Year Of Return Celebrating 400 years of African Resilience... Tue, 21 Jan 2020 20:06:41 +0000 en hourly 1 Year Of Return 32 32 ‘Beyond the Return’: Ghana to host AfroNation Festival for next 5 years Tue, 21 Jan 2020 20:06:41 +0000 The Ghana Tourism Authority, on behalf of the Government of Ghana, and Event Horizon, Organisers of the Afro-Nation Festival, on Monday, 20th January 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Ghana to play host to “the biggest urban music beach festival in the world” for the next five years.

The MoU, which was signed by Mr. Akwasi, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), and Obi Asika, CEO of Event Horizon, was witnessed by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in London, on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit.

The signing of the MoU is part of a number of plans Ghana is putting in place, as it kick-starts the “Beyond the Return” project.

‘Beyond the Return’ aims to engage Africans in the Diaspora and all persons of African descent more positively in areas such as trade and investment co-operation, and skills and knowledge development.

The MoU will also allow the Ghana Tourism Authority and any governmental ministry, agency or authority it deems necessary to on behalf of the Government of Ghana, oversee all designs, content and production of Merchandise for the Afro-Nation Ghana Project.

The parties have also agreed, in preparation for the event every year, to establish a Local Organising Committee, comprising of representatives of each of the parties or their affiliates for the Afro-Nation Ghana Project with the LOC, amongst other duties, to be stated in the binding document responsible for securing additional sponsorship for the project.

In his remarks, after the signing of the MoU, Obi Asika stated that “Ghana is a welcoming destination, and we were happy with the warm reception we received since we took Afro-Nation to the country. The President’s commitment to the project is unparalleled, and we look forward to another successful event in December 2020“.

On his part, the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyeman said “Afro-Nation is amongst one of the key events on which we are anchoring the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative. We want to make Ghana the number one entertainment destination in Africa. December in Ghanawill never be the same again”.

About Beyond The Return

Beyond the Return” is a follow-up to the successful Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ campaign which commemorated the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in Jamestown Virginia in 1619. The landmark campaign also celebrated the resilience of the African over the past 400 years and welcomed all people of African origin to return to Africa especially Ghana.

Beyond The Return

Kwaw Kese’s Return Concert Will Shut Down Oxford Street Fri, 20 Dec 2019 21:14:14 +0000 Madtime Entertainment presents the Kwaw Kese’s The Return concert. promises to be one of the biggest shows for the holiday season!  This concert is an official Year of Return event and some of his industry friends will be taking to the stage.  This event aims to bring together the diaspora who have travelled to Ghana and experience events during the Year of Return as well as local Ghanaians who want to see their favourite artists while getting the chance to meet and mingle with visitors from the diaspora. 


Some of the artists who plan to join him on stage includes some of the big superstars like Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Samini, and Edem. The show will be on Osu, Oxford Street with the stage setup near Frankie’s Restaurant.  Showtime is scheduled for 5pm and will go until very late! Kwaw Kese is excited for the chance to share with young people what Year of Return is all about and give them an amazing experience at the concert. 


Other top-notch Ghanaian artists slated to perform include Medikal, Sista Afia, Quamina MP, Skonti, Joey B, E.L., Sefa, and Pappy Kojo. 


Don’t miss out on one of the biggest shows this holiday season. This Saturday 21st December on Osu, Oxford Street.

Made in Ghana Street Fair Opens this Weekend! Fri, 20 Dec 2019 20:58:19 +0000 The Made in Ghana Street Fair is an official Year of Return event and will feature some of the best locally made products from across the country.  Catherine Morton, CEO Street Fairs Int. and an Event organiser said this street fair is very important because it brings emphasis to Ghanaian products.  We’ve become a society that often patronizes foreign goods and this event is a great way to bring the attention back on our local products.

“We have vendors coming all the way from the Northern Region, and other very far places with products that people don’t even know about in Accra.  We believe that in this festive period, when we have Christmas, we shop a lot, but most often we forget about the indigenous products we have in Ghana,” she said. 


