Year of Return: Virgin-islands Senators Open the Floor to Culture

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Friday, V.I. senators celebrated the Year of Return, Ghana 2019; the International Decade of People of African Descent; and V. I. Emancipation and Freedom Week.

Bills the Senate had passed recognizing the importance of the culture and heritage of the Virgin Islands were read, but it was song, dance and poetry that brought Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall on St. Thomas alive during the morning celebration that ran into the afternoon. Viewers of the performances on its live broadcast on Facebook said the performances brought tears to their eyes.

The Ulla F. Muller Elementary School Bamboula Dancers accompanied by drummers danced in the Senate Chamber and brought comments on Facebook about how beautiful the performance was. So did the dance performance by Earth Mamas Pan African Dance Company. The third dance performance was by Empresses Addaliah and Atiyah Potter.

The program was tied together with a sober theme. It commemorated the men, the women and the children who were yanked from their West African homes and sold into slavery so a profit-crazed minority could make larger profits. A PBS video was played, “Why Did Europeans Enslave Africans?

The video illustrated how slavery was about making a profit for slave owners and how slavery evolved into racism.

Assata Afua, director Black Power Theater, relates her experience of Ghana. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)Assata Afua, director Black Power Theater, relates her experience of Ghana. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)
Assata Afua, director Black Power Theater, relates her experience of Ghana. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

Jackson told some of the story of Virgin Islander’s ancestors.

“They fought, they were thrown overboard, they were eaten by sharks, they gave birth, they died,” he said. Most Virgin Islanders have the blood of the survivors “running in our veins,” he said.

The connection between Ghana and the Virgin Islands’ past and present families was emphasized

Empresses Addaliah and Atiyah Potter made up the third dance performance. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)
Empresses Addaliah and Atiyah Potter made up the third dance performance. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

From Ghana, Alex Quaison-Sackey spoke about the connection. He is related to the first black African to serve as president of the United Nations General Assembly. Virgin Islander Myron Allick, representing the Sackey Family, spoke of that family’s connection to Ghana. He proposed an exchange program between Ghana and the Virgin Islands – 25 Virgin Islanders going to Ghana and 25 students from Ghana coming to the Virgin Islands. He suggested Carlsberg Brewery, which brews Elephant, a popular beer for Virgin Islanders, as a sponsor for the exchange.

Assata Afua, director of Black Power Theater, recounted her visit to Ghana and said when she returned, “I came back to St. Thomas my shoulders back a little further and my head a little higher.”

The first slave ship arrived in Jamestown in 1619. Jackson said that the settlers of Jamestown had stopped in the Virgin Islands on their way to settle Jamestown in 1607. He said. “The Virgin Islands are linked to this story, a world story.”

A Dutch ship named Desire delivered the 20 enslaved Africans to Jamestown. Some historians estimated that more than 7 million slaves were taken from Africa in the following century.

Jahwed David read a poem recalling the words of Maya Angelo “I am the hope and dream of slaves.”

Behind the speakers in the Senate Chambers was a large portrait of Edward Wilmot Blyden, widely known as the father of Pan-Africanism. He was born on Saint Thomas in 1832. He migrated back to Africa where he became a political figure.

Emancipation Day – July 3 – commemorates the day in 1848 when 9,000 enslaved Africans on St. Croix demanded their freedom, forcing Gov. Peter von Scholten to declare, “All unfree in the Danish West Indies are from today emancipated.”

Source: St. John Virgin Islands

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What You Need to Know Before Arriving in Accra for ‘Year of Return’

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Written by Ivy Prosper

You’ve booked your trip to Accra. Now the countdown begins.  As you prepare to travel to Ghana there are a few things you will need to know for your arrival.  If this is your first time coming to Ghana or even landing on the continent of Africa, you’re in for quite an experience.  

 

The city of Accra if a vibrant, eclectic mix of people from diverse backgrounds.  As the capital city of Ghana, it’s much like many other major metropolitan centres in that people from small towns and communities across the country move there in hopes of greener pastures.  The result is the hustle and bustle of a big city that’s crowded and often choked with traffic at peak times of the day. 

