa Medallion. To provide something that would be an eternal reminder of the significance and legacy of the ‘Year of Return’.

President Nana Akufo Addo, was presented with his very own Sankofa Medallion during a Breakfast event in December 2019 when he announced plans for ‘Beyond the Return’ to be the follow up to Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ campaign. Brenda Joyce personally presented the medallion to the president at the Kempinski Hotel to signify the official launch of the gold medallion.

Brenda Joyce has over 25 years of experience in the precious minerals and jewelry industry. She’s passionate about celebrating African history, heritage, culture and celebrating the heroes of the past. Ghana is one of the two top producers of gold in Africa. Despite being one of Ghana’s biggest mineral exports, gold also accounts for huge losses for Ghana because it’s potential is not fully realized. Most gold is exported in its raw state and unrefined resulting in a lower value. Joyce recognized the power of the dollar in the diaspora community and feels it was best to encourage our communities to invest their money in items that have a significant value both economically and historically. The Sankofa Medallion does just that.

African Heritage Metals strongly believes that buying one of their mediallions is not only a keepsake and memory of the ‘Year of Return’, but it’s also an investment in something that adds value to their lives. It’s an opportunity to acquire something made of pure gold that has beauty, celebrates history and grows in value as the price of gold increases.

For more information on purchasing a Sankofa Medallion, visit the website at https://africanheritage-pm.com/ and email the team at [email protected]

Tourism Minister Commissions Upgraded Facilities At Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm And Exhibition Centre

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The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Mrs. Barbara Oteng–Gyasi has commissioned upgraded facilities at the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm and Exhibition Centre in Mampong – Akuapim in the Eastern Region.

The project which is funded by the Tourism Development Fund is part of the Ghana Tourism Authority’s projects under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to enhance tourist sites across the Country.

According to Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi, the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm serves as a centre to highlight cocoa’s strategic position in the economy of Ghana.

“The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has always considered cocoa and the story around it as a veritable tourism product and working through the Ghana Tourism Authority has collaborated closely with the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Cocoa Processing Company and the Produce Buying Company to institutionalize the National Chocolate Day on February 14 to  promote the consumption of cocoa and cocoa based products with great success. We have also mainstreamed tours to cocoa establishments like Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Tafo and the Cocoa Processing Company, Tema on the domestic tourism circuit”. She added..

With regards to the refurbishment, the Minister said, the Receptive facility has an audiovisual room for showing orientation videos on various aspects of cocoa. It also has exhibition spaces where different thematic presentations can be mounted to enhance the interpretation of the cocoa story. “The Farm is expected to feature prominently in the renewed projection of cocoa as a national asset and the broader dissemination of information about the crop and its contribution to Ghana” she reiterated.

She further urged the site managers to make regular maintenance and commit to customer satisfaction; a defining hallmark of a visit to the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm.

The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman said it is the Authority’s mandate to promote and market tourism in Ghana, hence “upgrading our tourist sites to enhance the quality of visitor experience will sustain tourist interest and boost visitor traffic to tourist sites in the country”.

“The Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm and Exhibition Centre is one of many such upgrades at various stages of completion across the country including Gwollu, Gushegu, Kintampo, Bonwire, Axim, Beyin, Bunso, Anomabu, Jamestown and Tafi Atome”. He added.


Hon. Barima Awuah Sarpong Asiedu – Larbi, Municipal Chief Executive, Akuapem North Municipal Assembly, expressed his immense gratitude to the GTA for the upgraded facilities at the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm as it will boost tourism as well as create employment within the municipality.

According to him, “the upgraded Receptive facility at the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm and Exhibition Centre would honour the memory of Tetteh Quarshie who is credited with being the first person to bring cocoa to Ghana”

The Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm is a 0.38 hectres farm which was nurtured from original cocoa seeds from Fernando Po Island, off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in 1879 by Tetteh Quarshie. It is located at Mampong in the Akwapim North District of the Eastern Region.

The farm was replanted in 1960 but a few of the original trees planted remain till date on the farm. Later other cocoa farms were established spreading cocoa to the far reaches of the country and subsequently making the Gold Coast and later Ghana a global power house in cocoa production.

The Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm and Exhibition Centre project include the following facilities;

  • A tourist Information Centre
  • Two exhibition halls
  • An audiovisual orientation room
  • A gift shop
  • New perimeter fencing
  • New washrooms

‘Beyond the Return’ Masterclass Equips Ghanaian Artists With Music Business Knowledge

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The second edition of ‘The Return Conversations’ Masterclass was a success as it once again brought together Ghanaians and the diaspora for important discussions meant to build relationships that lead to future collaborations.  It took place on 23rd November 2020 at the Accra Tourist Information Centre with invited industry creatives in attendance.  Music Industry experts from the diaspora were streamed into the panel discussion virtually.

The theme for the event was ‘The Business of Music: Finding Ways to Market Ghanaian Music to the Rest of the World.’  The panel discussion was moderated by Frank Osuwu (Franky5), who is Head of Operations at the Creative Arts Council, Ghana.  The panel featured music industry experts including, Glyn Aikins, President of Sony Music label Since ‘93,  Dontae Winslow, Music Producer, Composer, Trumpeter and Educator,  Vasti Jackson, Composer, Guitarist and Producer, Coriya Burns, Senior Integrated Media Specialist, Radio One,  Malcolm Xavier, Award-winning DJ, and Mark Okraku-Mantey, President of the Creative Arts Council Ghana.

The event was coordinated by Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return Secretariat in conjunction with The Creative Arts Council and The BridgeZone.  Annabelle McKenzie, Manager of the Beyond the Return Secretariat, spoke before the discussion began saying that ‘The Return Conversations’ are a series of panel discussions designed to help bridge the gap between Ghanaians and our diaspora communities. Some of the creatives in Ghana who attended the event in-person included Urban Gospel Artist, Jo Church, Hiphop & Afrobeats Artist Amerado, Fashion Designer Jennifer Cole, Hiplife & Afrobeats artist Krymi, Urban Gospel Artist Kobby Salm, Gospel Artist Jayana, and Afrobeats Artist Nankym.

The purpose of this event was to create opportunities to collaborate and to teach about the business side of music.  There is a lot of talent in Ghana, but many artists lack the much-needed business knowledge to put themselves on an international platform.  “Consider that this discussion we’re having here is about the business,” said Vasti Jackson, who has been in the music industry for nearly 50 years.  “Every artist in Ghana is a corporation, every artist in Ghana is a business.” He stressed the importance of understanding that it’s not only the executives who have to look at the business side.  Artists need to focus on that too or they won’t reap the financial rewards. “It makes money or it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

In Ghana, like in many other countries, DJs play a significant part of the music business.  They are often headliners at parties and major events and have the power to bring in a lot of capital to businesses.  Frank Owusu asked Malcolm Xavier, “What are some of the things a DJ can do so that they expand their brand?”  Xavier responded, “I always encourage DJs to venture out and do their own parties.” He said that DJs often don’t see the back end of money made at large-scale events, so when they promote and organize their own, the earning potential is far greater. Glyn Aikins, who started his career as a DJ as well, spoke on how his career evolved into what it is today at an owner of a record label.  His career showed Ghanaian artists that you don’t have to remain in the same place, but can grow and develop your career to become someone of influence on the business side.

Dontae Winslow, who played a piece of music on his trumpet from his personal studio on the virtual panel, said it was important to be creative and always be learning, but to be mindful of business as well.  He shared a personal story of how he sold CDs during a concert tour several years ago, in Europe and that he was earning money through CD sales alongside the salary of his performances.  Winslow also spoke about the importance of building an audience where you come from before trying to jump into new territories.


Traditional radio has played an important role in the success of artists over the decades, especially in African markets where radio seems to have more influence than television.  Coriya Burns, who works with Radio One was asked how involved Radio One plans to be in Africa.  “Not nearly enough, but I believe that the role I play today will get us closer to that,” she answered.

Mark Okraku-Mantey was one of Ghana’s music pioneers having been one of the artists/producers that helped lead the genre of hiplife music during the nineties.  He has seen the evolution of music throughout his career and reiterated that change is inevitable.  He said that artists need to learn to identify the needs of your audience and sell to them because you’re not producing for yourself. This is part of understanding the business, it’s about selling what people want, not what you want.  He also suggested that artists master their art. “Make sure that you pay attention to mastering sound, because even if the song doesn’t become a hit, whenever the song is played, you can be proud that you produced it.”