Having an event like this will give shoppers who flock to Osu an opportunity to meet vendors and learn about what they are selling while supporting local business owners. “We have close to 300 vendors participating this year,” she said, “You’ll find everything from garments to textiles, beauty, food, arts and crafts, almost every category.  Being a Year of Return event, this also puts the spotlight on our locally made products for visitors to take advantage of.  This is one of the ways we can export our culture to the diaspora through products and services. 


The Made in Ghana Street Fair takes place twice this month; 20th-22nd December in Osu on Oxford Street and 27th-29th December at Junction Mall.

Accra lights-up ahead of #DecemberInGh Christmas Thu, 19 Dec 2019 16:53:13 +0000 The Accra Metropolitan AssemblyRidge roundabout area has been brought to life with beautiful colourful decorative lights.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly together with Jandel LTD, Ministry of Tourism, Arts And Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority, Ecobank Ghana Limited, Standard Chartered Ghana at a short ceremony lighted up the Ridge area with decorative lights, art and crafts. On display in the roundabout are lighted reindeers, canoes, decorated vehicles all lighted up to setthe mood for #Christmas.



The lighting-up Accra is being undertaken to beautify the city ahead of the Year of Return#DecemberInGhfestivities.

Photos: American Rapper Cardi B. Performs in Ghana Thu, 12 Dec 2019 13:05:42 +0000 Cardi B. is one of hip-hop’s most commercially successful female artists and she has a legion of fans around the world, including in Ghana.  The artist performed on Sunday 8th December at the Accra Sports Stadium to an eager crowd of fans. When she burst onto stage giving a packed performance of dancing and fireworks the crowd went wild with some rapping along to all the lyrics.

She was dressed in a costume that paid homage to the Ghana flag in red, gold and green with the black star. Even her wig, which she took off and threw into the crowd at the end of her show, was streaked with the colours of the Ghana flag.

Ahead of her performance, she had a meet and greet at the Kempinski Hotel which included celebrities, creatives, business people, media and some of her die-hard fans. Cardi arrived to cheers as everyone had waited to see her most of the day.  Originally scheduled to happen earlier that afternoon, many invited guests had waited for many hours.  Some of the invitees took to social media to express their feelings of anger and disappointment when she didn’t make an appearance in the afternoon.  Cardi explained to the audience that she wasn’t aware that a meeting with her fans and local celebrities was scheduled and assured everyone that she loves her fans and never intended to disrespect anyone.

Ghanaian Singer/Songwriter Becca moderated the Q&A session and also gave women in the audience an opportunity to ask questions directly to Cardi.

The interactive session also gave some local talents an opportunity to gift Cardi with some of their products.  Kwaku Bediako, CEO of Chocolate Clothing GH, gave her two items.  Bediako explained that he normally designs for men, but has created a new concept of unisex designs.  Cardi loved it and even asked him for a belt to wear the style he gave her. Other designers including Kua Designs took the opportunity to share their made in Ghana brands with Cardi. An artist even revealed a portrait he made of the rapper and she gave him a hug to thank him for the gift.

Nadia Adongo Musah, Deputy Director for Diaspora Affairs in the Office of the President, presented Cardi B with a Year of Return woven sash. It was also an opportunity for the Deputy Director to tell everyone more about how the Year of Return was launched by the President.

Cardi’s passion to connect with her fans meant she was willing to take pictures with everyone before she dashed off to get ready for the concert.

Ghanaian Actors Star in Caribbean-Produced Movie that Crosses Cultures Sat, 07 Dec 2019 04:51:55 +0000 Joseph-min

Step By Step Productions is a film production company based in Barbados. They’ve previously produced six feature films to critical acclaim including  Barrow – Freedom Fighter, which won an African Movie Academy Award for Best Diaspora Documentary.

