By Neenah Payne
‘Coming to Africa’ Movie Premier in Ghana says “The movie Coming to Africa is a collaboration of Ghanaian and African American creators. Director & Writer Anwar Jamison Produced by PY Addo-Boateng. The movie is streaming on Amazon Prime, Google Play and Apple TV depending on your country of origin.”
Ivy Prosper interviewed producer PY Addo-Boateng who explained that the goal of the film is to connect the Black Diaspora with Africa. Khalil Kain, one of the actors in the film, said that since his role was shot in Memphis, Tennessee, the premiere was his first trip to Africa. He was scheduled to stay a week, but he planned to extend his trip because he loves Ghana!
Kain revealed that there will be a “Coming to Africa II”.
Film Available on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and Apple TV
Anwar Jamison, Executive Producer, Director, and Writer of the film, said the response has been great.
The Amazon description says: “Adrian, a philandering financial executive, has spent his entire life shunning Black consciousness and chasing corporate success. Adrian’s brother Buch is an activist who holds community meetings in his barber shop. After a perfect storm of disappointment and discrimination, Adrian finds himself in Ghana where he meets Akosua and finds nourishment for his soul”.
It’s a very entertaining film that shows how modern Africa is. The success of the 2018 Black Panther film reflects the growing connection between the Black Diaspora and Africa.
WHAT IS YEAR OF RETURN 2019?
The slave trade marked a sordid period when Africans were taken from Africa into years of deprivation, humiliation, and torture. While August 2019 marks 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived in the United States, “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019” celebrates the cumulative resilience of the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.
The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family home.
2019: Year of Return for African Diaspora says “Ghana rolls out the red carpet to encourage resettlement in the motherland”.
“In Washington, D.C., in September 2018, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo declared and formally launched the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” for Africans in the Diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora. At that event, President Akufo-Addo said, “We know of the extraordinary achievements and contributions they [Africans in the diaspora] made to the lives of the Americans, and it is important that this symbolic year—400 years later—we commemorate their existence and their sacrifices.”
US Congress members Gwen Moore of Wisconsin and Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, diplomats and leading figures from the African-American community, attended the event. Representative Jackson Lee linked the Ghanaian government’s initiative with the passage in Congress in 2017 of the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act.”
The article points out:
“Since independence in 1957, successive Ghanaian leaders have initiated policies to attract Africans abroad back to Ghana. In his maiden independence address, then–Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah sought to frame Africa’s liberation around the concept of Africans all over the world coming back to Africa….Ghana’s parliament passed a Citizenship Act in 2000 to make provision for dual citizenship, meaning that people of Ghanaian origin who have acquired citizenships abroad can take up Ghanaian citizenship….
That same year the country enacted the Immigration Act, which provides for a “Right of Abode” for any “Person of African descent in the Diaspora” to travel to and from the country “without hindrance.” In 2007….the government initiated the Joseph Project to commemorate 200 years since the abolition of slavery and to encourage Africans abroad to return.
The African-American community is excited about President Akufo-Addo’s latest initiative. In social media posts, many expressed interest in visiting Africa for the first time. Among them is Amber Walker, a media practitioner who says that 2019 is the time to visit her ancestral home. “The paradox of being an African-American is that we occupy spaces where we are not being considered as citizens. So I love the idea of Ghana taking the lead to kind of help African-Americans claim their ancestral space,” she told Africa Renewal….“It is definitely comforting because that kind of red carpet has not been rolled out by our oppressors in the Western world,” she added.
In making the announcement, President Akufo-Addo said: “Together on both sides of the Atlantic, we’ll work to make sure that never again will we allow a handful of people with superior technology to walk into Africa, seize their people and sell them into slavery. That must be our resolution, that never again, never again!”
2019: Year of Return For African Diaspora
Africa is the second fastest-growing tourist destination with 67 million international tourists in 2018.
