The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the AFROCHELLA Team to strengthen the already existing conversation on promoting Ghana’s tourism potentials.
The MoU, under the directive of the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, is also to allow the two institutions to collaborate and support each other to attract more tourists into the country annually, and work towards making Ghana the preferred destination in the world.
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Tourism Minister, said through the MoU, the GTA and the AFROCHELLA Team would have a stronger conversation now and not limit tourism to fun and leisure but as an opportunity for trade and investment.
He said Ghana’s environment was safe for both local and international tourists to do business and invest, adding that they could take the opportunity to promote Ghana’s attractions from forts to castles, to beaches, parks among others.
He said the Ministry’s target was to bring in two million people into the country annually, and as such charged the team through their AFROCHELLA Festival to bring in more than 20,000 people into the country this year.
Dr Awal said, “Since the inception of the AFROCHELLA Festival six years ago, you have demonstrated a lot and we know that you can achieve this target. Our current image alone makes people want to come into the country, so support us with your network to bring in these people to have fun, leisure, do business and invest.”
“We must move as a country from our current state to the desired destination, and tourism is the key to getting Ghana to that destination.”
He pledged the Ministry and the GTA’s support to the team to achieving its target and making Ghana the preferred tourism destination.
The Minister later decorated and unveiled the team as tourism goodwill ambassadors to help promote Ghana’s tourism globally.
Mr Abdul Karim Mohammed Awal Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, AFROCHELLA, said the festival was one that celebrated African culture as a whole and the signing of the MoU with the GTA was a further step to improving on its mandate.
He said the aim was to make Ghana one of the biggest gateways to Africa through their festival which had already drawn a lot of attention to the country, saying with the official support from government and the Ministry now, they hope to strengthen that bond and bring in more people and development to the country.
“This year our target is to have over 20,000 people come to the festival, so with this partnership and the Minister outdooring us as tourism ambassadors we are hopeful of achieving this target and even more by bringing more attention to the festival and Ghana as a whole.”
Mr Abdullah said in the diaspora people were looking forward for opportunities to come back home to invest and stay, adding the festival provided the right opportunity to get them into the country to trade and invest and improve the local economy.
He expressed appreciation to the GTA for the continuous support over the years and assured that this year’s festival which would be held for two days would drive into the country the right people to invest in the country’s economy.
Other members of the AFROCHELLA team include, Mr Ken Agyapong Jr, Mr Edward Asafu Adjaye Kobina, Vernell Akyeampong and Alvin Bekoe.
AFROCHELLA is a Ghana-based festival designed to highlight and elevate thrilling and thriving millennial talent from and within Africa. The festival features a festive celebration of Ghanaian culture in the form of art and fashion installations, live painting, the best of African cuisine, live performances, among others.
YouTube Music partners with Culture Management Group for Afrochella 2021 to amplify Black voices on the continent through its Future Insiders program for aspiring music professionals.
ACCRA, GHANA November 10, 2021
Culture Management Group, in partnership with YouTube Music today announced a groundbreaking collaboration to bring
musical programs to Africa, helping to develop the youth and provide assistance to aspiring music industry professionals.
This one day in-person event will be hosted at the Afrochella Music Museum on December 27th at 12pm GMT located at BBnZ Live.
Future Insiders is one portion of the Music Community Pillar of the Black Voices Fund creating opportunities for exposure and learning for young people across the globe. To date, Future Insiders has partnered with community facing organizations in New York, Los Angeles, The Bay Area, Rio de Janeiro, Houston, Atlanta, London,
Lagos, and now Accra.
In an effort to help amplify the next generation of Black voices, the Future Insiders program aims to give young professionals who are interested in a career in music and technology the opportunity to learn hands-on skills from legendary musical professionals and industry experts. During the event, there will be two production master classes, held in recording studios, on the Art of making beats with Ghanian producers, Juls, and Guiltybeatz.
