The Ghana Tourism Authority and Washington, D.C.-based Adinkra Group have teamed up in an effort to attract more Black American tourists to the West African nation.
The organizations inked a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, this year to collaborate on boosting tourism, business and investment in Ghana through various projects, according to a press release. The new deal is a part of ongoing efforts by the GTA and Adinkra Group, an African cultural resource company, aimed at promoting Ghana as a travel destination in the U.S. market and connecting those of African descent to the traditions of African culture.
“This MOU signifies a strong push in our quest to form strategic alliances with key actors in Africa Tourism,” Diallo Sumbry, CEO of the Adinkra Group, said in a statement. “[The] GTA has taken the bull by the [horns] in seeking to build on [Ghana’s] previous success with Panafest by working with us to introduce an annual “Back2Africa” Heritage Tour. We’re delighted with this partnership and the opportunities it presents to both organizations.”
Projects, including the aforementioned Back2Africa Tour and the Heritage Documentary, set for release in February 2018, are key parts of the organizations’ efforts to position Ghana as an attractive tourism destination. The tour, which runs from Feb. 26 through March 8, 2018, allows travelers an all-inclusive trip to Accra, Ghana, for a week full of fun, food, music, and culture. Meanwhile, the accompanying documentary follows U.S. go-go band the Backyard Band from Washington to Ghana as they “connect with their ancestral roots through music.”
“I wanted to take go-go to another place,” Sumbry said in a phone interview. “And a part of my mission with The Adinkra Group is to introduce people to African culture … whether [it’s] through a dance class, a drum class or selling waist beads. We believe that a part of our role is to introduce people to the culture … and let them find their own magic.”
Sumbry added that his group regularly organizes what he calls “birthright journeys” where travelers are able to trace their heritage through AfricanAncestry.com, the results of which are later revealed during a special ceremony on the trip.
For years, Ghana has been at the forefront of initiatives attracting more Black Americans to the Motherland. It was two years ago that the nation launched its “Right of Abode” program allowing people of African descent to gain permanent residency. The Ghanaian Immigration Act of 2000 states, “The concept of right of abode under Immigration Law is that person having the right of abode will ‘be free to live and to come and go into and from the country without let or hindrance.’ ”
Sumby noted an amazing feat in the country last year when 34 Africans of the diaspora were granted dual citizenship in Ghana. Now, the deal with the GTA is aiming to achieve similar interest by exposing more Blacks to African culture. Akwasi Agyeman, the acting CEO of the GTA, called the new MOU a “win-win relationship” for the two organizations.
“The Back2Africa Tour and documentary project affords us an opportunity to tap into new segments and position Ghana as an attractive tourism destination,” Agyeman stated. “In order for us to remain competitive, we must adapt to the ever-changing travel landscape.”
“That is what this partnership signifies,” he added.
As for Sumbry, the New Jersey native says it’s due time for more African-Americans to explore the continent of Africa without fear. He believes Black folk around the world will never get the respect they deserve until Blacks are willing to reconnect with the Mother continent.
The two groups already have new projects in store for 2018, including a tour of 50 U.S. cities to promote Ghanaian diaspora festivals and encourage people to visit. That tour is set to kick off in March 2018.
“Every Black person has an obligation to align themselves with an African country,” Sumbry said. “Find a place and at least visit once. Then after your visit, decide if you’re gonna go back, if you’re never gonna go back. You know, if you’re gonna pack up and repatriate.”