GTA Calls For Event Proposals for ‘December-In-GH’ 2022

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Call For Event Proposals for ‘December in GH’ 2022

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has announced a call for entries for event organisers and promoters to submit their proposals for inclusion in the calendar of events for the much anticipated ‘December in GH’ campaign for December 2022.

This announcement comes at a time when the Authority  prepares an anticipated increase in international arrivals with the easing of travel restrictions worldwide.

The project being cordinated by the Beyond the Return (BTR) Secretariat invites all event organisers interested in having their event endorsed as an official ‘Beyond the Return’ program, to submit formal proposals. The team is accepting proposals for events taking place from November 1, 2022 to January 10, 2023. The team encourages all interested in holding events to consider activities that can engage the global African diaspora, continental Africans and Ghanaians .

According to the CEO of the Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, “The vision is to have events that can bring together the global African community to celebrate the holiday season in Ghana. For the past 3 years since we launched the December in GH program, Ghana has become the place to be during Christmas” .

“We all know that every December, Accra becomes the cultural hotspot of Africa with so many events happening and thousands from the diaspora spending their holidays here,” said Annabelle McKenzie, Manager of the Beyond the Return Secretariat. “Ghana is a diverse and beautiful country with so many places to explore.  That’s why we encourage all event organisers to consider planning their events, festivals, concerts, and activities in other regions outside Greater Accra. We want the ‘December in GH’ vibe to be experienced not only in the capital city, but across the country.”

An official calendar of events will be released once event organisers have submitted proposals and they have been reviewed by GTA for endorsement.  Proposals can be submitted using this link: https://forms.gle/vRj6ZE6hBZozQ4uu9 or completing the form below.

 

 

‘Beyond the Return’ is a ten-year initiative with a theme of ‘A Decade of African Renaissance.’  with seven pillars as its foundation.  Each of the pillars are significant to the mission of continued engagement with the diaspora community as well as continental Africans.  The seven pillars are Experince Ghana, Celebrate Ghana, Give Back Ghana, Invest in Ghana, Brand Ghana, Diaspora Pathways to Ghana and Promote Pan African Heritage and Innovation. It’s important that potential event organizers consider how their event connects with the pillars when planning.

More information about Beyond the Return can be found on the website www.beyondthereturngh.com.

Information from Ghana Tourism Authority can be found at www.visitghana.com.

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Wizkid confirmed to perform at Afrochella 2021

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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.

Source: Ameya Debrah

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2021 ‘December In Gh’ Schedule of Events

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ACCRA, GHANA – November, 3, 2021 – Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Beyond the Return Secretariat officially announce the highly anticipated schedule of endorsed events for December in GH (December in Ghana).

 

The official calendar includes activities for the month of November 2021 through early January 2022.  Some of the most highly anticipated events are back this season including Afrochella (December 28), A Taste of Ghana (December 27), Polo Beach Club (December 26-January 2), Little Havana (December 26), and GUBA Cruise (January 2).   “We’re excited to share all the events happening in Ghana for the holiday season,” said Ms. Annabelle McKenzie, Director of the Beyond the Return Secretariat.

The Events

Click to Download/View December In Gh Events

 

 

This year’s activities also includes programs happening in other regions that will give travellers to Ghana an opportunity to explore other parts of the country and partake in the various cultures.  “We’ve endorsed events happening in other regions including the Volta Region, Upper East, Western, and Bono East.” Ms. McKenzie said. “It’s wonderful being able to engage with Ghanaian communities outside of Greater Accra.”  Events outside of the capital city include The Volta Fair (Volta Region), Bolgatanga International Arts & Crafts Fair (Upper East), The Feok Festival (Upper East), Samanpiid Festival (North East) and Kids in Tourism (Ashanti, Bono, Bono East & Central).