Airport City- Accra

 

Because of the diversity in its people, there are various cultural practices people maintain from their communities even though they are in Accra.  The city is historically the dwelling place for people of the Ga tribe. Their language, Ga, is spoken by many in Accra, especially in Accra Central and Jamestown.  However because of the migration of many people from the Akan tribes (this includes Ashanti, Akuapem, Akwamu, Akyem, Fante) into Greater Accra, the Twi language, has become a dominant one spoken by many people in Greater Accra.  In fact, that language has become so commonplace that it’s spoken by some even in regions where it’s not the native language.    

Despite the many groups in Greater Accra, because English is the official language of Ghana, nearly everyone speaks it, so as a tourist you will be able to manage.  Although you will frequently come across those who speak a local slang often called ‘Pidgeon English’. This is spoken widely in Ghana and you’ll also find it in Nigeria.  

 

Cultural Nuances

Anytime you travel to a new country, there are a few things you need to know.  Ghana isn’t much different. So here are some important things to note for your stay in Ghana.

Akwaaba – This means ‘Welcome’ in the Akan language.  It’s commonly used across Ghana as a welcome greeting.  As a visitor, you will often hear people say this to you when you visit places for the first time.  

 

Thank You – Thank You in the Akan language is ‘Medaase’. This is one of Ghana’s most common words used to show appreciation. 

The Use of Left Hand – In Ghanaian Culture, giving and receiving items is done only with the right hand.  For example is you are making a purchase, you are expected to hand the money using your right hand to the individual.  When using your left, you will hear an apology. “Sorry for left,” is commonly said when someone hands you something with a left hand. 

 

The reason is that culturally it’s believed the left hand is unclean since it’s supposed to be used to clean up after visiting ‘nature’s call’.  So using the left is considered disrespectful by many. 

PleaseThe word “please” is used quite often in Ghana.  It may come across as over-gratification when you hear it so often, but in Ghana it’s considered respectful to use ‘please’ in many scenarios.  It’s often, “Yes, please” or “No, please” when answering questions.  

Occasionally it’s used in conversation when addressing someone to show a sign of respect. 

 

The Writer: Ivy Prosper Photo Credit: @AdomiStudios

 

These are just a few things you’ll need in preparation for your trip to Accra, Ghana.  Pay attention to cultural cues and if you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask. Ghanaians are quite friendly and open to conversation with travellers.  Enjoy your stay!

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“Visit Ghana In This ‘Year Of Return’” – President Akufo-Addo To Trinidadians

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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has extended an invitation to the people of Trinidad and Tobago to visit Ghana in this ‘Year of Return.’

Minister of Culture of Trinidad and Tobago (L) with her counterpart Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi (R)

 

According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana recognises its unique position as the location for 75 per cent of the slave dungeons built on the West coast of Africa, through which the slaves were transported, adding that “we have a responsibility, and we do extend a hand of welcome back home to Africans in the diaspora.

 

2019 marks the 400-year anniversary of the first recorded arrival, in 1619, of the first twenty (20) enslaved Africans in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which was to become part of the United States of America, initiating some of the most barbaric episodes in human history – the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and slavery.

 

The President, therefore, was hopeful that “the year would prove to be a joyful and learning experience all around for all of us, especially in affirming our determination that never again should the African peoples permit themselves to be subjected to such dehumanising conditions, sold into slavery, and have their freedoms curtailed in  order to build up forcibly countries other their own.”

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Thursday, 13th June 2019, when he addressed the media after he held bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Keith Rowley.

After the launch of the ‘Year of Return’ in Washington D.C., Ghana continued with the December 2018 Full Circle Festival, involving over 70 African American celebrities visiting Ghana to reconnect with their ancestral heritage.

Additionally, the Home Coming and Investment Summit, the African-American Investment Forum, the Pan-African and Emancipation Day Celebrations, the durbar from Jamestown to Jamestown, the Film Festival, and the Full Circle Festival are some of the activities that will be held to commemorate the year-long event.

The commemoration should enable us, in the African Union, to consolidate and strengthen our links with our Sixth Region, i.e. the African Diaspora of the so-called ‘New World’, which have laid somewhat dormant, and make operational and extend the Free Movement Protocol to those in the Diaspora seeking to resettle in Africa,” the President stressed.

