The Year of Return, 2019 is an initiative of the government of Ghana. President Nana Akufo-Addo in September 2018 declared that Ghana was going to welcome and encourage African diasporans to come to Africa to settle and also invest in the continent.
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Also the Year of Return, was a year-long campaign which climaxed in December 2019.
According to the President and the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Year of Return is also to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the African slaves that arrived in America.
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So following the big announcement by President Akufo-Addo calling on people of African descent to return to their home, all was set for a show down in Accra and other parts of the country.
So far the Year of Return has been a success, with December climaxing the program with events planned across Ghana for the visitors.
The events included concerts, African-American celebrity sightings, art exhibits, visits to heritage sites, fashion shows, movie premieres, and creative economy and trade conferences.
Figures and statistics from the Ghana Immigration Service for example indicates that between January and September 2019 the highest number of Americans have visited the country, about 26% increase.
The numbers of visitors from the UK (24%), Germany (22%), South Africa (10%) and Liberia (14%) also grew.
In all, Ghana reportedly issued 800,000 visas this year. Government also announced that all nationalities will be eligible to receive a visa on arrival for the next month or so due to the heavy demand.
The Year of Return has been laudable in many ways, this has led Ghana’s President to express shock at the activities generated by the programme.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has announced that a sequel of the Year of Return will be launched in 2020 to continue to welcome the diasporans and sustain the relations.
The sequel will be dubbed Beyond the Year of Return - a Birthright. The new campaign is on the theme: “A decade of African Restoration 2020-2030.
YEN.com.gh earlier reported that the contribution of the late Theodosia Salome Okoh to Ghana’s political, sporting and educational history is one that cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
Okoh was a Ghanaian stateswoman, sportswoman, teacher and artist who designed the national flag in 1957.