You are here: HomeNews2005 02 11Article 75077

General News of Friday, 11 February 2005

Source: GhanaWeb Correspondent

Ghana to encourage African/Americans to visits

Ho, Feb 10, GNA -The Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City would by 2007 embark on a "Joseph" Project aimed at facilitating the "spiritual" return of over 30 million Africans in the Diaspora to Ghana. Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, gave the hint when he addressed a review meeting of agencies and departments under the ministry in Ho on Thursday.

He explained that the "Joseph" project is fashioned on the biblical story of Joseph, the son of Jacob who, having been sold into slavery by his brothers, became the Prime Minister in Egypt of the Pharaohs where he eventually reconciled with his brothers, reunited with his family members whom he saved from hunger.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the project would start off with a gathering in Ghana of Africans in the Diaspora and chiefs from the West African coast whose predecessors were active in facilitating the slave trade to offer "expiation" on behalf of their ancestors. Another assembly of chiefs would follow this from places whose people were hunted as chattel slaves and the identification of "accepted" leaders of Africans in the Diaspora leading to a durbar of rapprochement of African peoples. The project would be climaxed with a healing concert involving big stars in the Diaspora and Ghana.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the project seeks to encourage every African in the Diaspora to embark on a pilgrimage to Ghana at least once in their lifetime, then subsequently as tourists and eventually to invest in the country. He said as part of the project all the slave forts, castles and other landmarks would be developed to offer different and unique experiences that every African in the Diaspora would be eager to experience. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said a museum of excellence would also be established in honour of African-Americans who distinguish themselves in various fields who as the new "Josephs" would be adorned with "coats of many colours" made of kente.

He said a heritage fund would also be established into which African-Americans would be encouraged to contribute to preserve "our heritage". GNA