Source: Presidency.gov.gh

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WWE Champion Kofi Kingston Finally Makes His Visit to Ghana

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Kofi Kingston arrived in Ghana yesterday to a big celebration at Kotoka International Airport.  Fans and students who couldn’t wait to see the WWE Champion celebrated through song and dance.  Kingston joined in with the crowd dancing to the beat as the Ghana flag was draped over him with cheers from the crowd. Even Kotoka International Airport staff were following him taking selfies as he made his way through after customs.

WWE Champion Kofi Kingston Meets President Nana Akufo-Addo

His mother, Dr. Elizabeth Sarkodie-Mensah, along with other family members were there to meet him and were equally overwhelmed with the big reception and couldn’t believe the crowd waiting for him outside the airport.  This is his first trip back to Ghana since 1993 and he is eager to reconnect with his homeland.  He said that one of his biggest regrets was not coming sooner. Kingston recounted the story of his father, who often travelled to Ghana and brought groups of students with him. He said that as a senior in high school, his priority was to find work rather than make a trip to Ghana.

 

Kofi Kingston Kingston Comes Home 

He said once he was ready to come to Ghana, his hectic schedule has made it challenging to find the time.  At the media press-conference, he said that sometimes things happen for a reason because he believes the stars were all aligned for him to make this journey to Ghana during the “Year of Return”.  It’s an important time for people in the diaspora to come to Ghana.

 

WWE World Champion Kofi Kingston to visit Ghana after 26yrs

He will be spending four days in the country, with time divided between Accra and Kumasi.  His first day was jam-packed with a press conference, interviews with the media and a visit to the Jubilee House to meet President Nana Akufo-Addo.

He’s had an eleven-year career and has proven that with hard work, success is possible. “It was a matter of staying the course…. I’m here as living breathing proof that anything is possible.”  Many who were seeing him for the first time, were surprised at how small he is, relative to the typical athlete in WWE.  He often hears those remarks and said, “I’m not the tallest or the biggest person…but I had dreams and I believed in it.”  His perseverance and level of commitment to living his childhood dream prove that success can be achieved with hard work. “Not many people on the planet can say they are living their dream, I’m doing that.”

Accra / May 30, 2019,/ Written by Ivy Prosper

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France24 Report on Year Of Return: Hundreds of African-Americans resettle in Ghana

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France24 has in a report looked at how Ghana is increasingly becoming home to hundreds of African-Americans especially in light of the on-going ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ campaign. The report looks at the lives of some African-Americans who have settled in Ghans over the years. Read and watch the report below.

Ghana was one of the main West African departure points for the transatlantic slave trade. Today, the government has launched a campaign to reach out to the descendants of those Africans who were forcibly removed from their homelands. It has dubbed 2019 the “year of return“. Several hundred people have already put down roots in Ghana, many of them African-Americans. Our colleagues from France 2 report, with FRANCE 24‘s James Vasina.

This article comes on the heels of other reviews published earlier in the year.

Watch the programme/video report prepared by Patrick Lovett and James Vasina below.

 

Related Articles:

HomeToGo – https://visitghana.com/ghana-listed-in-top-10-trending-summer-destinations-for-2019/

Year Of Return: “Come with an open mind and heart” – Mona Boyd invites Diasporans

Year of Return: African Diaspora in Ghana for Back2Africa Festival

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

 

About Year of return, Ghana 2019

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

The Ghana Tourism Authority(GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture is leading the project in collaboration with the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President the PANAFEST Foundation and The Adinkra Group of the USA.

One of the main goals of the Year of Return campaign is to position Ghana as a key travel destination for African Americans and the African Diaspora. In 2019, the events planned throughout the year will serve as a launch pad for a consistent boost in tourism for Ghana in the near and distant years. Beyond tourism, this initiative supports one of the President’s key developmental agendas in Ghana Beyond Aid. We know that tourism can be a leading indicator to business and investment.

We are focused on ensuring that our brothers and sisters have a safe, pleasant and wonderful journey home so they will want to come back, get involved, see the opportunity that exists in Ghana for us to work together and begin to rebuild what has been stolen and lost over the past 400 years.

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Year of Return: Youth In Tourism Festival Launched

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The Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA) in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Year of Return Steering Committee has today launched the Youth in Tourism Festival (YOTOFEST) at the Accra Tourist Information Centre.

