In September 2018, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo declared 2019 the ‘Year of Return’ for global citizens whose ancestors were victims of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade nearly four centuries prior.
Sensing an opportunity to learn, connect, and heal, thousands of international travelers prepared for the trip of a lifetime.
Ghana, a thriving independent nation with its own music, art, fashion, cuisine, breathtaking landscapes, and historically profound landmarks, rolled out the red carpet for their long lost brothers and sisters.
What began as a marketing tool for the nation’s tourism industry caught many foreign travelers off guard.
Government officials partnering with private sector companies and the public coordinated MONTHS of events including festivals such as Afrochella and the Essence Full Circle Festival, cultural exhibitions, heritage tours, global economic forums, and citizenship ceremonies, all stressing diplomacy and future investment.
The hospitable effort moved many to tears.
The campaign did so well that Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Barbara Oteng-Gyasi reported the surge of 750,000+ visitors stimulated the local economy to the tune of $1.9 BILLION!
While the buzz certainly has encouraged more Black folks to prioritize the motherland on their travel must-see lists, in the spirit of unity and economic empowerment we’re hoping that many will also cultivate lasting ties to Ghana and other equally exceptional African nations long term.