Celebrated Ghanaian creative personality, Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, known professionally as M.anifest, has applauded the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, and all stakeholders who have ensured the success of the December in Ghana Initiative.
December in Ghana is an initiative by the government of Ghana through the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture to make Ghana the best destination for Christmas holidays and festivities.
Howard University in the United States of America has declared the 2022–2023 academic year as the “Year of Ghana” and is having lots of programs to tell black history.
M. Anifest, speaking at one of the sessions, emphasized how the said initiative is enriching black history and how black people acknowledge themselves in different ways.
“It’s beautiful that, now when you come to Ghana in December, majority of the people on the plane coming to Ghana are blacks, it’s incredibly and this didn’t happen out of fancy words but out openness, execution of the initiative by the government and a lot”
According to him, this initiative has proven that Africans, especially Ghanaians, acknowledge and value blackness, for example, through tourism, the arts, and culture.
He believes one of the biggest shining lights on the continent is the arts industry, which is doing so well both at home and overseas.
Since 2019, thousands of Africans from the diaspora retreat to the country after President Nana Akufo-Addo officially announced and launched the “Year of Return” campaign in late 2018, in hope of encouraging people of African descent to reconnect and unite on the very soil many of our ancestors were taken from hundreds of years ago.
The annual occurrence has now turned into what many would consider a bucket list experience. There are dozens of concerts, people party and celebrate into the early morning hours, and now, Black American celebrities are getting in on the action by hosting their own events in Accra during that time.
Using data from the Kotoka International Airport, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) said that 116,438 international arrivals from all entry points in December 2019 were the most tourists to arrive in a single month in recent history. This was made possible by the Year of Return.
However, the numbers declined in 2020 to 43,645, representing a 62.52 percent decrease compared to the COVID-19 pandemic, which came with travel restrictions.
After that, the numbers went up by 94.67 percent to 84,965 in 2021 and kept going up to 98,873 in December of last year, which had a big effect on all parts of the tourism industry.