Gold Medallion Commemorates Year of Return
Why did She Leave New York City for Africa & Why Did She Launch the Year of Return Gold Medallion? features 80-year-old Brenda Joyce, CEO of African Heritage Precious Metals. When she was a child, Joyce’s father read her books about African history that made her want to know more about Africa. Joyce is a gemologist who marketed South African gold and diamonds in New York City and won the Business Woman of the Year of New York award in 1997. She first visited Africa in 1977.
When she met President Nelson Mandela in New York City at the premiere of the film based on his autobiography. She didn’t get in line to shake his hand because she wanted to talk with him. When Mandela walked over to her and introduced himself, she told him her plans for marketing gold and diamonds in the US.
At the end of the conversation, Mandela said, “Mrs. Joyce, I would like you to move to South Africa.” Joyce visited South Africa and then moved there where she lived 16 years. She discussed gold and diamonds with Mandela in one of the most special relationships she has ever had. She created Mandela coins and medallions that became among the biggest sellers in world history.
While Joyce was in South Africa, she began going to Ghana on business. Ghana was second to South Africa in production of gold then, but has overtaken South Africa now. Joyce was so drawn to Ghana that she repeatedly visited it and finally moved there. She has now been in Ghana for 8 years.
Joyce created the 24-karat 1 oz. and 1/10 oz. gold commemorative medallion for The Year of Return. By July 2020, the value of the medallion had increased by over 330% because of the price of gold rose to $2,000. The coin can be purchased on her African Heritage site.
Joyce says she created the medallion because The Year of Return was a monumental occurrence in the African world. She points out that gold coins and medallions have been made for centuries to commemorate important events, important people, and the history of various countries around the world. However, these products had not been created in the African world until now.
Why So Many Are Returning Now
What Did the Owner of One Africa Have to Say about Year of Return? is a September 2019 interview by Ivy Prosper with the 82-year-old IMAHKÜS Njinga Okofu Ababio, owner of One Africa who moved to Ghana from New York with her husband 30 years ago. Ababio explains that The Year of Return increased the number of people who came to Ghana – including famous actors and actresses. She believes that started a growing trend and that now is the time for African peoples from around the world to come together. Ababio says One Africa provides the atmosphere of an African village and does not offer WiFi, TV, A/C, or hot water. She says the breeze makes an air conditioner unnecessary.
Nightline – Ghana Report – Why So Many Are Returning Now discusses what it means for Black Americans to visit Africa now.
Chief Gives 5,000 Acres of Lush Land in Ghana For The Diaspora
Chief Okatakyi Dr Amanfi VII in Ghana gave 5,000 acres to the Diaspora community in 2019 as part of The Year of Return. In Is There Really Free Land in Ghana?, Ivy Prosper interviews Kwame Nitoto, a Black American who is the Administrator of The Asebu Pan African Village Project.
According to 2015 statistics, there are about 3,000 Black Americans living in Ghana. People from other parts of the Diaspora including Jamaica, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago are coming to Ghana now. Nitoto had a lifelong dream of going to Africa. When he went to Ghana in 2017 with a friend, he fell in love with Africa. He loved Cape Coast where he lived for a year, but moved to El Mina because he wanted to be close to a strong Black American community and he found a nice house there. Nitoto said Ghanaians are the kindest people he has ever met.
Nitoto says Ghana is attractive because it is land-rich. Chief Okatakyi Dr Amanfi VII contacted Rabbi Kohain Halevi, the leader of the diaspora community, and initially gave the community 100 acres. Rabbi Halevi called Nitoto because he knows he has a background in real estate.
In the first 60 days after Nitoto announced the project on social media and did a YouTube video, over 400 people contacted him. Since only 250 plots are available in 100 acres, Nitoto explained to the chief that 100 acres was not enough. So, Chief Okatakyi expanded the grant to 5,000 acres on the main road to Accra. People pay $700 per plot (80 x 80) to survey and register the land and receive a 99-year deed from the chief which they can give heirs and will be renewed. People can get larger plots (80 x 100 or 100 x 100) and as many plots as they want if they have an approved plan to develop the land.
Nitoto points out that 5,000 acres is bigger than most US cities! Oakland, California is not 5,000 acres! The Asebu Pan African Village Project is a long-term project. Nitoto explains that Ghana is only 63 years old – younger than he is! So, Ghana is not as developed as the US is, but Ivy says to think about how the US was when it was 62 years old. However, the project has electricity and access to the internet. Water pipes have to be put in. Ivy suggested that solar energy is a great option because the sun is always shining in Ghana.
This is a healing project after 400 years of slavery, degradation, and a lot of trauma. So, at least for now, the land is reserved for Africans and the African Diaspora. Everyone in the project is required to go through The Wellness Plan which is a series of workshops and orientations to let people know how to assimilate into Ghanaian culture. Twi, the dominant language in Ghana, includes the four mutually intelligible dialects Ashante, Fante, Bono, and Akuape. People in the region where the project is speak Fante.
The Asebu Pan African Village Project
The Asebu Pan African Village Project is a 50-year project because they are planning a city. The land is very fertile with oranges, moringa, palm trees, cassava, etc. The project has allocated 1,000 of the 5,000 acres for commercial farming. Ebenezer Obeng Baffoe, CEO of Casa de Ropa, established a model farm in the project to show farmers how to grow sweet potatoes which take 90 days to mature. His firm will buy potatoes from the farmers.
The project recommends that people use its registered contractors. However, the project is also building homes people can buy. While homes in Accra, the capital, are as expensive as in New York City, nice homes in regional areas of Ghana can cost as little as $20,000-$60,000.
Nitoto is the administrator and Ohbed is the Director of Operations of the project. Ohbed is shown below with Patricia, one of the first people who came to see the land. Ivy plays a video of Patricia visiting.
The purpose of the project is to provide land for Diasporans who want to live in Ghana. The site plan includes a school, a mall, and a health center. The project is divided into four areas for residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial. The project is not for people to build homes to sell for profit. The chief wants the area to be developed and he has the final approval on proposals. At least 20% of the project will be for local Ghanaians. In addition to Black Americans, lot of Blacks from the Caribbean and UK are coming.
THE PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF ASEBU TRADITIONAL AREA
The Asebu Pan African Village Project is designed to heal 400 years of slavery, degradation, and trauma for people of African descent. So, at least for now, the project is reserved for Africans and the African Diaspora. The 10-week Wellness Plan includes classes in Fante so people can learn the local language easily and quickly.
Chief Okatakyi Dr Amanfi VII was able to donate 5,000 acres because he has so much more land.
A chief in the northern region is donating a million acres and that project is under way!
Email Nitoto at [email protected] for more information
Note: Long Island, NY is just 896,000 acres and the state of Delaware is about 1.5 million acres!
Okatakyi Dr Amanfi VII is a Senior Fellow at the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD) and the Coordinator for Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) at KNUST. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Development Studies from the University of Bradford, UK. He holds post-graduate certificates in Planning and Appraisal of Industrial Investment, from Development and Projects Planning Centre, University of Bradford, UK and Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Capacity Building for Research and Development (Value Chain), ICRA, the Netherlands.
His research area includes sustainable development, chieftaincy, land use management, natural resource management and small-scale industry development. Okatakyi DR Amanfi VII was enstooled the Omanhen of Asebu Traditional Area in 2000.
In 2008, he was elected the Vice President of Central Region House of Chiefs, a position he held for 8 years. He has been a member of National House of Chiefs since 2004 and serves on a number of committees at both Houses. Okatakyi was recently appointed a Governing Board Member of Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM) and a Commissioner of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) as the Representative of Central Region.
Tour of The Asebu Pan African Village Project
In This Land Could Be Yours!! The Asebu Pan African Village in Ghana!!, Ivy takes a tour of The Asebu Pan African Village Project with Nitoto. Ivy points out that the land will be worth a lot more in 20 years than the $700 each plot costs now.
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