The festival will among other things, allow for greater local participation, especially the youth in the year-long commemoration of the Year of Return, Ghana 2019. The Youth in Tourism Festival will include a series of activities comprising, a public lecture and workshop, float, exhibitions, musical jamboree and a tour over a three -day period from July 18 to 20.

CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman

Coordinator of the Year of Return and CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman at the launch, was full of praise for TOSOGHA for continuing to reorient the youth on the need to promote domestic tourism through their activities such as the establishment of tourism clubs in both second cycle and tertiary institutions all over the country.

He mentioned that domestic tourism was at the heart of the country’s tourism growth and TOSOGHA remains a key partner to further complementing the efforts of the Authority and other institutions to better strengthen the domestic tourism drive. Agyeman reiterated his outfit’s continuous support for the organization and the Youth in Tourism Festival.

Youth Tourism Ambassador and Executive Director, TOSOGHA, Joseph Amartey

On his part, Youth Tourism Ambassador and Executive Director of TOSOGHA, Joseph Amartey envisages the Festival to be a potential social platform that effectively and efficiently market Ghanaian indigenous culture and heritage values for international patronage through broader youth engagements. “The foremost objective of YOTOFEST is to re – establish the smooth as well as swift patronage of domestic tourism from a more holistic and grassroots approach,” he said.

An important feature of the festival, according to Amartey, “is the creation of ready market for local artifacts and promotion of commercial sale of ‘’made in Ghana ‘’ goods and services internally and for export, hence a platform to promote the See, Eat, Wear, Feel Ghana agenda.”

A section of students at the launch

The launch of the event attracted student membership of TOSOGHA from various institutions within the Greater Accra Region with other high profile persons also in attendance. They included; Akwasi Ababio, Director for Diaspora Affairs at the Presidency and Chairman of the Year of Return Steering Committee, Kwadwo Antwi, CEO, Ghana Tourism Development Company, Bella Ahu, President, Ghana Tourism Federation and Olivia Opoku-Adomah, Director of Research, Statistics and Policy at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture who represented the Deputy Minister.

Some of the invited guests at the launch

The Tourism Society of Ghana is a youth-led organization with the objective of promoting domestic tourism and imbibing tourism culture among the youth and has over 30,000 members in secondary and tertiary schools across the country.

Click here to view more photos from the launch

Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah

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Year of Return: Students from Diaspora in Ghana for Pan African Student Summit

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A group of students from the United States of America have arrived in Ghana to partake in this year’s Pan African Student Summit as part of the Year of Return – Ghana 2019 programme line up.

Numbering up to 17 from different universities across the US, the all African American students will take part in the 2-day summit scheduled to take place at the International House of the University of Ghana which would also involve students from the host university and their counterparts from University of Cape Coast.

The March 8 and 9 summit will engage these students to participate in critical discourse and think tanks on essential topics toward the liberation of all African people around the world. The summit will feature a keynote speaker, panel discussions think tanks, networking sessions, entertainment and many others.

 

The Pan African Student Summit will also lay the foundation to foster network and partnership development between the student changemakers and budding Pan-Africanist in both the diaspora and the continent.

Speaking to journalists on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport, some of the students who said they were in Africa for the first time after several years abroad expressed their excitement that they could be part of the trip which does not just present them an opportunity to learn from other students in the country, but also is a great chance to explore Ghana for the next 13 days they will be spending in the country.

The summit is being spearheaded by 3GC Inc, True Culture University in partnership with CA Study Abroad, Antique Lemonade and the African American Association of Ghana.

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Ghana National Tourism Industry Awards 2018 held

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The much-awaited Ghana Tourism Awards to honour deserving facilities in the tourism industry in Ghana for the year 2018 was held at The Event Haven, La on Friday, March 22, 2019. In all 29 awards were presented to organisations and individual in Accommodation, Food and beverage and Entertainment, Travel Trade and Media. In addition, honorary awards were given to six (6) personalities who have contributed to the growth and the development of the Tourism Industry over the years.

Click here to view photos of awards: 

 

Minister of Tourism presenting an award

 

Below are the award winners for the various categories.

