The recent visit of American rapper T.I highlights just how successful Ghana’s Year of Return initiative has been.
Throughout this year, thousands of blacks from the diaspora have visited the country to reconnect with their roots.
Aside celebrities like Steve Harvey and TIP, many ordinary diasporans have made the trip and Ghana has truly been put on the map.
According to Forbes magazine, the ‘Year of Return’ has sparked a global movement with Ghana at the centre.
“Tourism is big business. Globally, it accounts for more than 10% of GDP. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, 1 out of 5 of all jobs created in the last 5 years was in tourism,” Forbes reports.
“But on the African continent, it accounts for only 3.6% of GDP. With its massive growth and job creating potential, it’s no wonder why African governments are trying to increase tourism to their nations. None has done it as well as Ghana. The “Year of Return” has hit a chord.”
According to Forbes, a million people would have visited Ghana for the Year of Return by close of the year 2019.
“In January of 2019, the Ghana Tourism Authority projected that “Year of Return” programming would bring 500,000 diasporans to visit the country over the course of the year. The actual number has well exceeded expectations. The Ghana Tourism Authority reports that there have already been 750,000 foreign visitors in 2019 and that number is expected to top 1M before the year ends.” the report notes.
The NPP government has not done a lot of things right but the ‘Year of Return’ seems like an inspired move – giving Ghana a boon both financially and culturally.