Joseph - Miriam

Joseph - Edward

This year, the production team took on a story that crosses cultures and bridges the gap between Ghana and the Caribbean.  The movie, ‘Joseph’ is directed by Marcia Weekes and Produced by Marietta Carter-Narcisse.  The film, which has its world premiere on 7th December in Accra, explores the life of a Jamaican doctor who has ancestry tied to Ghana through his Grandfather.  The lead character, Joseph, is played by Actor Kevoy Burton from Jamaica and he is currently in Ghana to attend the premiere. Scenes were filmed both in Ghana and the Caribbean and feature a diverse cast of both African and Caribbean actors.

Joseph - Anang 

The Year of Return team visited the production when they were filming in Ghana earlier this year. We spoke to some of the actors about their experience and what we can expect from the movie.  Ghanaian cast includes Mawuli Gavor, Harold Amenyah, Miriam Owusu-Poku, Sika Osei, Edward Kufuor, Richard Yaw Boateng, Ernest Odame, Adjetey Anang, Chloe Carter, and Edinam Atatsi.  There is also a Ghanaian production team who worked on the film. 

Joseph - Mawuli

Mawuli Gavor, who plays Kweku, the best friend of Joseph in the movie, is a Ghanaian-born TV presenter, actor, producer and entrepreneur.  Now based primarily in Nigeria, his career as an actor has seen him in roles on the telenovela series, ‘Hush’ and in hit films including ‘Chief Daddy’and the upcoming ‘Sugar Rush’. When speaking about his role in the film Gavor said, “Kweku becomes instrumental in pushing Joseph to make the move to connect with his African roots.” When asked how this film would connect Ghanaians and Caribbeans Gavor acknowledged the realities. “It’s a bit ridiculous how disconnected our two worlds are considering how similar we are. Ultimately we’re just distant relatives, and the film helps all of us regardless of which side of the divide we belong.”

Joseph - Ernest

Joseph - Harold

Harold Amenyah also stars in the film and said he plays the character Nii, a friend of Joseph’s.  He takes him around Ghana showing him the culture and traditions of the country. Amenyah said that this film is important because it will show people in the Caribbean a sense of belonging [in Ghana]. “People who are going to watch this movie in the diaspora are going to realize how much of similarity and how connected we are,” Amenyah said.  

Joseph - Sika

The exclusive red carpet screening will be at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly on 7th December.  The premier event is invitation only, but there will be a public release of the film on 24th January 2020 at Silverbird Cinemas.

By: Ivy Prosper



President Akufo-Addo Confers Ghanaian Citizenship On 126 Diasporans Thu, 28 Nov 2019 15:24:04 +0000

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday, 27th November 2019, conferred Ghanaian citizenship on 126 Diasporans, who have lived in Ghana for many years.

Speaking after the conferment ceremony, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I am glad you have decided to make Ghana your home, and thereby, join several generations of Diasporans, who committed their lives to us.”



He noted that several persons, including the likes of George Padmore, Bob Marley’s widow, Rita, Maya Angelou, and W.E.B du Bois all found homes in Ghana, with the latter buried in the country.

With the ceremony being part of the series of activities commemorating the ‘Year of Return’, the President stated that Ghana recognizes her position as the location for 75 per cent of the slave dungeons built on the West coast of Africa, through which the slaves were transported.


“That is why we had a responsibility to extend a hand of welcome back home to Africans in the diaspora. Many have responded to this call, and the ‘Year of Return’ has so far proven to be a joyful and learning experience all round for all of us,” he said.

To the 126 Diasporans, the President urged them to respect and abide by the laws of Ghana and live in accordance with the tenets of Ghana’s Constitution.


“You have the responsibility of preserving and promoting the image of a country whose reputation, amongst the comity of nations, is, today, high. You are citizens of a country that is regarded as one of the most stable on the continent, a beacon of democracy, governed by the rule of law and respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability, as a result of the commendable acts and deeds of past and present generations of your fellow Ghanaians,” he said.


The President continued, “In all your actions, I urge you to guard jealously our country’s image. It is a charge, I am confident, you will uphold. In doing so, I suggest that to facilitate the process of re-integration, you learn at least one Ghanaian language of your choice – Akan, Ewe, Ga, Dagbani, Hausa, or Nzema, amongst others.”

