The shining ‘Black Star’ of Africa is ready for you to come and celebrate your December in Ghana. Each year the holiday celebrations in Ghana keep getting bigger and attracting people from around the world. Expectations are high for this year as global tourism continues to increase. “Today as we launch ‘December in GH’ 2022, we take pride in seeing Ghana continue to be the leading country of choice for travel during the holiday season in West Africa,” said the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal. “Tourism has become one of the most important sectors in Ghana’s economy and shows no sign of slowing down. We anticipate that ‘December in GH’ for 2022 will become record-breaking as more travellers take the journey to Ghana,” he said at the official launch event which took place at La Palm Royal Beach Resort on 4th August 2022.
‘December in GH’ was originally launched in 2019, during the Year of Return as a tourism activation and has since become an important part of marketing events that attract thousands to visit Ghana for the holiday season into the new year. “‘December in GH’ is one of the biggest activations in our tourism sector and one that touches on the three pillars of our ministry; tourism, arts and culture,” said Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). “Many of the events are also central to the pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative as we continue to engage with the historical diaspora community….Events in December have become flagships that attract people from around the world who plan their vacation in Ghana around event’s dates.” Despite the pandemic the last couple of years, people in the global diaspora community have continued to visit Ghana and have especially looked forward to some of the popular events that celebrate the country’s culture through music, fashion, live performances, food and culture.
Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, was in attendance for the launch receiving a citation for the work he has done since 2019 in bridging the gap between the diaspora and Ghana. “Ghana is important to Africa, Ghana is important to the diaspora,” he said in his address. “Once we link as a diaspora we are stronger…it’s through the African diaspora that we can succeed.” The citation was presented to him by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return secretariat. “We look forward to the continued development of our relationship with the NAACP in encouraging the diaspora to make the trip to Ghana,” Agyeman said.
Some of the industry stakeholders present at the event included the Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Sackey, the Board for the Ghana Tourism Authority, Steering Committee Members for Beyond the Return, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant and the Director of the National Commission on Culture, Edna Nyame. Along with industry stakeholders, some event organizers were also in attendance at the launch. Some of the events returning for this year include Afrochella, Afro Nation, Akwaaba UK, Rhythms on da Runway, Kids in Tourism, GT Bank Concern, BHIM Concert, Joyful Way and A Taste of Ghana. There are some exciting new events also added to this year’s calendar of events, which will soon to be announced in the coming weeks.
Call For Event Proposals for ‘December in GH’ 2022
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.
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.
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
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.
The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has on Monday, December 21, 2020, launched a social media travel and win campaign to reward deserving Ghanaian tourists during this Christmas festivities.
As part of the Authority’s mandate to drive the agenda of tourism and enhance the active participation of locals in the tourism and hospitality industries, the GTA has initiated a 6 weeks’ campaign christened ‘The Snap Tour’ campaign.
The campaign scheduled for 21st December 2020 to 31st January 2021 is to reward Ghanaian indigenes who make efforts to travel to local tourist destinations of their choice within the Campaign timeframe.
The Snap Tour Campaign is aimed at rediscovering Ghanaian tourist sites and further rekindling the dying fire of Domestic Tourism due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
To be part of the set of lucky winners for the Snap Tour social media campaign, participants must visit any local tourist sites of their choice, take photos and share on their various social media platforms alongside the campaign’s hashtags.
The full rules for participation are found below:
HOW TO JOIN
All Ghanaians above the age of 18 are eligible to participate in this contest. To participate, kindly follow the rules below:
Step 1: Travel to your favorite tourist location from 21st December 2020 to 31st January 2021.
Step 2: Take a photo of yourself at your chosen tourist location. Photos taken prior to the campaign dates shall be nullified. Filters will be used to screen photos.
Step 3: Explore your creativity. Post your best photo with an amazing caption on all social media handles.
Step 4: Tag our social media handles in your post and use the hashtag #Snaptour. Social media channels in focus are:
Facebook – Ghana Tourism Authority (@ghanatourismauthority)
Twitter – ghanatourismGTA (@ghanatourismGTA)
Instagram – Ghana Tourism Authority (@ghanatourismauthority)
SELECTION OF WINNERS
3 Winners shall be selected at the end of every week. These winners shall be determined based on their overall engagements (shares, comments and likes) on the photos they submitted in the contest. They shall also be judged based on best caption and best photo.