The biggest takeaway from this event was how much artists need to learn the business side and not leave it solely in the hands of others, in order to build your own success.

2020 Planet Broadway Drama Festival Old Schools Edition Promotes Theatre Talents

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The 2020 Planet Broadway Drama festival old students edition came off on Friday 20th November at the Osu Ebenezer Presby Church Hall in Osu, Accra. The event brought together old students from twelve Senior High Schools across the country with Odorgonno Old Students Association, in the Accra Region emerging as winners for the competition.

The competition was organized by Heritage of Africa in partnership with the National Commission on Culture, The Arts and Culture Company, Ghana Tourism Authority and was endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The goal of this year’s competition was to promote theatre arts amongst the youth and general public in Ghana. The schools who participated in the competition were given the opportunity to unearth their talents with their own story. Ossa came first with their outstanding performance which threw more light on unity that aims to promote peaceful coexistence among Ghanaians towards the upcoming elections on December 7.

St. Thomas Aquinas took the second position and Methodist Girls Senior High School won the third position. Individuals of various schools also won awards for performing well

Full list of Winners below:

Best Actor – Mawuli Komla Zonyrah

Best Set Designer – Mawuli Komla Zonyrah

Best Sound designer – Mawunyo Tobias Zonyrah

Best Writer – Prayer C. Oguzor

Best Director – Faiba Bernard

Best Supporting Actor – Nana Kwame Agyemang

Best Makeup – Sarah Segbaya

Best Actress – Mavis Mawuena

Best supporting Actress – Shamsiya Yayah

Best Costumes Designer – Joseph Yaw Atoma

As part of the Beyond the Return initiative by the Ghana Tourism Authority, our theatre is one aspect that obviously has the potential to link the Diaspora to Ghana. As part of the Pillars unveiled for the Beyond The Return which is a follow up of the Year of Return, one of them is celebrate Ghana and it has the potential of unearthing talents amongst both the Senior High and Tertiary levels thereby entrenching the tenets of our cultural heritage in them, as noted by Speakers at the event.

Ambassador Prince Kojo Hilton, Mr. Daniel Kojo Delong and other top theatre practitioners were present at the event and they urged all the competitors to take theatre industry seriously because there is a great future for Ghana’s theatre. Some theatre practitioners were also honored at the event. The organizers will like to take this opportunity to thank their sponsors and media partners including Twellium Industrial Company, Lexta Ghana Limited producers of Yazz products, Ceejay Multimedia, inside high mag, DDP outdoor Ltd, effect media, High School Plug, Dromotion Pictures and Gud Africa TV.

Photos: 2020 Benkadi Kurubi Festival Held At Kintampo

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The annual Kurubi Festival which showcases the rich culture of the Wangara Community in Kintampo was held on Friday November 20, 2020.

The festival which is aimed at promoting domestic tourism and mobilizing the youth for a peaceful national development was under the theme, “THE ROLE OF THE ZONGO YOUTH IN ENSURING VIOLENCE FREE ELECTION”.

In his address, the Paramount Chief of the Wangara Community and the Acting President of the National Zongo Chiefs, Sariki (Nana) Fanyinama III advised the youth of the Zongo community to be promoters of peace and not tools for the distortion of peace as this year is an election year.

“I advise the youth as well as all people of the Zongo Communities to eschew violence and direct our efforts and energies to a peaceful election come December 7 2020”, he said.

The Minister for Bono East Region and Member of Parliament for Atebubu-Amantin Constituency, Hon. Kofi Amoakohene speaking. on behalf of the Vice President urged the youth in community to contribute to peaceful election to ensure continuity of development.

He also assured the people of the community that, he will collaborate with the GTA to develop tourist sites at the catchment area to augment Kintampo waterfalls and promised scholarships for the Wangara and Zongo students.

Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority congratulated the people of Wangara Community on such an auspicious occasion which seeks to promote domestic tourism. These remarks were contained in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Jones A. Nelson, Head of Corporate Affairs. He intimated, “with the ease of restrictions and the passage by Parliament of Legislative Instrument, (LI 2393) on Sites and Attractions, we will therefore continue to pledge our support to use our domestic marketing campaign; See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana to support other festivals in Ghana in order to boost our domestic tourism and contribute our quota to national economy”.

