Ghana is set to host the first ever ‘Back to Africa’ Festival as part of an aggressive drive to encourage Africans in the Diaspora to visit the country to reconnect with their roots.
The Ghana Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Adinkra Group of the United States of America would organise the pilgrimage under the theme: ‘Two cultures; One Foundation’.
Chief Executive Officer of the GTA Akwasi Agyemang said the initiative was part of the strategies adopted in the African Diaspora Heritage trail, which would be organised every year in the Black History month of February.
“The USA, as we are aware is the number one outbound destination for Ghana, and we want to grow those numbers significantly.”
This, he added, is to enable them identify business opportunities in the country and invest in the nation’s prosperity and become citizens as well.
According to the GTA CEO, “the festival will precede the re-launch of PANAFEST, then Emancipation and the Right to Return Festival, where African-American citizens who visit would be offered the chance to have a streamline process to be able to gain their citizenship”.
Chief Executive Officer of the Adinkra Group Diallo Sumbry said this was the time to talk about a lot of different things in terms of closing the gap between Africans in the Diaspora and Africans on the continent.
He explained the festival was aimed at bringing groups of African American citizens back to Ghana, every year during the last week of the Black History month of February.
“This year we are coming from Washington DC with a band, called the Backyard Band, which has an African root and plays indigenous music of Washington DC ‘Gogo’ music, which is very much related to Ghanaian music and culture.”
The Adinkra Group is an African cultural resource company that helps to teach, enrich and show people how to celebrate the different African cultures, in Washington DC, promote African culture through dances, songs, programmes, among others.
Diallo Sumbry said the initiative was the beginning of a continuation of building the bridge of Africans in the Diaspora and Africans on the continent, and expressed the hope that everyone would understand the significance and the importance of the time of now.
“We are doing this in the power of music, arts and culture,” he said.
“The Band is coming home, and would be performing around Ghana, to show everyone how the Band is connected to African culture.”
Seventy five people would be flying in for one week and the festival is expected to take place from February 27 to 5th March 2018.
Some programmes lined up for the festival are a welcome reception, performance at the Cape Coast Castle, an ancestry reveal through DNA testing, and a jam performance at the Accra Tourists Information Centre.
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