Pan Africanist and Research fellow at the University of Ghana, Dr. Obadele Kambon, has described as flawed the tourism grounds for the proclamation of 2019 as a year of return by President Akufo-Addo.
According to him, the initiative which seeks to reunite Ghana with all Diasporan descendants of Africans who were captured and transported into the Americas as slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries is flawed because it is focused mainly on inviting these Africans into the country only as tourists.
He said, the country is by far not making any effort to retain these visitors as citizens.
“By far the initiative by government to reconnect with the African Diaspora is a laudable one but its tourist basis is flawed, because these guys just come, visit tourist sites and return to their respective countries without any impact on the country,” he stated
The University of Ghana African Studies lecturer further called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider the Diaspora Engagement policy and incorporate how the African descents in the diaspora can acquire citizenship of the country.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a Diaspora Engagement Policy but it does not talk about how we could acquire citizenship of our native country but about how to renew your Ghanaian passport; hence it only affects Ghanaians sojourning abroad and not the descendants of slaves that were transported abroad.”
We feel like refugees, we don’t have a place to go to. We want to enjoy the citizenship of the countries
to which we belong so that we could contribute our diverse expertise in developing the country” Dr. Obadele Kambon
President Akufo- Addo last year proclaimed 2019 as the Year of Return for all Diasporan descendants of Africans who were captured and transported into the Americas as slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Titled, ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’, the proclamation was read at a ceremony at the United States National Press Club in Washington DC to formally launch a programme of activities marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619.
Story by: Harriet Bio|universnewsroom.com