Music lovers, cultural enthusiast and African stars in Africa and Diaspora gear up towards the upcoming events scheduled from November ending to the first week in January 2020.
Some of the activities to take place in December include; The African Diaspora Citizenship Ceremony, Music in Africa Conference For Collaboration, Exchange and Showcase, Perfect Picture Exclusive Premiere, Diaspora from Local to Foreign Art Exhibition, Live X Festival with Cardi B, Gold Coast Experience, Kids in Tourism, Cirque De Soir, Joseph Movie Premiere, Kiddafest, Ghana Festival of light, The Year Of Return made In Ghana Fair.
Others include The V for vanity Show: Neon Light Edition, AkwaabaUK, Diaspora Drive, Kwaw Kese’s Return Concert, Year Of Return Cocktail Party, SaminiFest, Asante Bonwire Kente Festival, Pine x Ginja, Essene Full Circle Festival, Tribal Jungle Fever, Rapperholic Concert, The Black Gala, Little Havana, AfroChic Diaspora Festival, Detty Rave, Afro Nation, Meet the Moongirls, Afrochella, Fashion Connect Africa, African Royalty Night: The Gala and This Is New Africa [TINA].
At a press briefing on Thursday, November 21, 2019, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Akwasi Agyemang detailed the socio-economic impact since the President, Nana Akufo Addo, declared and formally launched the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” for Africans in the Diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora in September 2018.
He commended the media, both local and foreign for their excellent work done in putting Ghana on the map.
“Your support has been immense helping to grow ‘The Year of Return’ from a product to a brand. Ghana has been put on the map and there is no turning back,”
Briefing the Press on the number of events undertaken by the ‘The Year Of Return’ secretariat, Akwasi Agyemang disclosed that; “since the launch of YOR over 250 event proposals were submitted to be officially endorsed as YOR events. 130 of the 250 events submitted were officially endorsed.”
He added that “To date, we have successfully completed over 100 events, Media launches, stakeholder meetings, master classes and much more since the launch of the year of Return. 98% of the events executed were funded by private institutions.”
According to him, the impact of ‘The Year Of Return’ has been phenomenal as Visa on arrival fees were reduced from $150 to $75 enabling a significant number of people to visit Ghana.
He stated that the increased number of travellers in Ghana has positively impacted private sector industries such as airtime, hotels, tour operators, restaurant etc.
The CEO of GTA said Art centre merchants have also confirmed boost in their trade. Estimated amount spent per tourist increased from $1,862 in 2017 to $2,589 per tourist.
According to the committee, total arrival increased by 23,7088 compared to last year which is a 45% increase.
Some of the Africans in the Diaspora who have visited Ghana include, Steve Harvey, Samuel Jackson, Kofi Kingston, Boris Kudjoe, Bozoma St John, Michael Jay White, Danny Glover, Derrick Johnson, A J Johnson, Lauryn Hill, Kofi Kingston, Deborah Cox, Naomi Cambell and many others.
A record number of Africans diaspora have applied for citizenship through the Minister of Interior. Between 100 to 200 people will be granted Ghanaian citizenship.
The year of Return builds on the country’s strong Pan African legacy and has been largely successful.
Lands have been made available to the diaspora for resettlement in the Central and Northern regions.
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 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. [ Credit:kasapafmonline ]