The Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture has officially launched the 2019 ‘Year of Return’ cloth.
Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, minister of tourism, unveiled the cloth at the third edition of the Ghana Diaspora Celebration & Homecoming Summit 2019, which is part of activities designated for the celebration of the ‘Year of Return’ in Accra.
According to the minister, the event was being held at a time when the country is in the spotlight for the right reasons for welcoming the global African community.
She said, the ‘Year of Return’, which was proclaimed by President Akufo-Addo, last year, commemorates 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in the USA and celebrate the resilience of the African spirit.
She added that the year-long activity, which is spearheaded by the Ghana Tourism Authority, is a concerted public-private effort with stakeholders like the Diaspora Affairs Office at the Presidency, the Manifest Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Adinkra group.
She said since its launch, the ‘Year of Return’ has endorsed over 78 events for a year-long celebration and commemoration, adding that the Ghana Diaspora Celebration & Homecoming Summit, one of the pillar activities of the year of return, comes at a time when the potential landscape of opportunities in the country is growing.
Mrs. Oteng Gyasi indicated that Ghanaians in the diaspora continue to invest in the country through remittances, starting businesses and donations to organisation.
She commended the Diaspora Celebration & Homecoming Committee for spearheading the event which has become a flagship for engaging the diaspora outside of Ghana.
“Ghanaians have travelled far and wide and everywhere they have been, they have not only made their mark, but continue to make a significant impact here at home,” she stated.
“Two years ago, the summit saw over 2000 delegates in attendance to network and build new relations that created stronger ties to Ghana, and many left the conference with a renewed sense of direction on how they could contribute to Ghana’s growth,” the minister said.
She urged them to look at Ghana as an investment option and use the time as an opportunity to network, engage and form solid relationships that would help them contribute to the building of the country.
Mr. Akwasi Awuah Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Presidency, said the ‘Year of Return’ is a step in exploring the rich Ghanaian heritage and economic opportunities in the country and the celebration builds on the previous ones, especially the 2017 event.
He pointed out that it is an event rallying Ghanaians living abroad to dialogue, network and explore economic and investment opportunities in the country in furtherance of President Akufo-Addo’s agenda of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.