As Ghana continues to be the destination of choice in West Africa during the holiday season, it’s anticipated that thousands of travellers will be arriving in the country throughout the coming weeks.  With the Covid-19 pandemic still a concern, the Ghana Tourism Authority will work with the security agencies to ensure that event organisers comply with protocols set in place by the National Covid-19 Task Force and the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare.  “Guests will be required to present Covid-19 vaccination cards prior to entering all the events that are going to be endorsed,” explained Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority.  Face masks would also be mandatory for all guests from age five and above with temperature checks taken upon entry and sanitizing stations throught event venues. Although the event schedule has been released, event organizers interested in having their programs included as part of the official calendar can still submit their proposals to the Beyond the Return Secretariat via email at [email protected].

 

Beyond the Return is a 10-year initiative and a follow up to the successful Year of Return in 2019 that attracted thousands of visitors to Ghana.  The theme for the initiative is ‘A Decade of African Renaissance’ and its foundation has seven pillars that touch on the areas Ghana is working towards in strengthening relations with its diaspora community.  Each of the events have their own unique traits that will align with the pillars which are; Experience Ghana, Celebrate Ghana, Give Back Ghana, Brand Ghana, Promote Pan-African Heritage and Innovation, Invest in Ghana and Diaspora Pathways to Ghana.

 

For more information contact the office by email on [email protected].  Alternatively you can make contact via Whatsapp on +233 24 040 2408. Visit the website for updated information on activities at www.beyondthereturngh.com

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Beyond The Return Announces ‘December In GH’

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ACCRA TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE

25TH OCTOBER, 2021
Beyond the Return has officially announced “December in GH’ activities this year. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Accra Tourism Information Centre on Monday 25th October. The Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, member for Beyond the Return Steering Committee, Mr. Kwame Acheampong Boateng Esq., and Deputy CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Technical and Operations, Mr. Ekow Sampson were present.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has approved that the events could go on provided they adhere to the strict covid-19 protocols outlined in collaboration with the National Covid-19 Task Force and the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare.

Events like Afrochella is one of the highly anticipated events that has already been approved with their date announced for 28th December. Other events coming include Polo Beach Club, Rhythms on da Runway, GUBA Awards, Taste of Ghana, Kwanzaa in Ghana, Diaspora Transition, and Ahaspora Conference will soon be announcing their dates. The Beyond the Return Secretariat is still engaging with event organizers and some events have already been confirmed but committed to adhering to the required protocols. Contactless ticketing is being encouraged as much as possible where tickets can be scanned on mobile devices. By 1st November the full list and calendar of events will be placed on BTR websites.

Guests at the events will be required to present covid-19 vaccination cards before entering all the events that are going to be endorsed and guests ages five and upwards will be required to wear face masks. Temperature checks would be completed before entering all events and entry sanitizer systems will be used along with hand sanitizer stations located throughout the event venues.

The covid-19 pandemic affected tourism on a global scale, the sector has had to find ways to recover from the challenges experienced. According to Dr. Awal, Ghana’s tourism sector suffered losses of eight billion cedis last year. Ghana is expecting about 150,000 foreign arrivals between now and December. The World Bank’s 13 million cedis has already been disbursed to support the tourism sector.

We are launching ‘Destination Ghana’ in the USA and the aim is to increase tourism. It will be launched in Los Angeles and New York. “We want to make Ghana a world tourism destination.”

About December In GH

Ghana has over the year’s gradually become the preferred destination for many from across the world seeking alternatives to snowy Christmas and New Year celebration. The country has seen a rising number of people visiting during the Yuletide with their family and friends to #ExperienceGhana and #ShareGhana. The past years have also seen many Hollywood Stars including Naomi Campbell, Boris Coudjo, Hisham Tawfiq, Lupita Nyong’o, Samuel L. Jackson, T.I., Cardi B and many more visit during the Year of Return.

The Ghana Tourism Authority partners several event organiser to host many events to provide several option for everyone through November to January dubbed “December In GH”. Some of the major events include Afrochella and Afro Nation.

