The Black History Festival, a special initiative dedicated to the celebration of the strong ties between the Governments of the United States of America and the African Union member states, allowed stakeholders to have a common platform to commemorate the heritage, arts, culture, trade, leadership, and innovation of Africa in the history of the United States of America.
Stephen Selasie Asuo, the Coordinator of the Black History Festival, in a remark, indicated that the Black History Festival platform would become a strong bridge that would bring people together to talk about commerce, trade, culture exchange, the strong diaspora and the future of Africa and the United States because the platform was initiated to connect businesses, governments, private sector, and civil society in Africa and the United States.
Former Minister and Senior Advisor to the President, Hon Yaw Osafo at the Black History Festival 2023, said ‘’ US and Africa relationship has gone through three major faces and there’s the need to bring on board the private sector. Business both in Ghana and the US, this idea of giving it a private sector dimension brings it to the taste of Americans and the Ghanaians and the rest of the continent.’’
Some Africans in the diaspora believe if governments in power can create formal structures where the diaspora can invest without the fear of losing money, people will invest to make the African economy a strong one.
COP Maame Yaa Tiwa Addo-Danquah, the Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) assuring the diaspora, hinted that EOCO is so much interested in ensuring that investments in Ghana are protected. she noted that EOCO has a website where due diligence is carried out on potential investors to ensure they run no loss.
Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah, chairman of the parliamentary select committee on Trade, Industry, and Tourism, has that the leadership of Ghana is aware of the desire of many people in the diaspora to come back to establish businesses in Ghana but they are left in doubt about how to safeguard their investments. He added that those in the diaspora are our natives and if they decide to set up businesses in Ghana, it should be treated as domestic businesses.
CEO of EIB Network, Mr. Nathaniel Adisi popularly known as Bola Ray in Showbiz after his call to stakeholders to pay attention to the creative bank in the showbiz industry in Ghana has said that until recent times, many media houses were not paying to the music and arts from Africa but now many great tv shows, etc play afro beats on their programs indicating that afro beats are dominating. He pointed to the fact that many clubs, restaurants, and events around the world take delight in our African music therefore that alone should tell Ghanaians that there’s a renaissance and we must take advantage to position our great potential.
Head of Diaspora at the office of the president, Mr. Kwasi Awuah on his part said, building on the foundations of the ‘’Year of Return and Beyond the Return’’ he believes though very challenging in organizing such events, colleagues both in Ghana and the diaspora need to harness the great potential that the Black History Festival offers for a collective gain.
Hon. Awal Mohammed, Minister for Tourism, Creative Arts reiterated that Africa wants to build a new partnership, a partnership with the US and other allies. A partnership that would add value to products on or from the continent. By our 70th Independence celebration, we should be able to lead the way with great innovations on the continent.
President and Group Ceo of M & C Group, Mr. Michael Leslie Bartlett-Vanderpuje has also called on corporations to support initiatives like the Black History Festival to make more impact and build ties between Africa’s bilateral partners especially the USA.
Mr Bartlett-Vandapuje noted that M & C Group as a business with international offices in Asia, America and Africa, has placed premium on expanding its reach to capture the global market. The conglomerate decided to support the festival because it carries the spirit of globalization of industries, cultural heritage and digital transformation-these are the ideals needed for Africa to catch up with the rest of the trading blocs he said.
The M & C Group were sponsors for the 2023 USA Edition of the black History Festival held in Columbus, Ohio with with support from Coa Mixture.
The second edition of the Black History Festival was held at Columbus Ohio in the USA. Plans for the third edition are underway and promises to be a bigger and better experience according to the organizers, Bureau for International Development, Exchanges and Commerce (BIDEC) and their partners.
Source: Lambert Donkor