Year of Return, Ghana 2019

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The Year of Return, Ghana 2019 is an initiative of the government of Ghana – along with the U.S.-based Adinkra Group – that is intended to encourage African diasporans to come to Africa (specifically Ghana) to settle and invest in the continent. It was formally launched by President Nana Akufo-Addo[1] in September 2018 in Washington, D.C. as a program for Africans in the diaspora to unite with Africans. The year 2019 is symbolic as it commemorates 400 years[2] since the first enslaved Africans touched down in Hampton, in the English colony of Virginia in America.[3] The program also recognizes the diaspora's achievements and sacrifices in the time since that even.[4][5] Started from when President Barack Obama made a visit to the Cape Coast in 2009, many African-American famous, respected and admired African diaspora guests have come to Ghana to discover its culture through visits.[6] The Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture have lined up a slate of activities in "celebration of the resilience of the African spirit."[7][8] Many African Americans shared their stories regarding their experiences in Ghana during the Year of Return.[9][10]


  • To make Ghana a key travel destination for African Americans and the rest of the African diaspora.
  • To rebuild the lost past of these 400 years.
  • To promote investment in Ghana and foster relationships with African Americans and the African diaspora.


Sheila Jackson Lee linked the initiative with the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act that was passed in Congress in 2017.[3] American actor and director Michael Jai White visited Ghana towards the end of 2018. Over 40 African diasporans participated in the "Full Circle Festival", which aimed to attract visitors to the country. The list includes but not limited to

The Akwamuhene Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, the Akwamu Paramount Chief, enstooled Michael Jai White as Nana Oduapong during his visit. Chief White's title means "The tree with strong roots that does not fear the storm".[24]


Up to 1.5 million tourists, including celebrities, politicians and world leaders, are expected in the country by the end of the year with up to 1.9 billion dollars also expected to be accrued in revenue as a result of the Year of Return activities. The tourism sector has also recorded a tremendous growth of 18% in international arrivals from the Americas, Britain, Caribbean and other key countries while total airport arrivals increased by 45% for the year.

Its estimated spending of tourists has seen a significant increase from $1,862 in 2017 to the current figure of $2,589 per tourist, with the impact of tourism on the economy estimated to be about $1.9 billion.[25]


  • Afrochella
  • Afro Nation
  • Back To Our Roots Tour
  • Detty Rave
  • Decemba to Rememba
  • Crusade 4
  • Bliss on the hills
  • Live X Festival
  • The Waakye summit
  • Afrochic Diaspora Festival
  • Potomanto Art Festival
  • Accra Under the Stars
  • The Black Gala
  • Gold Coast Experience
  • AkwaabaUK
  • Black Is Black
  • PineXGinja
  • Meet The Moon Girls
  • Polo Beach Club
  • JD music festival - Djsky
  • Panafest

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Inside Afrochella, Ghana's answer to Coachella". Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  2. ^ "Ghana draws African-American tourists with 'Year of Return'". Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  3. ^ a b "2019: Year of return for African Diaspora | Africa Renewal". Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  4. ^ Regitz, G.; Ohad, I. (1976-01-10). "Trypsin-sensitive photosynthetic activities in chloroplast membranes from Chlamydomonas reinhardi, y-1". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 251 (1): 247–252. ISSN 0021-9258. PMID 400.
  5. ^ Jordan, Adrienne. "The American Entrepreneur Leading The Back To Africa Travel Movement". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  6. ^ "Ghana: Year of return for African diaspora | West Africa Gateway | Portail de l'Afrique de l'Ouest". Retrieved 2022-06-27.
  7. ^ "Year of Return goes beyond tourism – Rosa Whitaker". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  8. ^ "Akufo-Addo declares 2019 as 'year of return for Diasporans'". Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  9. ^ "How 'Year of Return' has marketed Ghana to African Americans - Rashad McCrorey gives details". Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  10. ^ "How Ghana's Year Of Return Campaign Put Black Destinations In The Spotlight – Free Press of Jacksonville". Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  11. ^ "Kofi Kingston plans historic homecoming to Ghana". WWE. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  12. ^ "WWE star Kofi Kingston returns home to Ghana after 26 years [Photos]". Face2Face Africa. 2019-05-30. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  13. ^ "Videos/Photos: Steve Harvey visits Cape Coast Castle, gets emotional". Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  14. ^ Aisha Salaudeen. "Cardi B is set to perform for the first time in Nigeria and Ghana". CNN. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  15. ^ "Cardi B sells Ghana's Year of Return with the perfect outfit". Entertainment. 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  16. ^ "Rapper T.I., wife arrive in Ghana". Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  17. ^ "Fast and Furious star Ludacris in Ghana". Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  18. ^ "Rick Ross, Koffee to join King Promise, KiDi, others for Detty Rave concert in Ghana". Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  19. ^ "Sarkodie is the only Ghanaian artiste to reach the top – Akon". Retrieved 2019-12-29.
  20. ^ "Check out how Boris Kodjoe, Idris Elba among other top Hollywood stars celebrated their Christmas in Ghana". Entertainment. 2019-01-02. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  21. ^ "American comedian Conan O'Brien joins 'Year of Return' campaign with emotional video". Retrieved 2020-01-11.
  22. ^ "Rick Ross, Koffee to join King Promise, KiDi, others for Detty Rave concert in Ghana". Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  23. ^ Sedode, Pilot. "Here's What American Comedian Conan O'Brien And Sam Richardson Have Been Up To On Their Trip To Ghana - Kuulpeeps - Ghana Campus News and Lifestyle Site by Students". Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  24. ^ Engmann, Rachel Ama Asaa (2019-08-23). "Ghana's Year of Return 2019 - Traveler, Tourist or Pilgrim?". Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  25. ^ "Deputy Tourism Minister clarifies controversial $1.9bn Year of Return revenue claim". Retrieved 2020-01-05.