This year it seemed that everybody made it to the Motherland. Over the holidays our Explore Feeds were overflowing with posts of our favourite social media stars and celebrities enjoying the scenic landscapes and historical sights of Ghana by way of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo’s call to action--"The Year of Return”--welcoming people from across the African Diaspora with open arms.
Afrochella 2019 Attendees ©STEVEMORRISM
One of the biggest draws of the initiative was reconnecting those that have been isolated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the new world--namely the United States as well as Caribbean and Latin American communities--to their pre-colonial history. President Akufo-Addo even went so far as to offer Jamaican citizens travel access to Ghana without having to acquire a travel visa, one of the main obstacles the country faces when it comes to global tourism.
photo by @ludacris
But the Year of Return wasn’t just about cultural discovery and redefining our ancestry, it was also a huge party. Afrochella--the African rendition of California’s Coachella--saw awesome crowds and made for more incredible content.
photo by @sandralambeck
The initiative was rounded off by an invitation for African-Americans to gain Ghanaian citizenship to encourage economic development through foreign investment and increased tourism. But now that 2019 has come to a close, what happens next?
The Ghanaian government has parlayed the Year of Return initiative into an open-ended proposition--"Beyond the Return.” The intention is not only to encourage the continued engagement of the global African community but also to ignite interest in other African countries too! While Nigeria has become a great tourist attraction over the last few years, Tanzania and Senegal are not too far behind. Furthermore, with 54 possible destinations for your next vacation, Africa is an untapped treasure chest of hidden gems and new discoveries.
We’re certainly relieved to hear that the party isn’t over yet because we definitely aren’t ready to submit to the frosty temperatures of the English winter season just yet. We’ve got way more exploring to do!