Ghana was the first African country to initiate the Year of Return in 2019. A call which was accepted with open arms and brought into action by celebrities. What is attractive about Ghana?
By Nana Ama Gyemaah Otuahene
Ghana Honestly Attracts Nations Abroad. After 400 years when the first Black slaves landed on the soil of the United States of America (USA), Ghana decided to strategically invite the Africans living in the Diaspora to come back home to lose memories and emotions of cultures and family ties left behind by their forefathers.
Ghana was the first African country that initiate the Year of Return in 2019. A call which was accepted with open arms and brought into action by celebrities such as Boris Kodjoe and his family; Steve Harvey, Kofi Kingston, Idris Elba and a host of others, uncountable ones. Ghana has been the destination for many more Africans in the diaspora till the present day.
Ghana Honestly Attracts Nations Abroad because of many attractive attributes of the nation which I will tell you about as well as some of the reasons for which Ghana attracts nations abroad.
Cultural and historical diversities
Ghana is rich in cultural and historical diversity, with 16 different regions and countless tribes and traditions. The various ethnic groups in Ghana such as the Akans (Asantis and Fantes), Ewes, Guans etc., have different traditional festivals (Homowo, Odwira, Hogbetsotso etc.) which are celebrated at certain times of the year. Regardless of these diverse traditional festivals, the style of dressing with the popular Kente cloth or smock, matched with beads, is similar. One of the most interesting cultural rites performed by the Krobos for teenage girls who are being ushered into adulthood makes people think how technologically advanced the world is, yet there is a certain rite where women’s hair is shaved completely from their scalps and they are made to stand bare-chested in broad daylight. The interesting escapades of how young men in Winneba would cover their waists with pieces of African cloth, leaving their chests bare, and run into the bush to catch spiritually dazed dears lured to these men by their spiritual god of worship during the Aboakyir festival—a festive razzmatazz. They jog their memories to come and see for themselves the truth of these practices.
When an Akan is born, he automatically gets a name on the day he is born. This is called the soul name. Although this is an Akan way of naming, most tribes in Ghana share this culture. An Akan girl born on a Saturday is called Ama, and if it’s a boy, he’s called Kwame. Some name their female and male children in the order of their birth rites. Some of the names given to firstborn girls in some clans of the Ga community are Adjeley, Ameley, Ayeley, Yeye etc. and for firstborn boys, they are given names like Adjetey, Nuetey and Ashitey. Some foreign nationalities who have visited Ghana have either adopted a soul name or have been given other local names depending on which part of Ghana they find themselves in and the kind of friends they surround themselves with.
Historically, it has been recorded that of all the tribes in Ghana, the Ashanti are fearless warriors. They were led by some strong-willed leaders, like Nana Yaa Asantewaa, to fight the British. It was a war of machetes and spears mixed with supernatural powers summoned from the skies by the Ashantis against the guns and ammunition technologically used by the British. Yet the Ashantis sometimes won these battles! A technological mystery explained by African juju powers.
After many decades and centuries in which Africans living in the Diaspora had their sense of belonging and identity wiped out the moment they passed through the “Gate of No Return,” there is this strong desire to reconnect with the sources of identity, pride in the sense of belonging, knowing that their ancestors resisted slavery with a strength that cannot be explained by Google. Africans in the diaspora now want to come and physically touch the graves of these warriors and hear the fascinating stories of their struggles. When Steve Harvey visited the slave castles in Ghana, he said, ”I could feel my ancestors on me”.
Beaches, mountains and other destinations
Ghana truly attracts nations abroad. Every country has its own unique and beautiful places that people would travel across continents and countries just to see, and Ghana is no exception. Ghana has beautiful beaches with palm trees planted to provide natural fresh air and shade, as well as the delicious coconut juice the trees provide. These beaches are home to many people from different backgrounds and provide that Ghanaian sense of belonging and caring. Busua Beach, Coconut Groove Beach Resort, and Labadi Beach are a few examples of beaches in Ghana that will leave you with a lasting memory.
The Eastern Region, informally known as the Mountains, is jokingly referred to as Little London because of the cold weather that hangs over the region due to the mountains. It is the only region where you can see the beautiful mountains with their green forests while sitting on a bus and travelling.
Other places to visit include the Monkey Sanctuary at Tafi-Atome, a place where monkeys were protected because they were believed to be messengers from the gods. Kakum National Park is a wildlife sanctuary and a canopy walk that will give you confidence and warrior qualities. Trust me, you will know how brave you are after the canopy walk.
Welcoming and family ties
Ghana honestly attracts nations abroad because of the way it shows family ties and our welcoming nature. Ghanaians are very hospitable people. So much so that even strangers are given a cup of water when they need it, and a lunatic is assured a meal for the day if he can take his empty bowl, won from a buried rubbish dump, to the waakye seller at the market.
Ghanaians love people who have travelled from their countries to see, speak, and live in Ghana. To win the heart of a Ghanaian, all a foreigner has to do is say one or two words in Twi, Ghana’s widely spoken dialect, and they may even give you a place to lay your head and feed you for the duration of your visit. You should know, however, that Ghanaians don’t joke with words of appreciation like ‘Medase-thank you’. The food is good, especially if they have given you something to eat. The next day, you can be sure of more meat in your meal if you do it right.
Family is everything in Ghana. Ghanaians have strong family ties both internally and externally. Unlike in the West, where young people leave home at the age of 16 or 18 to start an independent life away from their family, Ghanaians can live with their family for up to 30 years or more. Sometimes, considerations of being close to family prevent many from seeking or accepting jobs that are far away. Family is so important that no marriage or funeral takes place without family members present. Two families will marry, and this is one of the many reasons why marriages in Ghana can last a lifetime.
Ghanaians have many different languages and dialects. Some of them, especially the Akans who make up the larger population, have many dialects that are mutually intelligible, so when an Akyem or a Nzema or a Fante or an Ashanti speaks, it is easy to pick up certain vocabulary because they mean the same thing.
The Mfantse or Twi language is spoken and understood by almost every Ghanaian, including foreigners who have had the opportunity to spend time in Ghana. It is believed that if English had not been the official language of Ghana, Twi would have been. People from the north, south, east and west have been enticed to speak or understand Twi to the point that the Akans envy other Ghanaians and foreigners.
The Ghana Cedi
If you exchange 1 USD to the Ghanaian cedi, it will be 7.52. With 1 pound, it is 9.29 cedis. A simple calculation suggests that the pound and the dollar are higher currencies than the cedi. So there is a thirst for Africans who have travelled out of the country or Africans in the Diaspora or even foreigners who have tasted the Ghanaian currency to want to work harder for more money with the sole intention of coming to Ghana to buy land and start businesses. Many businesses in the hospitality industry such as restaurants, hotels and beaches are owned by Africans in the Diaspora, Africans who have left the shores of Ghana or foreigners. The same is true of NGOs and other businesses such as car sales or real estate. For wholly foreign-owned companies, the non-Ghanaian would have to have a minimum capital of $500,000 and for a joint partnership of a citizen and a non-citizen, the minimum capital should be $200,000 paid by the non-Ghanaian.
If the pound and dollar conversions are done correctly, you will see why Ghana is the place to start a business.
Overall, all these unique attributes have become Ghana’s heritage, which sells the country to other nations and Africans in the Diaspora who may have lost their true African identity during the period of post-colonialism and exposure to foreign cultures, and tap into the ancestry of the land to rekindle lost hopes and aspirations; to find families in us who are still here. From the above compelling points, it is clear that Ghana honestly attracts nations abroad. Consider Ghana as a destination and you will never regret it.
Nana Ama Gyemaah Otuahene