At the second edition of the Black History Festival in Columbus-Ohio, USA, Ghanaian leaders have wooed Americans and Africans in diaspora to choose Ghana as the best destination for investment and development.
Stephen Selasie Asuo, Coordinator of the Black History Festival, indicated that the Black History Festival platform will become a strong bridge that brings people together to talk about commerce, trade, culture exchange, the strong diaspora and future of Africa and the United States; because the platform was initiated to connect businesses, governments, the private sector and civil society in Africa and the United States.
Senior Advisor to the president, Yaw Osafo Marfo, at the Black History Festival 2023 said: “The US and Africa relationship has gone through three major phases, and there’s a need to bring onboard the private sector. For businesses in both Ghana and the US, this idea of giving it a private sector dimension brings it to the taste of Americans, Ghanaians and rest of the continent”.
For her part, COP Maame Yaa Tiwa Addo-Danquah, Executive Director-Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), assured them that EOCO is so much interested in ensuring that investments in Ghana are protected. She noted that EOCO has a website where due diligence is carried out on potential investors to ensure they run no loss.
Carlos Ahenkorah, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism, indicated that the leadership of Ghana is aware of many people in the diaspora’s desire to go back home and establish businesses in Ghana; but they are left in doubt about how to safeguard their investments. He added that those in the diaspora are natives of Africa, and if they decide to set up a business in Ghana it should be treated as domestic business.
CEO of EIB Network, Mr. Nathaniel Adisi – popularly known as Bola Ray, after his call on stakeholders to pay attention to the creative bank in the showbiz industry of Ghana said: “Until recent times, many media houses were not paying attention to the music and arts from Africa; but now many TV shows among others play afro-beats on their programmes – indicating that afro-beats are dominating”.
He also pointed to the fact that nightclubs, restaurants and events around the world take delight in African music; therefore, that alone should tell Ghanaians there is a renaissance and we must take advantage to position our great potential.
Head of Diaspora at the Office of the President, Mr. Kwasi Awuah, said – building on the foundation of the ‘Year of Return’ and ‘Beyond the Return’ – he believes though it’s very challenging organising such events, colleagues in both Ghana and the diaspora need to harness the great potential that the Black History Festival offers for a collective gain.
Awal Mohammed, Minister for Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, reiterated that Africa wants to build a new partnership with the US and other allies – a partnership that will add value to products on or from the continent. “By our 70th independence celebration, we should be able to lead the way with great innovations on the continent.”
The four-day event ended with an awards ceremony to deserving Africans for their role in economics, development, media and academia, among others.
Organiser for the Black History Festival, Bureau for International Development, Exchanges and Commerce (BIDEC) and their partners announced that plans for the third edition are underway.
The Black History Festival is an annual event held in the USA to celebrate and strengthen ties between the United States of America and African Union member-states. It also provides platform to commemorate the heritage, arts, culture, trade, leadership and innovation of Africa in the history of the United States of America.