Ghana has long associated herself with the descendants of enslaved Africans to “Return Home” to tour their roots and to permanently relocate. Leading African American icons including Martin Luther King Jr, Maya Angelou, W. E. B. Dubois, Muhammad Ali, and Malcolm X have either visited or lived in the country since independence in 1957.
In fifteen years, Mission Africa Incorporated, with the Founders; Drs. Kodjoe and Akosuah Sumney have brought over one thousand (1000) people from the United States of America to Ghana and some parts of Africa to their roots, buy land and housing and invest in various projects.
The minister of tourism, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, re-echoed the government’s message to African Americans to “Come home.”
“We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters home. Ghana is your home. Africa is your home. We have our arms wide open, ready to welcome you home,” she said. “Please take advantage. Come home, build a life in Ghana. You have a choice and Africa is waiting for you,” she added at the event held at a center dedicated to another prominent African American, the pan-African sociologist W.E.B Du Bois, who lived his later years in Ghana and is buried at the center.
With momentous protests across the United States and Europe taking place, many hope the organic groundswell of anger with racial injustice would be a tipping point in race relations. Ghana’s government, meanwhile, is hoping to tap into the current mood of reflection and resistance to strengthen its pitch targeting people of African descent in the diaspora.
Last year, Ghana declared the “Year of Return” to appeal to African Americans to visit Ghana and become acquainted with the continent of their forefathers. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the program was a boon to the economy and to the effort to boost Ghana’s tourism industry.
The BBC reported Ghana attracted a number of celebrities in 2019, including model Naomi Campbell, actor Idris Elba, comedian Steve Harvey, American rapper Cardi B. and many more celebrities.
BEYOND THE DIASPORA RETURN
MISSION AFRICA REAL ESTATE BUSINESS IS OPENED TO THE DIASPORA
OWN PROPERTY: LAND, HOUSING OR REAL ESTATE
“Beyond the Return” is not only aimed at promoting tourism but also fostering economic relations, trade and investments from the diaspora in Africa and the world at large.
It lists seven “pillars” of the program, including “progressive government transparent regulations” to encourage investment; developing pilgrimage infrastructure around “sites of memory,” promoting tourism; and creating a sense of national consciousness anchored on key cultural festivals.
Beyond the Return program is aimed at attracting wealthier African Americans to encourage their investment in Ghana, rather than those who might need financial assistance. This is the approach of every country including United States of America, Canada and Europe.
“Given the wealth of African Americans and spending power, travel budgets of Africans in America,” we felt that it’s about time that we start that conversation that, instead of moving to any other destination, come back to where you came from.”
Investing in Africa is profitable business and a sustainable commercial strategy
Building mutual prosperity between African-Americans and Africa
How to unlock Africa’s potential to African-American professionals, community, and business leaders is what Mission Africa Inc. is about. There are opportunities to develop jointly beneficial relations between Africa, African Americans, and the United States. The strategies are focused on tourism in Africa; trade and investment in and with Africa; and knowledge, innovation, and technology sharing to improve U.S.A & Africa relations.
Africa is the most profitable region in the world. A report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development states that between 2006 and 2011, Africa had the highest rate of return on inflows of Foreign Direct Investment: 11.4%. This is compared to 9.1% in Asia, 8.9% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The global figure is 7.1%.
Africans around the world, particularly in the U.S. A, have much to contribute to Africa.
Tourism allows people to celebrate the history and culture of their ancestors by visiting their homelands, enjoying the culture, and building connections with the people and the physical space. Pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Angelou have led the way in reconnecting with Africa, followed by influencers such as Oprah Winfrey, Barack and Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Will Smith, and Rihanna, Moses Sumney, to name a few. But you do not need to be a celebrity or influencer to visit Africa.