HONORARY AWARDS

1. Edwin Owusu-Mensah – (Fmr Dir. Ministry of Tourism, Arts And Culture, Former Dep. Exec. Dir. Ghana Tourism Authority)
2. Stella W. Appenteng – (CEO – Apstar Tours Ltd)
3. Kwame Ofosu Bamfo (MD – Alisa Hotel)
4. Sajid Ali Kahn – (GM – Tang Palace Hotel,Accra,Ghana)
5. Erieca Bennett – (Head of Mission, Missions Forum: Africa Diaspora Missions Network)
6. Mark Williams – (CEO – Ashanti African Tours Ltd)

ACCOMMODATION AWARDS

  1. 5 Star Hotel of the Year – Movenpic Ambassador Hotel
  1. 4 Star Hotel of the Year – Tang Palace Hotel
  1. 3 Star Hotel of the Year – Holiday Inn Hotel
  1. 2 Star Hotel of the Year – Ibis Styles
  1. 1 Star Hotel of the Year – Coconut Grove Sakumono
  1. Guest House of the Year – Petit Palais Guesthouse
  1. Budget Hotel of the Year – Ronna lodge, Adidome
  1. Hostel of the Year – Bedstudy Osu
  1. Serviced Apartment of the Year – Red Mango Apartments chapel Hill

 

FOOD AND BEVERAGE AND ENTERTAINMENT (CATERING) AWARDS

  1. Restaurant Grade 1 – Azmera Restaurant
  1. Restaurant Grade 2 – The Buka Restaurant Ltd
  1. Restaurant Grade 3 – Madela Restaurant, Sunyanil
  1. Fast Food of the Year – Papaye Fast Foods Ltd.
  1. Night Club of the Year – Plot 7 Night Club, Osu
  1. Traditional Caterer (Chop Bar) of the Year – Bush Kanteen Shiashie,
  1. Drinking Bar of the Year – The Treasures Pub, Agbogba

 

 

Ghana Tourism Awards 2018

 

TRAVEL SERVICES AWARDS

1. Airline of the Year – South African Airways
2. Tour Operator of the Year – Landtours Ghana
3. Travel Agency of the Year – Satguru Travels Ghana Ltd
4. Car Rental Service of the Year – Atlas Rent A Car
5. Visitor Attraction of the Year – Kakum National Park Ghana

 

MEDIA AWARD WINNERS

1. Tourism Writer of the Year – Kofi Akpabli
2. Tourism Oriented Media TV – TV3 Media,
3. Tourism Oriented Media (Radio)- Citi 97.3 FM
4. Tourism Oriented Media (Print)- The Mirror
5. Tourism Oriented Media (Online) – Voyages AFRIQ MEDIA
6. Tourism Programme of the Year – Our Heritage by UTV Ghana

About The Awards

The National Tourism Awards was instituted by the Ghana Tourism Authority in 1997 to reward excellent performance in the tourism sector.

It is one of the flagship events of the GTA held annually and it sets the tone for high standards in service delivery among practitioners in the tourism sector.

Awards, including honorary awards, are presented to practitioners and organisations who have made maintained high standards and individuals who have made immense contributions to the growth and development of Ghana’s tourism industry.

The award usually attracts high profile personalities in government, business, politics, academia and practitioners within the tourism industry.

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Year of Return: Be conscious of your African roots – students told

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Participants at this year’s Pan-African Student Summit have been told to be cognizant of their ancestral root no matter how long it takes for them to discover their African identity.

The call was made by various speakers at the event who shared their individual stories about how they eventually became interested and identified with Pan-Africanism.

They included Diallo Sumbry, President & CEO of The Adinkra Group, Akwasi Agyeman, CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority, Prof.Esi Sutherland-Addy, Chairperson, PANAFEST Foundation, Paul Kwaw, Executive Director, W. E. B Du Bois Centre for Pan African Culture among others.

A section of participants at the Summit

The two-day Pan African Student Summit which came off at the African House of the University of Ghana engaged university students of African descent from the Diaspora with Ghanaian university students to participate in critical discourse and think tanks on essential topics toward the liberation of all African people around the world: identity and social issues, economics and entrepreneurial possibilities, education, and global health and wellness.

Mr. Agyemang who is also Coordinator for the Year of Return speaking to the press at the Summit said for the visiting students it was such a great delight for him that they could be in the country to experience things for themselves and further be part of such an important discourse.