President Akufo-Addo urged them also to be engaged fully in the realization of the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

“Simply put, I just want us to be self-confident, and accept that we shall never reach the level of development we aspire to by relying on aid or external assistance, no matter how generous. It is a mindset that I wish us to discard, a mindset of dependency and living on handouts,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo, in concluding, paid tribute to the late Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, Jake to others, who, as Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations under the Government of the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, the outstanding Ghanaian statesman, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, championed the cause for the return of descendants of the slave trade to their homes of origin.

“He instituted the “Joseph Project”, whose aim was to reconcile and unite the African peoples, on the continent and in the Diaspora, and to release their energies to help build Africa and the Caribbean. This ceremony would be a happy moment for him,” he added.

Year of Return Inspires Couple to Move to Ghana Tue, 26 Nov 2019 05:41:07 +0000 Since President Nana Akufo-Addo declared 2019 as the Year of Return, several people from the global African diaspora have heeded the call and made a trip to Ghana. Most have come to explore the history, heritage and culture and have life-changing experiences as they return back to their respective homes in the Americas, Europe and beyond.


For one couple, the President’s speech inspired them to uproot their family and move to Ghana. “We were very inspired by the Year of Return and moved to Ghana just over 2 months ago,” said Anna Acheampong. She said they couldn’t wait when they saw the door was open. She and her husband are both of Dutch-Ghanaian heritage. Both have fathers who are Ghanaian and mothers who are Dutch. Growing up in Holland as mixed-race children came with its challenges, but it also had its benefits. The couple said they were able to have the best of both worlds.

Both in their early thirties, Anna, who worked as a Social Worker in Child Protective Services, and her husband Kevin, who is a Corporate Account Manager, recently moved to Ghana to not only experience life there, but to also expose their children to a different way of living. “I think we are settled now and we’re trying to relax,” she said. “When we told our friends and family that we wanted to move to Ghana, they would always ask us, ‘Why do you want to move to Ghana?’…and now that we’ve made the move, we get people asking questions like, ‘Do you have electricity?’” …she laughed.

Anna said she couldn’t believe that people still thought that a modern lifestyle can’t exist in an African country. She says it’s largely why they decided to start posting videos on YouTube. She and her husband wanted to show their friends back in Holland, what they were experiencing on a day-to-day basis to see what their new life was really like. “With our videos, we are trying to show that what people think, is not the way Africans live.” She says they were concerned about the stereotypes that exist about Ghana and that inspired her to create content that shows another perspective of the country.

Their two children, ages seven and three, have had their ups and downs. “One of the biggest challenges is they don’t speak English. They are gradually learning,” she said. “The older one has had the most difficult experience as she is having a hard time letting go of her old friends in the Netherlands.” She said during their research on moving to Ghana they noticed a gap when it comes to information available. “We were looking for content to show our kids how things would be in Ghana and we couldn’t find it anywhere. Through our videos, we are trying to motivate other families that are thinking about making the same move. We also want to show things from the perspective of a child, which, we couldn’t find anywhere.”

Anna said that when she was growing up in the Netherlands, she would often go to Ghana on vacation with her dad, but she was never really free to do what she wanted. Her family would keep her from exploring and she didn’t get a real feel of the country. It wasn’t until she and her husband came to Ghana together for the first time that she saw Ghana in a whole different light. “That was the first time that I really saw and experienced Ghana. It’s what I believe I should have had when I was growing up,” she said. “We want to give our children what we missed out on.”

She said that Ghana does have its challenges, it’s not perfect but you have to find a way to make it work. “You have to try to make it nice for yourself,” she said. “We found a house with a pool so our children have something nice to do every day.”

This was important to her because Ghana lacks the public playgrounds that they enjoyed in the Netherlands. “We also do a lot of things with the other kids in the neighbourhood.”

After a short time living in the country, they are constantly having new experiences and enjoying every minute of it. She said that every day is a learning experience and they are enjoying sharing it all on their YouTube Channel Acheampong Adventures.