In addition to production masterclasses, aspiring professionals will also have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers during a three-part panel series. The panels will offer the audience insight into a range of musical topics which will include:
Future Voices of Africa: A rich conversation with the next generation of
voices and leaders in African music.
A Queen Leads: A session spotlighting the innovation and creativity led by
women in the music industry.
The Diaspora Effect: A discussion about the diaspora’s effect on the growth
of African music.
“We’re so proud to join #YouTubeBlack to bring musical education resources to Ghana. With the help of this program, we can continue to inspire and influence the next generation of young African artists,” says Abdul Karim Abdullah, CEO & Co-Founder of Afrochella. “Afrochella has always been a platform that elevates up and coming creatives and through this collaboration, we’ll be able to continue this impactful work in new and meaningful ways.
“We’re very excited to bring together the meaningful work of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund with The Culture Management Group’s long standing efforts to support the artistic aspirations of African creatives,” says Addy Awofisayo, Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa, YouTube. “Afrochella has long been a beacon of light for young talent in Africa and we are thrilled to partner with them to further strengthen our commitment to empowering the next wave of Black voices.”
In response to COVID-19, Afrochella will continue to partner with the Ghanian government and public health officials to adhere to safety protocols and procedures to ensure our customers and partners have a healthy and enjoyable experience. Please visit https://afrochella.com/ to read about our safety enhancements and
Entry to this event is limited to 100 attendees with RSVPs required. Tickets for the Afrochella Music Museum can be found here: https://afrochella.com/events. For more information on Afrochella 2021, please visit https://afrochella.com/ and follow @afrochella on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop about upcoming
About Culture Management Group LLC
Culture Management Group LLC (CMG) is an African focused media management company introducing a diverse and innovative perspective to the African event space. Our primary focus is to highlight creative talent from and within the African continent via event management & marketing, cultural showcases, and digital documentation. CMG is also the parent company for Afrochella, an annual event located in Accra, Ghana.
About YouTubeBlack Voices Fund
YouTube announced the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a multi-year $100 million fund dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories. The fund was created through the idea of investing with an intention: to present fresh narratives that emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice. The fund welcomed a global group of diverse artists to its inaugural Class of 2021, and through the resources provided — dedicated one to one support, seed funding, and training and networking programs — they have achieved incredible growth, not only on YouTube, but in their careers.
Afrochella Public Relations
For YouTube Music:
Nigerian superstar, Wizkid has confirmed his appearance and performance at this year’s Afrochella music festival.
The popular African music carnival hosted in Accra, Ghana will come off this year in December. The show did not come off last year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with the world coming back to normal gradually, organizers of the music festival have announced that Afrochella is returning this year and Wizkid will be one of the headlining acts to perform.
This year’s show has themed “Made in Africa” Afrochella Festival 2021 will happen with a series of events in December with its mega show to be staged at the El Wak Stadium in Accra, Ghana on December 28th from noon till late.
“In the last five years, we’ve made a significant impact on Ghana and its surrounding communities through our Afrochella events,” says Abdul Karim Abdullah, CEO & Co-Founder of Afrochella.
“This year, we’re thrilled to return to El Wak Stadium with Wizkid to celebrate our fifth anniversary and to support the revitalization of Ghana’s travel & hospitality industry. We look forward to welcoming travelers back to the country to once again safely enjoy live events,” he added in a press release.
This year’s event will include other elements such as Afrochella Rising Star Challenge, Afrochella Music Museum: Exhibition History of Ghana, Scarecrow Art Installation, African Fashion Night Out in Collaboration with Debonair Afrikk, Afrochella Runway – Exhibition Space for Ghanaian Fashion Designers, Amapiano & Brunch and Afrochella Talks.
The lineup of mini-events for this year’s Afrocehella show is expected to kick off from 5th December and run through the month to early next year.
