Ghana: Year of return for African diaspora
2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves in Jamestown, Virginia, in what would become the USA. According to estimates, some 12 million Africans were taken to the Americas as a part of the slave trade between 1619 and 1860. At the beginning of 2019, Ghana celebrated the Full Circle Festival, which kicked off the “Year of Return” celebrations initiated by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo in a bid to become a destination for memorial tourism in West Africa. The “Year of return: Ghana 2019” is a year of celebration that aims to give fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora. The initiative mostly targets African-American people and invites them to discover their African identity. Since President Barack Obama’s visit to the Cape Coast in 2009, many African-American personalities and prestigious African diaspora guests have come to Ghana to discover its culture through visits, meetings with locals and round tables. “As long as Africa is not respected, people of African descent will not be respected,” commented a girl from the African diaspora on her trip to Ghana.