Black History Month is a great opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of African Americans in North America. The theme for this year (2023) is “Ours to tell”. As an African diaspora and the Multicultural Mentorship Committee co-chair, I would like to reflect on the “Year of Return”, (2019) and “Beyond the Return” initiatives organized by Ghana in West Africa to recognize the 400th anniversary of the year the first slave traded Africans landed in America.
The Ghana government used the occasion to spotlight and celebrate the contribution of the African diaspora and to extend a hand of welcome back home. The “Year of Return” was a successful and attracted global celebrities to Ghana. After the “Year of Return” Ghana also introduced “Beyond the Return”. Since its introduction, there have been several global celebrities visiting Ghana and other parts of the continent.
As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s an opportunity for us to ask ourselves what more can Africans in Africa and the African diaspora do to interconnect for mutual benefit? In my opinion, it is also a time for African diaspora to visit mother Africa for an economic glimpse, to access the economic potential of Africa, and subsequently invest in Mother Africa. In addition, African Americans can visit Ghana and other parts of Africa to trace their ancestry and forge closer ties with the continent. In order for Africa to attract the African diaspora to visit, we have to see Africa beyond coups d’état and the unjustified cracking down on people of different gender orientations. We can find a common ground for all genders as one people with a common destiny. Africa can strategically position herself to attract investors across the globe and tap all its human capital for economic growth.
In conclusion, as Pope Francis said, “Being homosexual isn’t a crime”. Therefore, Africa leaders could learn from what Pope Francis said and treat all genders with respect and dignity to build a better Africa that we will all be proud off.