The Year of Return, 2019, was associated to the 400th anniversary of slaves landing in the US. Ghana was a key transit point for transporting slaves and the president said his country felt an obligation to welcome all those who could trace their heritage to Africa.
At the commencement of 2019, the Ghana Tourism Authority forecasted the Year of Return would attract 500,000 extra visitors. Nevertheless, we don't know if this was precisely because of the Year of Return creativity, as tourists were not asked to state this on arrival as the reason for their visit.
The seeming increase in arrivals in 2019 should be set in the framework of an overall annual total of between 900,000 and one million foreign visitors to Ghana, a figure that has been generally rising anyway over the past few years. Former minister of Tourism Barbara Oteng Gyasi said the Year of Return had inserted about $1.9bn (£1.5bn) into the economy. The Ghanaian administration also said a record 126 people had been granted citizenship in 2019.
And some from the diaspora, fortified by the Year of Return initiative, have set up businesses, made investments or acquired property. The government also said the Year of Return had drawn wider courtesy to Ghana and certainly influenced international media reports. The country engrossed a number of celebs in 2019. and the equivalent amount of media attention and PR - if paid for - would have cost about $3.5m.
The Year of Return, was intended to inspire African diasporans to come to Africa (precisely Ghana) to settle and capitalize on the continent. It was officially launched by President Nana Akufo-Addo in September 2018 in Washington, D.C. as a package for Africans in the diaspora to bond with Africans. What’s your opinion on the year of return? Was it significant to the entire nation or was just for some political points?
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