Speakers at the Summit

He added that the Year of Return Steering Committee and Secretariat will continue to support any individual, group, institutions and initiatives that will help bring more people from the diaspora into the country.

The March 8 and 9 Summit also included a collaborative service learning day at Echoing Hills School where summit participants had a lot of activities with kids and teachers at the school, including painting, games, planting of water melon seeds at the school’s garden and lot of fun-filled educational activities.

Planting melon seeds at the Echoing Hills School

The Pan-African Student Summit is an initiative of 3GC Inc., True Culture University in partnership with CA Study Abroad, Antique Lemonade and the African American Association of Ghana with support from Year of Return – Ghana 2019.

Participants helping to paint Echoing Hills School

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Year of Return: Back2Africa breaks ground for community library & borehole in Eastern region.

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On 7th March, The Back2Africa Festival and Tour service day was in alignment with World Book Day, a day to promote reading, as the group of nearly 100 first time travellers to Ghana spent the day with the Akuapem Educational Service Partnership, at Nyame Bekyre School in Akuapim breaking ground for the establishment of a library and borehole in the community.

The Back2Africa team worked in partnership with the International Partnership for Economic and Sustainable Development to raise funds and books for the future library. The library groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Madam Martha Eghan, HeadMistress of Nyame Bekyre Municipal Assembly Basic School, Okoman Panyin of Akuahene’s Palace and Akwasi Agyeman CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority.

The Service Day at Akuapim was the final activity in Back2Africa’s 10-day schedule which included a calendar of arts, entertainment, cultural, and historic experiences at some of Ghana’s most historic venues in Kumasi, Cape Coast and Accra.

“Back2Africa Festival and Tour is one way we are committed to rebuilding the connections between Africa and her diaspora —culturally, spiritually and financially. As much as we want our group to enjoy Ghana, we also want to provide them with an opportunity to reassert their identities as Africans by giving back hence the launch of the Akuapem Educational Service Partnership where we made a commitment to impact the lives and education of the community through building a library and a borehole,” shares Diallo. ‘Daheart’ Sumbry, Founder of The Adinkra Group, an African Cultural Edutainment Resource and Consulting company based in Washington, DC and organisers of the Back2Africa festival.

The 2019 Back2Africa Festival and Tour was launched on the 26th of February at the Accra Tourist Information Centre for a welcoming communal festival called the “Akwaaba” Village featuring local Ghanaian homemade drinks and traditional fashion and artworks from local vendors. The Festival continued in Accra with the Back2Africa edition of JustMusic for an intimate live performance featuring Raheem Devaughn & Wes Felton of The CrossRhodes, an Open Mic/Jam Session in partnership with the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG) and the Back2Africa Birthright Concert, a family-oriented event celebrating Africa’s cultural legacy through traditional and modern African Dance, Drum and Theatre.

The Birthright concert was held at the National Theater was co-hosted by Ghanaian Actress Ama K. Abebrese and founder of the Adinkra Group, Mr. Diallo “Daheart” Sumbry.

From Accra, the group travelled to Cape Coast where they visited the historic slave dungeons that also included the Spirit of Resilience Concert and an emotional African Ancestry Reveal where travellers were given the results of their DNA ancestry.

“Back2Africa Festival and Tour served as an opportune occasion for us to reconnect with the culture and traditions of Ghana and also engage in a cross-cultural exchange with artists from both the US and Ghana including American socio-political musical duo, Raheem DeVaughn and Wes Felton who were visiting Ghana for the first time, intergenerational West African Drum and dance company, Farafina Kan, High life Sensation, Kwan Pa Music Band, Ghanaian actress Ama K. Abebrese, flutist Dela Botri, and the Ghana International School Ensemble,” adds Sumbry, a current and founding member of the Year of Return Steering Committee.

The Back2Africa Festival and Tour began in 2018 with a mission to reconnect people of the African Diaspora to the culture and traditions of Africa with a line-up of events that focuses on arts, performances, education and service projects in Ghana’s most historic venues. The 2019 edition was a part of the “Year of Return” programming, a year-long calendar of activities in “celebration of the resilience of the African spirit” coordinated by Ghana Tourism Authority, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Back2Africa festival partners include South African Airways, SunSeekers Tour, WaxPrint Media, African American Association of Ghana (AAAG), Ghana International School (GIS) and African Ancestry.

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