Mr Diallo Sumbry, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Adinkra Group of the United States of America (USA), has called on Africans in the Diaspora to show commitment towards the development and re-development of the African continent.
Mr Sumbry made the call at the “Spirit of Resilience Concert” organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with the Adinkra Group as part of activities to mark the second annual Back2Africa Festival in Cape Coast on Sunday.
The Bac2Africa Festival sought to aggressively encourage and get Africans in the Diaspora to connect with their roots and be part of the development process of the continent.
It forms part of the events scheduled for the year-long calendar of activities for the “Year of Return” Ghana 2019 for the celebration and remembrance of 400 years of the resilience of the African spirit.
Lined-up events at the festival focused on arts, performances, education and service projects in Ghana’s most historic venues.
Mr Sumbry said the “Year of Return” is an opportunity for black people around the world to have a stake in the development and re-development of Africa based on the spirit of resilience, stressing that it is imperative for African people of the Diaspora to come home.
He said the negative images of the African continent projected to black people of the outside world was only meant to keep them away from connecting to their roots and to help in the development of the continent.
He urged his colleagues in the Diaspora not to concentrate on those negative imageries but rather connect with their roots and help create a good image for the continent adding that, “we black people of the Diaspora have a responsibility to ensure that such negative images are erased”.
“Many people have a negative image of what Africa is like, many don’t even know that Africa is a continent and Ghana is a country on the continent”, Mr Sumbry said.
He said the year of return is a very powerful thing which could help build new positive relationships and develop minds for a common goal.
“I believe that when African people of the Diaspora touch their feet on the African soil, the gene hidden in them becomes unlocked and I strongly believe that it opens their minds to develop, build new things, relationship that might be very difficult to do in America,” he said.
“The ability to go through what African people have gone through and to still be able to come back as we have, to maintain and to strive for the best and to be all the things happening now is because of resilience,” he said.
Mr Sumbry called on government and its business community to connect with their colleagues in the Diaspora to build and to develop ‘Ghana beyond Aid’.
He expressed the hope that programmes such as Back2Africa Festival would go a long way to bring Africans in the Diaspora together.
Mr Kwame Gyasi, Central Regional Director of GTA, said events lined-up for the Back2Africa Festival is a strong indication that Ghana and the rest of Africa is ready to receive its brothers and sisters from the Diaspora.
He said the events also presented golden opportunity for the people of the Central Region, as the region is the tourism heartbeat of the country, to showcase its potentials for the untapped tourism resources to be developed.
Dr Gina Paige, President and Co-Founder of the African Ancestry, presented results of a DNA test done by some Africa Americans in their quest to know their African ancestry and they were thrilled to know their African lineage.