After Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo announced how 2019 would serve as the “Year of Return,” there has been a plethora of activities to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The Ghana Tourism Authority reports having had 750,000 foreign visitors in 2019 despite expecting 500,000 in the year. With a few weeks left to the end of the year Ghana’s tourism authority expects the numbers to rise to 1 million foreign visitors.
This initiative has seen an array of celebrities across the globe make their way to Ghana to explore, learn and appreciate their roots, as well as, unite with Africans on the continent. The year of return and the full circle celebrations amigo support cultural ownership, economic collaboration in Africa and building bridges between Africans on the Continent and in the Diaspora, To Connect Black communities globally for the exchange of ideas and shared objectives that leads to cultural monetisation and community reinvestment, To facilitate the learning and discovery of the many facets of Africa’s beauty, excellence and opportunity globally.
Rumour has it that Grammy-award winning singer Beyonce Giselle Knowles Carter could be visiting Ghana with her family for the Full Circle Festival.
Bozoma Saint John and Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned consumer technology company merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color and the parent company of Essence Communications, Inc.are playing a key role in Beyonce’s visit to Ghana.
She is scheduled to travel to cape coast, the Central Region Capital to tour the Elmina and Cape Coat castles.
The 2019 ESSENCE Full Circle Festival will take place in Accra in December and complete the Year of Return commemoration – marking 400 years since the first slave ships left Ghanaian coasts for the transatlantic slave trade. This specially-curated, week-long immersion will enable engagement between U.S.-based cultural influencers and business executives with Ghanaian and regional leaders and communities, including explorations of history, cuisine, music, fashion, beaches, nightlife, commerce and more.
The 2019 ESSENCE Full Circle Festival will include the first-ever ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa, which will convene entrepreneurs, executives, entertainers and government officials to discuss how new opportunities for economic development and cultural exchange can be created.
The inaugural Full Circle Festival also included the participation of President Akufo-Addo and took place in Accra in December 2018, led by Full Circle Festival, LLC partners Boris Kodjoe, Patrick Kodjoe, Bozoma Saint John – all of Ghanaian descent – and Nicole Ari Parker. More than 120 invited guests including business executives, influencers, and celebrities from the United States traveled to Ghana for cultural engagement and ancestral reconnection, resulting in nearly 10,000 positive social media posts and half a billion media and social impressions, as well as an estimated economic impact of more than $70 million in tourism revenue.