Year of Return celebration cloth unveiled

By: Gifty Owusu-Amoah
Year of Return cloth launched
President Akufo-Addo with Tourism Minister, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi and other dignitaries unveiled the Year of Return cloth

AN official cloth for the celebration of the Year of Return has been revealed at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) in Accra.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi unveiled the cloth at the third edition of the Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit 2019, which is part of activities marking the Year of Return.

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Speaking at the Summit, the Minister said the year-long celebration, which is being championed by the Ghana Tourism Authority, is a concerted public-private effort with stakeholders such as the Diaspora Affairs Office at the Presidency, Manifest Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Adinkra Group.

She noted that since the launch of the Year of Return last year by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, over 78 events had been held to mark the celebration and an official cloth was just one of the ways of projecting Ghanaian culture to those in the Diaspora.

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Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit, one of the pillar activities of the Year of Return, had come at a time when the landscape of opportunities in the country was growing.

She added that the event was being held at a time when the country was in the spotlight for the right reasons including welcoming the global African community.

Despite being away, the Tourism Minister acknowledged that many Ghanaians continued to invest in the country in various forms.

“The role the Ghanaian Diaspora plays in job creation across the tourism value chain cannot be underestimated. Many hotels, guesthouses, hostels, restaurants, sites and attractions, are either owned or managed by the Ghanaian Diaspora.

“Ghanaians have travelled far and wide and everywhere they have been, they have not only made their mark, but continue to make a significant impact here at home,” she said.

Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Presidency, Mr Akwasi Awuah Ababio, said the Year of Return was one step in exploring the rich Ghanaian heritage and economic opportunities in the country.

“The Diaspora Affairs Office is committed to continuously support the Diaspora community as they contribute in diverse ways towards Ghana’s development,” he stated.

The Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit was attended by President Akufo-Addo and the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman.