“In the year 2019, we open our arms even wider to welcome our brothers and sisters in what will become a birthright journey home for the global African family” – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.
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 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 the years of deprivation, humiliation and torture.
Fast forward to this month and year, the President of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo is leading a campaign which has met local and international applause, “the Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is an idea which 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.
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.
There has been series of events planned to mark this important event which will serve as a launch pad for a consistent boost in tourism for Ghana now and in the future. The event, strategically positions the country so well that, the country has a lot to benefit from in the form of transfer of ideas, business investment and will help boost the tourism industry, which the country has been looking forward to all this while.
The Year of Return initiative by the President has so far seen many key personalities including; Kofi Kingston – a WWE champion, Danny Glover – an American actor, film Director and Political activist, Mr. Steve Harvey, A.J Johnson, Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Michael Jai White, Rosarie Dawson, Boris Kodjoe and Michelle Rice among many others have all come to witness our rich cultural heritage, our evergreen hospitality industry and the progress we are making as a country. The black man is capable of manning it’s own affairs, let’s tell the world what God has blessed us with, our rich natural resources and the human resource we have to propel our nation and continent to the next level.
I am optimistic that this initiative will draw the attention of many to our homeland Ghana and the African continent, we look forward to welcoming many who would love to come and explore our natural environment and see for themselves that indeed civilization started from Africa.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority and the Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President must be commended for their respective roles in ensuring that this initiative yields it’s intended purpose.
It is my fervent prayer that our brothers and sisters have a safe, pleasant and wonderful journey home so they will want to come back, get involved, see the opportunities that exists in Ghana and in Africa for us to work together and build a strong, resolute and prosperous Ghana.
Prince Aboagye Sakyi
A Master of Arts Student in International Relations and Diplomacy at GIMPA