In September 2018, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo declared 2019 the Year of Return to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of African slaves in America. In April 2019, it was announced that new festival Afronation would host its first edition on the continent in Ghana in December 2019. 9 months later, in January 2020, following the successful execution of the three day festival, first in Portugal and then in Ghana, the Ghanaian Government has signed an agreement that will make Ghana home to the African leg of the festival till 2024.
The MoU, which was signed by Mr. Akwasi, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), and Obi Asika, CEO of Event Horizon, was witnessed by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in London during the UK-Africa Investment 2020 Summit. The agreement was made public by Gabby Otchere-Darko, leader within the leading New Patriotic Party and confidant of the President via a tweet.
Ghana signs a five-year deal for Afro Nation to be hosted annually in Ghana. Fanstastic news for traders and ravers! #UKAfricaInvestmentSummit #ChristmasIsGhana #GhanaBeyondTheReturn pic.twitter.com/4wWXnkkRMV
— Gabby Otchere-Darko (@GabbyDarko) January 21, 2020
Speaking on the agreement, Obi Asika stated that, “Ghana is a welcoming destination, and we were happy with the warm reception we received, since we took Afro-Nation to the country. The President’s commitment to the project is unparalleled, and we look forward to another successful event in December 2020”.
Ghana has pinpointed the impact the festival had from a tourism standpoint and has used this as an opportunity to announce its ‘Beyond the Return’ campaign which aims to engage Africans in the Diaspora and all persons of African descent more positively in areas such as trade and investment co-operation.
The 3-day festival which has hosted a range of Africa’s biggest artists including Stonebwoy, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy and D’Banj will make the leap to North America when they host their Puerto Rico edition in March.