For All Points-Of-The-View.
The festival seeks to motivate citizens outside of the continent to invest in their country and will take place under the theme Two Cultures, One Foundation.
The Back to Africa Festival is one of the results of the African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT), a UNESCO-associated initiative that brings professionals from various sectors to highlight the contributions of people of African descent across the Caribbean and the Americas. Some of the territories to host the ADHT conference include Bermuda and the Bahamas.
Speaking about the forthcoming festival, Ghana Tourism Authority CEO Akwasi Agyemang said, along with other programmes – a relaunch of the Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST), which was first held in 1992, Emancipation Day and the Right to Return Festival – the Back to Africa Festival was created to target Ghanaians in the US diaspora, leading to an increase of visitors to the country.
The authorities have said African Americans in attendance will get a chance to take Ghanaian citizenship through a process that is easier then the conventional.
“The US, as we are aware, is the No 1 outbound destination for Ghana and we want to grow those numbers significantly,” Agyemang said.
For the festival, the tourism body will work with the US-based African cultural resource company Adinkra Group, whose CEO Diallo Sumbry said there was a need to showcase African beauty through arts and culture influenced by the continent.
“This year,” he said, “we are coming from Washington DC with a group called the Backyard Band, which has an African root and plays indigenous music of Washington DC ‘Gogo’ music, which is very much related to Ghanaian music and culture.”
Events scheduled to take place during the festival include performance at the Cape Coast Castle, DNA testing for ancestry and a jam session at the Accra Tourists Information Centre.
“We are doing this in the power of music, arts and culture,” Sumbry said. “The band is coming home and will be performing around Ghana to show everyone how it is connected to African culture.”