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Ghana welcomes 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Survivors to fulfill their dream of visiting Africa

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There was so much anticipation and emotion while waiting for the flight carrying two survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre to arrive in Accra.  In 1921, the area of Greenwood in the city of Tulsa Oklahoma was burned down by a mob of whites who targeted the thriving black community. Thousands were left homeless and many were killed in the attack. Viola Fletcher, aka, ‘Mother Fletcher’, who was 7 years old at the time is till haunted by memories of the viscous attack. She’s often said that it’s been a dream to visit Africa before she sees God and this journey would fulfill that desire. Fletcher, who is 107 years old, and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, aka ‘Uncle Red’ age 100, have successfully fulfilled the lifelong dream of coming to Africa when they landed in Accra yesterday afternoon.

Co-Founding Chair of the African Legacy Foundation, Dr. Toni Luck, who flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa and Ambassador Erieka Bennett, who is Head of Missions at the Diaspora African Forum, both were so filled with joy knowing that they were about to land in Ghana.  “It’s like waiting for my own grandmother,” Bennett said.  Dr. Luck, was pacing around the VIP lounge with so much excitement like a child on Christmas morning. She said she’s met Mother Fletcher before, but this moment was more special than any other.

There was so much anticipation and emotion while waiting for the flight carrying two survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre to arrive in Accra.  In 1921, the area of Greenwood in the city of Tulsa Oklahoma was burned down by a mob of whites who targeted the thriving black community. Thousands were left homeless and many were killed in the attack. Viola Fletcher, aka, ‘Mother Fletcher’, who was 7 years old at the time is till haunted by memories of the viscous attack. She’s often said that it’s been a dream to visit Africa before she sees God and this journey would fulfill that desire. Fletcher, who is 107 years old, and her brother Hughes Van Ellis, aka ‘Uncle Red’ age 100, have successfully fulfilled the lifelong dream of coming to Africa when they landed in Accra yesterday afternoon.

Co-Founding Chair of the African Legacy Foundation, Dr. Toni Luck, who flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa and Ambassador Erieka Bennett, who is Head of Missions at the Diaspora African Forum, both were so filled with joy knowing that they were about to land in Ghana.  “It’s like waiting for my own grandmother,” Bennett said.  Dr. Luck, was pacing around the VIP lounge with so much excitement like a child on Christmas morning. She said she’s met Mother Fletcher before, but this moment was more special than any other.

When the car pulled up with the two centenarians everyone applauded with overwhelming joy.  Mother Fletcher and Uncle Redd both stepped out of the airport car, grabbed their walkers and made their way into the VIP lounge to be greeted by everyone.  After all the necessary protocols were taken care of at the airport, the siblings were escorted to their vehicles and made their way to their hotel where they were greeted with a true Ghanaian welcome featuring a cultural display of drumming and dancing in their honour.  Uncle Redd was spotted moving his hands to the beat of the drum and Mother Fletcher’s eyes showed true joy as her grandson, Ike Vernon Howard, spun her around in a wheelchair dancing to the music.

The Diaspora African Forum played a big role in coordinating with Our Black Truth to make this trip a success with the support of The Diaspora Affairs Office of the President, Beyond the Return and Ghana Tourism Authority.  The coming week is filled with some activities that will give them an opportunity to experience Ghana, learn the culture and history while meeting some wonderful people.  Fletcher and Van Ellis are in for the experience of a lifetime.

 

By Ivy Prosper

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‘Africa Will Be a Powerful Force for World Development’ says Yofi Grant at Ghana Diaspora Investment Summit

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Although 2020 was a year filled with global tragedy due to the pandemic, Yofi Grant, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, believes that the year also ushered in Africa’s decade and that Africa as we know it, is not just its citizens, it is every person of African descent living anywhere in the world. He delivered opening remarks at the maiden edition of the Ghana Diaspora Investment Summit which took place June 23 -24, 2021, in person at the Kempinski Hotel and streamed live on social media platforms. The theme of the event was, The New Normal: Leveraging diaspora investments to build back better.’

The event was organized by Ghana Investment Promotion Centre who partnered with the Beyond the Return Secretariat, Ghana Tourism Authority, Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Diaspora African Forum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, and the Ministry of Information.