One of the major highlights of the festival is when maidens mount the wooden platform to prove their virginity. It is believed that any person who is not a virgin who mounts the platform shall fall.

About Kurubi Festival

Benkadi Kurubi Festival is an annual colourful festival of the Wangara community in Ghana. It is celebrated in Kintampo in the Bono East region to showcase the rich culture of the people of the Wangara.

The Kurubi Festival also marks the Wangara community’s allegiance to the traditional paramountcy in Kintampo. Historically the Kurubi Festival reminds the Wangara people of the migration of their ancestors to Kintampo and the achievement of their ancestors and the present generation after settlement.


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ACCRA, GHANA – 21ST November 2020 –

‘The Return Conversations,’ a pivotal part of the ‘Beyond The Return’ project, bridges the gap between the global African diaspora and Ghanaians thorough a series of dynamic and impactful panel discussions. On the 24th November, at 4PM GMT, a Masterclass is set to take place under the theme, ‘The Business of Music; Finding Innovative Ways to Market Ghanaian Music to the Rest of the World.’ The Masterclass will feature panelists in the music and creative arts industries from the USA and Ghana.


The panel will be moderated by Lydia Forson, an Actress and Frank Owusu, the Head of Operations for the Creative Arts Council. The Masterclass will focus on key areas in the music industry such as marketing, finance, technological advancements, new channels for distribution & sales, networking, and new trends.

“Bringing together music industry and creative arts professionals from Ghana and the USA will be instrumental in building relationships between continental Africans and the diaspora,” said Annabelle McKenzie, Manager of the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat.

The program is being coordinated by the Ghana Tourism Authority and the ‘Beyond The Return’ Secretariat in conjunction with the Creative Arts Council and TheBridgeZone. According to Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority and Coordinator of the ‘Beyond the Return’ project, “Forging collaborations between Ghanaians and the historical diasporas is a key objective of ‘Beyond The Return.’ After a successful first edition of the ‘Return Conversations’ Masterclass, we will continue to foster collaborations between Ghanaians and the global diaspora in the music industry.’ C.E.O. of TheBridgeZone, Anthony Bart Appiah, says, “As the billion Dollar music industry undergoes changes due to the advent of streaming. This masterclass themed the business of music will help boost confidence within the Ghana creative industry. It will also begin the conversations in finding partnerships & collaborations between Ghanaians and the diaspora.”

Panelists include SONY Music President, Glyn Aikins, Music Producer, Trumpeter, Composer & Educator, Dontae Winslow, Composer, Guitarist & Producer, Vasti Jackson, Senior Integrated Media Specialist – Radio One USA, Coriya Burns, Award Winning DJ, Malcolm Xavier, and President, Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku-Mantey.

The program will be broadcast worldwide on the social media channels for ‘Beyond the Return’ (@beyondthereturn), and Ghana Tourism Authority (@ghanatourismauthority), and locally on Hitz FM 103.9 and Y FM 107.9. For more information on this upcoming event, contact the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat office by email at [email protected]

Tourism Minister Commissions Facilities At Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary

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The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Barbara Oteng Gyasi has commissioned upgraded facilities at Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in the Volta Region.

This is part of the Ghana Tourism Authority’s resolve to systematically enhance tourist sites across the country which isbeing  funded by the Tourism Development Fund.

In her address, the Minister said, “the passage of the Tourism (Tourist Sites) Regulation 2019, LI 2393 has bolstered GTA’s desire to upgrade our tourist sites to enhance the overall quality of visitor experiences”.

Under this new law, it is mandatory for all tourist sites to be registered and licensed by  GTA after satisfying the minimum requirements of functional governance structures, signage and public information, and public health and safety as specified in the law. This will transform the state of tourist sites and attractions in the country.

“Attractions are critical to the operationalization of tourism, because they provide the primary pull that draws visitors to a destination”. She added.

Mrs. Oteng Gyasi also said, plans have been laid to extend the site upgrade programme to cover the Slave Heritage Sites including Bono Manso, Salaga, Assin Praso, Assin Manso in the coming year. Also, GTA in collaboration with the Tema Development Corporation will undertake the upgrade of the Sakumono Beach into a model beach to expand the recreational options of residents in the Accra Tema area.

