Last year, Ghana declared the “Year of Return” to appeal to Black Americans to visit Ghana and become acquainted with the continent of their forefathers.
Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the program was a boon to the economy and to the effort to boost Ghana’s tourism industry.
Ghana attracted a number of celebrities in 2019, including model Naomi Campbell, actor Idris Elba, comedian Steve Harvey and American rapper Cardi B.
To double down on its pitch to Black Americans, Ghana unveiled for this year a program called
“Beyond the Return.” According to the cited online article: “Ghana Tells Black Americans: ‘We Will Pay You To Live In Ghana.’”
It said Oteng-Gyasi “offered unhappy African Americans to come to Ghana.” Oteng-Gyasi’s overture to Black Americans has been pointed, as noted by her comments in Accra in June at a ceremony honoring George Floyd, whose death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer touched off weeks of protests in the U.S.
“Racism in America continues to be a deadly pandemic, for which for more than 400 years now, our brothers and sisters in the United States of America have yearned for a cure,” she said.
“We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters home. Ghana is your home. Africa is your home.” Oteng-Gyasi said, according to Newsweek. We have our arms wide open ready to welcome you home. … Please take advantage, come home, build a life in Ghana. You do not have to stay where you are not wanted forever, you have a choice and Africa is waiting for you.”
Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority has said the Popular Superstars article regarding purported offers of land and money is “categorically” untrue.
Likewise, Rabbi Kohain Halevi, director of PANAFEST, a cultural and theatrical event that attempts to unite Africans on the continent and in the diaspora around the issues raised by slavery, says he has never heard of any financial incentive being offered to African Americans or any members of the diaspora to return to Ghana.