Ghana’s biggest branding campaign “Year of Return” ended last year with heritage tourism being the core pull factor for the African American population. It will go down as one of the country’s biggest branding and tourism campaign and its effect were felt around the globe.
The country’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who launched the project in America in 2018 has opened the new chapter which seeks to build on the goodwill the country has enjoyed to drive Diaspora investment into the West African country.
He launched the “Beyond the Return “ initiative and the Ghana Tourism Authority is expected to play a key role in the execution of this initiative.
Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) annually embarks on several marketing campaigns in its source markets. While there are new areas they seek to explore, GTA is equally keen to consolidate markets that have naturally been considered key to its marketing strategies.
The Netherlands is one of the countries they often showcase the country’s tourism assets. It’s capital, Amsterdam is connected to Accra daily by KLM and adds up to the factors which influence their choices. Vakantiebeurs Consumer Holiday Fair was the first stop for the Authority.
Millennials’ excitement about Ghana
Year of Return might have ended but the collateral success is still attracting people to Ghana. During the show, Millennials’ who visited Ghana’s stand were looking to visit Ghana at some point during the summer holidays. They made mention of programs such as Afrochella and AfroNation as some of the events they want to participate in.
The Suriname community in the Netherlands see Ghana as their natural home and can’t get enough of the rich Ghanaian culture.
Business & strategic meetings
The CEO of the GTA Akwasi Agyeman and his team held several meetings with hospitality and tourism institutions to explore a partnership to the benefit of Ghana’s burgeoning tourism sector.
Ghana Day Reception
The Ghana Day celebration has become one of the social events GTA holds to showcase the gastronomy of the country as well as the display of rich Ghanaian music and dance. Once again, the Year of Return vibe attracted hundreds of trade and consumers to the Ghana stand. Ghana’s Ambassador to the Netherlands H.E. Sophia Honar Sam led the cultural dancers with “Adowa” dance.
Prospects of Netherlands-Belgium Markets
The GTA CEO in his remark to the press at the just ended exhibition said, they would like to continue the marketing efforts in the Netherlands and also encourage diasporans and Ghanaians living in the Netherlands to come home and invest in the country’s economy since it offers a better return on investment.
It’s the last Saturday of the year in the heart of Accra, Ghana’s capital. The air is thick with the anticipation of the thousands of revelers who have swarmed the gates of El Wak Stadium to take part in an annual celebration of African culture known as Afrochella.
Inside it’s a sea of diversity. Austrian, Ivorian and Nigerian men pose for cameras before inviting an American woman to join.
Nearby, two French women draped in the traditional Ghanaian Kente cloth dance to a mix of reggae and afrobeats.
At the bar, four British men chat with locals while scanning the crowd bathed in neon lights.
They all have one thing in common: they answered Ghana’s call to come home.
A new Harlem Renaissance
Ghana is having a moment and some describe it as akin to the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s movement in the United States that’s credited with revolutionizing African-American arts and culture.
Ana Lucia Araujo, Professor of History at Howard University, says what’s happening in Africa now correlates almost identically with the Harlem experience.
“The Harlem Renaissance was a time when African culture and arts were finally being valued during a period when segregation and racism ran rampant in America,” Araujo told CNN.
“We are finding now that the diaspora wants to experience their culture and feel accepted in a place where racism is not so engrained as in many parts of the West,” she says of Ghana’s appeal.
Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuo, a 35-year-old Ghanaian citizen who serves as the head of marketing for an insurance company, agrees.
“We are getting to a point where the dichotomy between Africans and the diaspora is slowly fading away,” she says. “We are all starting to see that we are all African. What is happening here is a celebration of culture and it has helped me to see that being African is so cool.”
The Pan-African movement
This is not the first time that African-Americans and the diaspora have heeded the call to come home to Africa.
Araujo says that shortly after the US abolition of slavery in the 19th century, influential leaders such as Marcus Garvey pleaded with African-Americans to return to Africa, some staying for good, including the Pan-Africanist intellectual, W.E.B. Dubois.