Watch them on YouTube on this link:

Written by: Ivy Prosper

The Perfect Picture – 10 Years Later is Back with Original Cast Sat, 23 Nov 2019 19:29:03 +0000 The Perfect Picture – 10 Years Later is Back with Original Cast

Written by Ivy Prosper


It’s been 10 years since Sparrow Productions (now Sparrow Pictures) released its critically acclaimed romantic-comedy, ‘The Perfect Picture.’  Produced by Shirley Frimpong-Manso, the film became one of the most popular fan favourites in the Ghanaian film industry.  Now, a decade on, the film is back for part two, ‘The Perfect Picture, 10 Years Later.’ 


The Perfect Picture 10 Years Later’, brings back the original cast in what’s one of the highly anticipated movies of the season.  The original film was about three women pushing their thirties and making bold attempts to change their lives, but destiny had other plans for them. Now in the sequel, the ladies are back, this time pushing their forties.  Even though they are older and wiser, they realise that now they are saddled with more issues including their not so fairy-tale relationships.


Fans of the original will be excited to see the returning cast which includes Lydia Forson (Dede), Jackie Appiah (Aseye), Naa Ashorkor, Chris Attoh (Larry), Mensah-Doku (Akasi), Joselyn Dumas (Flora), Adjetey Anang (Fella), John Dumelo (Taylor), and Kwaku Sintim-Misa (Doctor Biney).  There are also a group of new characters to add to the story including Richard Mofe-Damijo (Sam),  Beverly Naya (Samantha), Anita Erskine (Angela), Gideo Okeke (Yobanna), Gloria Sarfo (Susanna) and Raphael Boakye (Nigel).


It was important for this film to be included in the Year of Return program of events because it represents the creative community and an opportunity to connect with the diaspora so they can come and experience films made in Ghana. Frimpong-Manso says she can’t wait for everyone to see the film. “This is a great opportunity to outdoor a classic while creating another classic. “The Perfect Picture – 10 Years Laterwill be visually stunning,” she said. The film will have its premiere on 1st December 2019 at Labadi Beach Hotel and hits Silverbird Cinemas on 14th December. 

For more information click here




Remains of Unknown Enslaved African Reburied in Assin Manso Sat, 16 Nov 2019 07:24:43 +0000

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo travelled to Barbados in June this year as part of Year of Return to reconnect Ghana with Caribean nations.  On his trip, he invited the leaders of the countries he visited to make a trip to Ghana and encouraged discussions on how their countries can form strategic partnerships. 



Minister for Tourism in a discussion with Barbados PM

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, accepted his invitation and arrived in Ghana Thursday morning with a delegation for a 3-day visit.  This trip is significant because not only is the Prime Minister exploring possible business opportunities and ways our two countries can build together, she is also visiting historical sites and Thursday witnessed the burial of the remains of an unknown enslaved African from Barbados. 


Shortly after arrival, she and her delegation travelled to the Central Region to visit Cape Coast Castle before making the journey to Assin Manso for the burial. “We are home and we thank God for giving us the strength and resilience as a people to be able to make this journey today,” she said to the crowd in Assin Manso.  “It is not a coincidence that this is the ‘Year of Return’ …we have come to declare too, that we want to close the circle and we want to build the Atlantic bridge,” she declared.


It was an emotional ceremony that represented the coming together of the past, present and building toward the future.  The local Chiefs poured libations to honour the ancestors and they greeted and welcomed the Prime Minister to their town.  “We have to pay homage and to give thanks for centuries of resilience of those who were able to withstand the cruelest indignities in humanity…thanks for the ability to keep faith and keep hope alive,” Mottley said.



Remains of unknown enslaved African being carried to burial site

The casket holding the remains was draped with kente and the Barbados flag.  It was carried to the gravesite and wreaths were laid in honour of this unknown soul.  After burial, the Prime Minister and her delegation were taken on a private tour of the Slave River where captured Africans were bathed for the last time before being taken to the dungeons of Cape Coast and Elmina through the ‘door of no return.


Mottley is hopeful and positive for the future relationship Barbados will have with Ghana. “You must know that we have come here with love in our heart…with a determination that we will always be stronger working together.”