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Michael Jai White, Djimon Hounsou, Boris Kodjoe, Anthony Anderson, Jidenna

Ghana Heralded As The Next Big Tourist Destination, And We Love It

I/dropcap]dris Elba, Michael Jai White, Naomi Campbell, Boris Kodjoe, Diggy Simmons, Djimon Hounsou, just a few names among the slew of stars who have been to Ghana lately. Behind this meet-up of box office stars, fashion royalty, and top creatives there is an ambitious strategy to make Ghana the major tourist destination. The Ghanaian government recently unveiled a 15-year-long tourism plan that seeks to increase the annual number of tourists to Ghana from one million to eight million per year by 2027. They are planning to raise $8.3 billion a year by 2027, plus associated benefits, according to the plan.

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The Year of the Return

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, announced earlier this year that 2019 was what he called “The official year of the return” for the African Diaspora. He is the architect of this plan to boost tourism and diversify the country’s economy by reaching out to its diaspora. As we always say it in the Imhotep family, the time is now for the children who were gone, to come back to mama. It’s a great opportunity for all the members of the diaspora to take part in conferences, festivities, and trips across the country in order to discover its unique heritage.
The festival’s main goal is to forge closer ties between Ghana, the African continent and the African diaspora.
400 years since the first African captives were taken from countries like Ghana, Senegambia or Angola to America, during the trans-Atlantic captives trade. This timing has been chosen based on the first recorded landing of a ship carrying Africans in Virginia in August 1619.
An estimated 75% of captives dungeons on the west coast of Africa were in Ghana & millions of people were taken and transported on ships that departed from Ghanaian ports.

The actor Boris Kodjoe, co-organizer of the event even said: “Every person of color needs to get on this pilgrimage”. “They need to experience this journey and get in touch with their emotional heritage, walk through the dungeons and see the ‘door of no return,’” (CNN). Marketing rockstar Bozoma Saint John — who has a series of marketing coups like Beyonce’s halftime Super Bowl show under her belt — worked with Kodjoe, inviting 100 of the most influential members of the African diaspora to party with them at the festival over Christmas and New Year.

Saint John, works for global media conglomerate Endeavor and previously had high profile roles with Uber and Apple Music, says the project is close to her heart. “As long as you have melanin and you are seeking a return to Africa, it is a must,” she told CNN.

“I really felt that I wanted to show people the country I know and love. I take it as a personal mission and will use my professional weight to help the mission.”
Saint John says that returning members of the diaspora can expect joy on their trip to Ghana as well as moments of solemnity. Skyscrapers and restaurants feature prominently in her promotional material.
Ghana opens its arms wide to welcome home all brothers and sisters from the global African family.
Are you coming back home for the pilgrimage this year?
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