Final Winners: 3 Winners shall be selected at the end of the campaign. These winners shall be determined based on their overall engagements (shares, comments and likes) on the photos they submitted in the contest. They shall also be judged based on best caption and best photo.
Celebrated Holywood African- American actor, Boris Kodjoe has voiced his opinion on the media’s depiction of Africa as a war-ridden continent. For him, the opportunity to showcase the other side of Africa to the world was not only to commemorate the 400thyear of the arrival of the first documented enslaved Africans in Virginia but to also help make that switch from the mentality of “Descendants of Slaves” to “Descendants of Survivors”.
According to him, they (Boris, his wife, his brother, Bozoma Saint John and his crew) wanted to show people the true side of Africa because the media’s narrative of Africa as a famine and war zone is quite disappointing and perpetuation of falsehood. He stated that Africa is not a country, as some people perceive. On the contrary, he stressed the fact that seven (7) out of the 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa with a rich diversity in food, culture, music, people etc.
Speaking on the American talk show, THE REAL, the actor of Ghanaian descent asserted, “traditional media has painted a picture of Africa as a place of war and famine to Europe and it’s not true”. And we wanted to show people the True side of Africa”. He recounted all the fun they had with the huge crowds at the Afrochella festival and Afronation, which were two of the major events that took place in December in Ghana.
He made these remarks with regard while sharing his experience at the Essence Full Circle festival held in Ghana. He also spoke about visiting amazing Heritage sites in Ghana such as the Cape Coast Castle and many other heritage sites. He added that Africa was not just great for tourism but also great for business.
The Essence Full Circle festival was held in Ghana under the ‘Year of Return’ initiative, which was themed “Celebrating the African Resilience”. Thousands of people of African origin especially African Americans including several Hollywood celebrities visited Ghana for Christmas. Some of the stars include Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell, Akon, Rick Ross, T.I., Ludacris, Steve Harvey and several others from the diaspora who were all welcomed home to Ghana and will hopefully become one of the legacies which celebrate African resilience.
Also visiting Ghana in 2019 to partake in the celebration were the Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Black Caucus, Kofi Kingston and also the Prime Minister of Barbados.
The Ghana Tourism Authority, on behalf of the Government of Ghana, and Event Horizon, Organisers of the Afro-Nation Festival, on Monday, 20th January 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Ghana to play host to “the biggest urban music beach festival in the world” for the next five years.
The MoU, which was signed by Mr. Akwasi, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), and Obi Asika, CEO of Event Horizon, was witnessed by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in London, on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit.
The signing of the MoU is part of a number of plans Ghana is putting in place, as it kick-starts the “Beyond the Return” project.
‘Beyond the Return’ aims to engage Africans in the Diaspora and all persons of African descent more positively in areas such as trade and investment co-operation, and skills and knowledge development.
The MoU will also allow the Ghana Tourism Authority and any governmental ministry, agency or authority it deems necessary to on behalf of the Government of Ghana, oversee all designs, content and production of Merchandise for the Afro-Nation Ghana Project.
The parties have also agreed, in preparation for the event every year, to establish a Local Organising Committee, comprising of representatives of each of the parties or their affiliates for the Afro-Nation Ghana Project with the LOC, amongst other duties, to be stated in the binding document responsible for securing additional sponsorship for the project.
In his remarks, after the signing of the MoU, Obi Asika stated that “Ghana is a welcoming destination, and we were happy with the warm reception we received since we took Afro-Nation to the country. The President’s commitment to the project is unparalleled, and we look forward to another successful event in December 2020“.
On his part, the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyeman said “Afro-Nation is amongst one of the key events on which we are anchoring the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative. We want to make Ghana the number one entertainment destination in Africa. December in Ghana will never be the same again”.
About Beyond The Return
Beyond the Return” is a follow-up to the successful Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ campaign which commemorated the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in Jamestown Virginia in 1619. The landmark campaign also celebrated the resilience of the African over the past 400 years and welcomed all people of African origin to return to Africa especially Ghana.