The core focus of the 2-day event was to provide an overview of investment opportunities in Ghana, learning from key business players in various industry sectors, encouraging partnerships between the public and private sectors, sharing ideas, plans and policies for support of the business climate, and feedback from diasporans about potential and areas that need improvement.

One of the important pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative is Invest in Ghana and this event played a key role in supporting that initiative. “This has been a successful summit,” said the CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, “As the Minister of Information said, it shouldn’t remain a summit, there has to be action after the summit.” Agyeman said that taking advantage of networking at the event provided valuable opportunities that fostered new relationships and established synergies to create new products, services, and programs.  He added that he is looking forward to next year when we would hear about the fruits of collaborations that were sparked at this event.

Stories of impact were also shared by diasporans who have made the return to Ghana, started their own businesses and creating investment opportunities for themselves and for others. Neil Oku, CEO of Golden Coast Developers was one of the featured speakers who shared his personal experience on moving to Ghana. “I wanted to feel that I was really going to make a change and that’s what really drove me to Ghana,” he said. Oku left his job on Wall Street to build a new career based on the opportunities he saw. “I came because I felt Ghana was the next wave. Ghana was really moving towards a trajectory…. you don’t have to be a Ghanaian to feel the innovation going on.”

H.E. Ambassador Erieka Bennett, who is Head of Missions at the Diaspora African Forum, shared the importance of remaining connected with diasporans who continue to have a strong interest in visiting, moving to or investing in Ghana.  Bennett said that African Heads of State are understanding that in order to move Africa forward we need to move with the diaspora. “Every Diasporan I know, they want to come to Ghana,” she said.  “There’s a lady who is 107 years old…. she’s coming to Ghana with her brother who is 100 and some of her colleagues who are 92 and 95.”  This woman is a survivor of the Tulsa Massacre in 1921 when white residents burned down a prominent Black business district.  Ambassador Bennett is one of the most engaged with the diaspora community when they make their transition to Ghana.

 

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, said there are enormous opportunities to grow in Ghana and grow with Ghana. Ofori-Atta returned to Ghana 30 years ago after living abroad and partnered to start an investment bank at a time when resources available for launching a business in Ghana were far less than they are today. In sharing his personal journey, he wanted to narrate that despite the challenges it can be done, and Ghana is a great place to do it.

He has an appreciation of what it takes to make the leap to move to Ghana and urged people in the diaspora to make it a personal decision without influence of politics or others around you. “Look deep down in your heart as to why you are coming,” he said. “It’s spiritual, economic, 400 years…it’s here and we should all come back home.”

By: Ivy Prosper

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African Diaspora in Ghana to join Beyond the Return to plant trees as Ghana goes green

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The ‘Beyond The Return’ program is partnering with the local diaspora community to plant trees for the “Green Ghana Project,” which is an initiative championed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission.

On Friday, 11th June 2021, five million trees will be planted across Ghana. Planting trees will help protect watersheds, reduce erosion and moderate the climate, and serve as habitat and provide food for many birds and other wildlife.

Diasporans representing the Diaspora Coalition, African American Association of Ghana, Ghana Caribbean Association, Omega Psi Phi Tau Chi chapter, and Voyajah will plant trees on behalf of the ‘Beyond The Return’ program and the Give Back Ghana” pillar.

About Beyond the Return
‘Beyond the Return’ is a 10-year initiative with the theme, ‘A Decade of African Renaissance’. The vision is to continue fostering relationships with the global diaspora community through tourism, investments and repatriation.
The initiative is a follow up to Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ campaign and is Cordinated by the Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.

For more information about ‘Beyond The Return’ visit www.beyondthereturngh.com or social media @beyondthereturn

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Beyond The Return: Chappelle Inspired By Stevie Wonder to visit Ghana

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In a recent interview on Supermodel Naomi Campbell’s YouTube Series, Unfiltered with Naomi, Comedian Dave Chappelle said he was inspired by Stevie Wonder to visit Ghana. Chappelle, who has been a comedian for three decades, spoke in the nearly one hour interview about his goals, memories and plans for the future. “I want to build something that lasts beyond me,” he told Campbell. He was thinking about creating something that leaves a lasting legacy.