The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman said the Authority has a mandate to Market and Promote Tourism in Ghana.

“The Ghana Tourism Authority is focused on developing the domestic market potential through product improvement and aggressive market promotion. Thankfully, we can count on partners like the Tafi Atome community. Our partnership with the community is out of the vision to improve tourism products along the length and breadth of the country” he said.

Akwasi Agyeman added that further upgrades have been planned in the coming months “as we refocus attention on Domestic Tourism”. He also expressed how pleased the GTA is with the support they have received from the District Chief Executive of the Afadjato South District Assembly, Hon. James Etornam Flolu and the Chiefs and people of Tafi Atome.

Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, congratulated the Assembly for the enormous effort put into the upgrading of the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary. He again expressed his profound gratitude to  GTA and the Ministry of Tourism for the thoughtful project that is aimed at harnessing the tourism and business potentials of the Afadzato South District and other sites in the region.

The Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary covers an area of 387sq km and is home to the True Mona and Patas Monkeys which have inhabited these forests over the past 600 years.

The Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Cultural Village project include the following facilities;

  • A new Tourist Receptive Facility
  • A modern 7-Seater Washroom (Toilet)
  • Three (3) Visitor Rest Pavilions
  • Wire Mesh and Bamboo fencing of the perimeter and,
  • Paved grounds, Car Park, as well as, painting of existing structures.


By: Corpoate Affairs Dept.

Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Hosts First Diaspora Breakfast Meeting With ‘Beyond the Return’

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The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat collaborated on the first ever Diaspora Business Breakfast Meeting which was held on Tuesday November 17, 2020.  The event took place at the Marriott Hotel in Accra.  The meeting was an official ‘Beyond the Return’ event which carefully aligns with one of the pillars for the campaign called, Invest in Ghana.



After the ‘Year of Return’ many diasporans wanted to explore business and investment opportunities in Ghana.  Under the Invest in Ghana pillar for ‘Beyond the Return’, a committee has been formed that is chaired by GIPC with a goal to create programs and opportunities to support the diaspora in their journey towards investing in Ghana.

The event’s theme was ‘Creating Connections- Building Ghana, Together’ and was an opportunity to network and engage with the diaspora community.  Speakers included, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, CEO GIPC, Yofi Grant, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, and Co-Chair of ‘Beyond the Return’ Steering Committee, Akwasi Awuah Ababio, Co-Chair for the ‘Beyond the Return’ Steering Committee, Kwame Acheampong Boateng Esq. and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority and Coordinator for ‘Beyond the Return’, Akwasi Agyeman.

Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Akwasi Awuah Ababio, addressed the attendees about the ‘Right of Abode’ and citizenship, stating that there to plans in place to work on those concerns.  He also spoke on making provisions for the diaspora who are looking to relocate and resettle in Ghana.  CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre highlighted important areas of business opportunities for the diaspora while speaking on the importance of taking advantage of our strengths and resources.  “We can’t have a continent that is wealthy and yet our people are poor,” he said. “We must all do our bit to transform our nation.”

Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway was the Keynote Speaker and shared her experience about moving back to Ghana in 1993 when there was no structure in place to support returnees.  She commended the collaborative effort between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, GIPC, Ghana Tourism Authority, the Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President and the Beyond the Return Secretariat.  “There’s never been a time in the history of this country where you see so much interest and enthusiasm on the part of the diaspora who are willing to contribute their skills, technical know-how, and capital in support of government transformation agenda,” she said.

The Panel Discussion was moderated by Jerry Adjorlolo and featured Diasporans who shared their experiences and advice when moving to Ghana.  They were, Head of Information and Public Affairs Embassy of Ghana USA, Kofi Tonto, Real Estate Developer; Ayi Mensah Park, Kofi Anku, CEO of GUBA Enterprise, Dentaa Amoateng, and Senior Social Protection Specialist, World Bank Group; Founder of Ahaspora, Christabel Dadzie.

In closing the event, Akwasi Agyeman said that we need to tell our story and it starts from us.  “We need to open our arms to our brothers and sisters out there, it’s a collaborative effort,” he said. “We’re not just talking about the Ghanaian diaspora, we’re talking about the historical diaspora as well,” he said.