Ghana’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on Africans in the diaspora to help make Africa an investment haven, saying that no matter where they were in the world, the destiny of all black people was “bound up with Africa.
“Let us all remember that the destiny of all black people no matter where they are in the world is bound up with Africa.
“We must help make Africa the place for investment, progress, and prosperity and not from where our youth flee in the hope of accessing the mirage of a better life in Europe or the Americas,” state-owned Daily Graphic quoted the Ghanaian leader as saying.
Akufo-Addo, who was speaking at an event in Ghana’s capital, Accra themed: “Beyond the Returns, the Diaspora Dividend”, added: “As we draw the curtains on the Year of Return, we should now look beyond the return, and build on the dividends chalked.”
“The time has come to engage Africans in the diaspora and all persons of African descent more positively in areas such as trade and investment co-operation, and skills and knowledge development,” Akufo-Addo added.
Ghana’s “Year of Return” program saw hundreds of African Americans visit the country to experience the history, culture and tradition upfront.
It was an initiative by the government of Ghana to mark 400 years since the first black slaves landed in Jamestown, Virginia.
An array of celebrities across the globe made their way into Ghana to explore, learn and appreciate their roots, as well as, unite with Africans on the continent.
Steve Harvey, Nicole Ari Parker, Diggy Simmons, Micheal Jai White, and Bozoma Saint John had been among a host of celebrities to visit Ghana as part of the ‘Year of Return’.
Ghana’s economy generated a total of $1.9 billion through activities related to the “Year of Return”, according to Tourism Minister Barbara Oteng-Gyasi.
She said: “There has been tremendous community involvement which has stimulated the local economy including hoteliers, tour operating and other related businesses.”
According to data from ‘The Year of Return’ Secretariat in the first nine months of 2019, there have been 80,862 more arrivals from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and other key target nations than the figure recorded the previous year.
The figures showed that in-bound airport arrivals from the United States of America increased by 26 percent (17,455) and the United Kingdom by 24 percent (9,812). An official noted, “Total airport arrivals have increased by 45 percent (237,088), compared to last year.”
“The Year of Return,” said Oteng-Gyasi “…cemented Ghana’s pan-African legacy and had put a global spotlight on the country and helped to position it as a historic, cultural and vibrant hub and had as well changed the narrative of what was reported about Ghana and the rest of Africa in general.”
President Akufo-Addo recently granted citizenship to 126 diasporans who have been residing in the West African nation for several years as part of the year long celebrations.