 

“Where do want to go? I mean you’ve been around the world,” Campbell asked him. “Stevie Wonder said in the press recently that he wanted to move to Ghana,” he said. Explaining that Wonder has spoken about coming to Ghana many times through the years, he said there was something different about the way he said it this time around. “This last time he said it, what he said was, ‘I’m moving to Ghana so I can be valued and respected more’….it was almost exactly the phrase he used. You’ve got to think that as a Black American, who amongst us is more valued or respected than Stevie Wonder? And the idea that he would feel this way at this stage in his life, and his career….” He also noted that the award-winning singer/songwriter said he wanted to do this for his grandchildren. “To see him decide to make that move, I wanted to go.”

Campbell, who has been passionate about Africa since the mid-nineties when she was introduced to Nelson Mandela, has been on a mission to put Africa in the spotlight. Chappelle said he called her immediately when considering the visit to Ghana and she put him in contact with British-Ghanaian Architect, David Adjaye, who designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. “So we’ve been working together hopefully I’ll build something there,” he said. “I hope to open a comedy club there because I heard there’s none,” he continued. This would be welcome news to all the comedians in Ghana and other parts of West Africa to have a hub that showcases comedy shows in Ghana.

By: Ivy Prosper

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The NAACP And Ghana, A Shared Identity

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been at the forefront of the civil rights movement for over a century.  Founded, on February 12, 1909, they are the oldest civil rights organization in the United States.  As we mark their 112th anniverary, it was important to share a brief history of the organization and why they are still important today.

 

What many people don’t know is that the Niagara Movement, which was an organization of black intellectuals, is seen as the predecessor of the NAACP.  The Niagara Movement included 29 African Americans who had a secret meeting in 1905 in Fort Erie, Ontario Canada (close to Niagara Falls). Where they created a manifesto that was focused on finding ways to abolish racial discrimination.  Many of the members of the Niagara Movement, were subsequently some of the founders of the NAACP.

One of the most notable founding members of the NAACP, was W.E.B. DuBois, who went on to become one of the most important historical figures in the Pan Africanist movement.  President Kwame Nkrumah convinced DuBois to visit Ghana in 1960 and he eventually moved and became a Ghanaian citizen. He died in Ghana and was buried there, his grave being one of the most visited sites in the country.

 

Other founding members of the NAACP included Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell and a group of white liberals who also wanted racial justice; Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz.

Throughout history, the NAACP has fought against the many injustices that faced Black people including, voting rights, segregation, racial violence, discrimination in employment opportunities, anti-lynching, education and many more of the constitutional rights they were being denied.

 

The NAACP has also been at the fore when it comes to important litigation cases.  They established the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund in 1939 and have been successful in legal battles that have led to changes in the legal system including the 1954 school segregation ruling in Topeka.

 

During the 1980s, the NAACP showed their solidarity for Black South Africans when they spoke publicly against the Apartheid system, which was reminiscent of the experiences African Americans also had in the United States.

Derrick Johnson currently serves as the 19th President of the NAACP.  He has led the organization with being on the frontlines of many current pressing issues of the African American community. In 2019, he also partnered with the Jamestown to Jamestown project that marked the 400 year anniversary of the documented ship of enslaved Africans that arrived in the U.S. It was a collaboration with the ‘Year of Return’ and The Adinkra Group and brought over 250 African Americans on a life-changing journey to Ghana. It was a historic trip as a Grand Durbar was held in their honour and the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, was in attendance and gave a special warm welcome to all the African Americans by taking a moment to shake everyone’s hand.  “We want to thank you for the open arms that you have received us with. We are proud to be African, we are proud to be a part of this great celebration. We are proud to be with you today,” Derrick Johnson said when addressing the crowd at the Grand Durbar in Jamestown, Accra.

The NAACP continues to play an important role in the lives of the African American community.  They are actively involved in federal advocacy, justice, education, supporting economic opportunities, health and diversity in America.

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‘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.

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