The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark marketing campaign targeting the African – American and Diaspora Market to mark 400 years of the of the first enslaved African arriving 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 USA.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku, assured all Africans in the Diaspora that her ministry was working tirelessly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure their smooth passage back to continental Africa.
“Back home in Ghana, as you go through the slave dungeons, you will know that you are the Josephs and Josephines who were sold into slavery and have come back home,” she declared.
The Year of Return seeks to make Ghana the focus for millions of African descendants reacting to their marginalisation by tracing their ancestry and identity. By this, Ghana becomes the beacon for African people living on the continent and the diaspora.
The United States Congress recently passed an Act H.R. 1242 – 400 Years of African-American which is a historically significant milestone. Ghana’s unique position as the location for 75 per cent of the slave dungeons built on the west coast of Africa and the current President’s policy of making it a national priority to extend a hand of welcome back home to Africans in the diaspora cannot be over emphasised.
There are still numerous imposing European forts and castles harbouring harrowing reminders of intense and complex history of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in our land over centuries. This on its own has made Ghana the focus for millions of African descendants reacting to their marginalization by tracing their ancestry and identity.
However, even more important is the recognition of Ghana as a beacon of hope for African people living on the continent and in the Diaspora. This status was earned not by coincidence but by conscious efforts to validate the struggles, strengths and linkages between African descendants on a Pan-African scale.