PrimeNewsGhana

We want to institutionalize 'Year of Return', Tourism Ministry working on it - Prez. Akufo-Addo

By Mutala Yakubu

President Akufo-Addo has disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts is working to make the 'Year of Return' initiative a permanent feature.

The President made this known when he met members of the Christian Council of Ghana at the Jubilee House on January 14, 2019.

President Akufo-Addo believes the success of the 2019 Year of Return is enough justification for the initiative to be institutionalized.

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“The Tourism Minister and her team are sitting down to see if the Year of Return can become a permanent feature of our tourism landscape,”

“The year of return turned out to be a much greater phenomenon than I anticipated. I didn’t realize that when I first raised up the issue, it was going to turn out to be this huge.”

The Year of Return, Ghana 2019 was an initiative of the government that was intended to encourage African diasporans to come to Africa (specifically Ghana) to settle and invest in the continent.

It was formally launched by President Akufo-Addo 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 commemorated 400 years since the first enslaved Africans touched down in Jamestown, Virginia in the United States.

This saw a host of Americans in the diaspora troop to Ghana as most had never visited the country before.

READ ALSO: Tourism Ministry clarifies $1.9m Year of Return revenue

American celebrities like Ludacris, Steve Harvey, Rick Ross, TI were all in Ghana to witness the mark of this event.

The government has since dubbed 2020, “Beyond the Return” in a bid to leverage the gains made in 2019.