The maiden edition of Black History Festival (BHF) has been held in Washington DC in the USA.
The event was intended to expose African diaspora to opportunities that exist in Africa, especially the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
“The commencement of the AfCFTA and the AGOA has opened more opportunities for the African diaspora to connect with the continent for trade, innovation and investment. Take advantage of it and make good use of it.
“The AGOA, for instance, is a legislation that was approved by the United States of America Congress to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the US and the (African) continent,” the Coordinator of the BHF, Mr Stephen Selassie Asuo, told participants.
The BHF is an event used to celebrate people of African descent while creating a bridge between Africans in the diaspora and those back home.
The festival aims to expose the people to trade, investment and export opportunities, as well as bring more diasporans home.
“Beyond the Return gave prominence to Ghana, but the Black History festival gives prominence to Africa as a whole,” Mr Asuo said.
Sharing the schedule for the second edition of the BHF, he said, “there will be national BHF forums in Ghana, Morroco, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Eswatini, Rwanda, Cameroun and Ethiopia from June 2022.”
“These forums will come with business, tourism and arts activities. There will also be special BHF editions for the Caribbean in August 2022 and in Europe in October 2022,” the coordinator added.
Other speakers at the event included the African Union Permanent Representative to USA, Hilda Suka-Mafudze; the Vice-President of the World Bank - Eastern and Southern Africa, Hafez Ghanem; Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo; the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, Mrs Kate Djankwei Abbeo, and the Deputy Director of Diasporan Affairs, Nadia Adongo Musah.
The event was under the endorsement of the Africa Union Mission to USA, Jacobs Abbey Global Institute of Leadership and Studies, the Ghana Free Zones Authority, YALI Office in Washington DC, the US Embassy in Ghana, Mubita LLC, Festival of Lights, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ghana Enterprises Agency, Gaithersburg Auto Clinic, among others.