In 2019, Ghana ran a hugely popular Year of Return campaign to attract international visitors of Ghanaian descent.
In Accra, people from all walks of life arrived in the thousands in the last few days of 2019. Among them was the mother of megastar Beyoncé, Tina Lawson, who was visiting Ghana for the first time.
“This experience has been eye-opening,” she told CNN in Accra. “I understand now why everyone is talking about coming here. This place makes me want to heal.”
Felix Darko, 26, a German-Ghanaian computer engineer who moved to Ghana when he was eight, says the Year of Return is significant.”It was the year that Ghana jumped into the global and diaspora consciousness,” he says.
“This place is incredibly rich in culture and is also one of the more culturally relevant places to visit for the diaspora as most slaves that were taken from the continent were done so from our shores.”
‘A spiritual and birthright journey’
The Year of Return marked 400 years since the first arrival of African slaves stepped on American soil.
The Ghana Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture spearheaded the campaign, inviting the “global African family, home and abroad” to make the “landmark spiritual and birthright journey.”
Two hours west of the capital, in the Cape Coast, comedian Steve Harvey, actors Boris Kodjoe, Danny Glover and musicians T.I. and Ludacris all visited the Elmina Castle, a life-changing trip for most, who come to tour the major hub that served as the final destination in Africa for millions of slaves before being shipped overseas.
Ghana Tourism Authority’s CEO, Akwasi Agyemang, told CNN that the social, economic and media impact from Year of Return has been a “phenomenal awakening.”
A rival to Ibiza or Cape Cod?
The World Bank also notes that compared to 2018, Ghana’s economy expanded with a GDP growth rate at 6.7% in the first quarter alone, its private sector grew stronger and local businesses have seen a significant improvement, said Agyemang.
Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo said last December that the diaspora has positively impacted countries “through increased trade activities, investments and the transfer of skills.”
Ghana made 126 African-Americans and Caribbeans its citizens part of Year of Return celebrations
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo/Facebook
Asante Berko, owner of two restaurants, AM&PM and Fat Fish, at Accra’s upscale community, the Villagio, described how his businesses have been impacted in one word: “Phenomenal.”
“Sales practically tripled,” he said, adding that demand was so high that he was forced to turn people away.
But the reason behind this was more important than the business revenue, he insists. “To be a part of this movement has taught me the strength in numbers. [The diaspora] can normalize this and make this a place akin to Ibiza or Cape Cod.”
The country’s tourism authority agrees. “This is a very important time for this country,” CEO Agyemang says.
“People are now starting to make the pilgrimage here just like Jerusalem or Mecca, and we are here to welcome them if they decide to return.”
Ghanaian-American Kojo Terry Oppong, the owner of a Ghanaian lifestyle concierge service, doesn’t need any further convincing to return.
“As many of us in the diaspora experience our “moment of clarity,” he says.
“I trust that others will join me in agreeing that it is not malaria, poor infrastructure, etc… that you need to be concerned about. It is the “Ghana Bug,” which once bitten, makes you hold her dear in your heart.
“You will find yourself coming back again, and again, and again,” he says.
What seemed to be the last major event on the tourism calendar for 2018 did not disappoint patrons. The 2018 Culture Afrochella dubbed #afrochella18 came off at the El-wak Sports Stadium on Saturday December 29, 2018 bringing traffic to a stand-still.
The beautifully and artistically designed entrance was just a foretaste of what was in-stock for patrons. From afrocentric dressing to woodcraft, acrobatic display to foot’pool’, eye-opening paintings to giant candies, the photo opportunities were endless but requiring phones with extra memory space for selfies.
The music was just ‘afrocentrically’ riveting as the food caused taste buds to produce excess saliva. Crowning it all was the evening musical performances that left no room for parking for patrons who arrived late. Patrons are already looking forward to the 2019 edition and organizers have promised nothing but a more exciting event.