Ghana continues to roll the red carpet for African Diaspora in the Year of Return

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Ghana continues to receive visitors from the mainly African Diaspora who are heeding the call to return to the African continent after 400 years of the first documented enslaved Blacks reached Jamestown in Virginia, USA.

This also follows the declaration of 2019 as the “Year of Return” by President Nana Akufo-Addo when he addressed the National Press Club last year September in the United States of America. The Year of Return is paving way for the return of the African Diaspora to Africa to reconnect with their ancestral roots and explore ways by which they can work together with their brothers and sisters on the continent to advance their socio-economic development.

President Akufo-Addo addressing the National Press Club

A “Year of Return” Steering Committee was then constituted with the Ghana Tourism Authority leading the charge to coordinate activities for the year long celebrations.

Since then, there have been slews of events and activities involving African Diasporans from, Hollywood A-listers, global sports icons and a tall list of people of Black descent. It began in December where Hollywood superstar, Boris Kudjoe rallied a bunch of his celebrity friends and co-stars to Ghana for the Full Circle Festival.

Participants of the Full Circle Festival pose for a shot in front of a statue of Ghana’s first President at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park

They included, actors Anthony Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Michael Jai White, American model, reality television star and actress Cynthia Bailey, Real Estates Mogul Jay Morrison, Fox Sports host, Mike Hill, radio host Ebro Darden and many more. British International model, Naomi Campbell also joined British actor, Idris Elba in Accra to take part in the festival.

Current WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston in a photograph with President Akufo-Addo and other tourism heads at the Jubilee House

In its tenth month, the Year of Return activities have seen some phenomenal visits including that of current WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, singer Deborah Cox, Comedian and actor, Steve Harvey, former NBA player, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Samuel L. Jackson and last month, a group of nearly 300 members and affiliates of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) led by veteran Hollywood star, Danny Glover.

US House Speaker Pelosi in a group picture with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and some Ghanaian authorities at the Elmina Slave Castle

Also visiting the West African country was the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 13 members of the Congressional Black Caucus who were in Cape Coast to observe the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in Virginia.

Veteran Hollywood Actor, Danny Glover with President Akufo-Addo and leaders of NAACP

The commemoration and the fanfare continues unabated into January next year with about 500 celebrities and other diasporans expected to be back in December for the Full Circle Festival.

By: Samuel Obeng Appah

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