The Ghana Year of Return Citizenship is a great opportunity for those in the diaspora to embrace their root and culture. The event has attracted many African descents to return to Africa and has reopened the door for them to discover their original roots. The best way to know about one’s culture is to become a citizen and/or immerse in the culture or country. Ghana consequently has remained at the center of attraction for visitors and tourist. The ongoing Year of Return event has made Ghana more popular. Ghana ranks 43rd in the World Peace Index and is the most peaceful country in all of Africa. Ghana organized the “year of return” in 2019 to enable Africans of the diaspora to come home. This notion originated to commemorate the 400 years since the first slave ship set sail from Africa, the slave trade lessened the human resource of the continent. Therefore, “the year of return” is the ideal platform for people of African descent to re-claim their heritage.
GHANA YEAR OF RETURN CITIZENSHIP
The Ghana “year of return” citizenship has previously been a matter of issue for many Africans in the diaspora. To become a Ghanaian citizen or naturalized is not a difficult process. The president of Ghana has given citizenship to over 200 African – Americans during recent year (2019) of return events. The year of return attracted plenty of Africans in the diaspora to Ghana and other parts of Africa to pay homage and to acquire citizenship. Those noted celebrities of African descent who has visited Ghana and other African countries during the year of return events are Samuel L. Jackson, Lupita Nyong’o of the Black Panther fame, Michael Jai White, Bozoma Saint John, Ernie Smith, Bubba Jenkins, Jidenna, Rosario Dawson and Lisa Raye.
Others celebrities include, Steve Harvey, Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, Anthony Anderson, Diggy Simmons, Cynthia Bailey, Deborah Cox, Irvin Mayfield, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Third World (a reggae band group), Cardi B, Rick Ross, Kofi Kingston, Danny Glover, Ludacris, T.I, and Hisham Tawfiq as well as other popular people of African descent.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first prime minister, granted citizenship to great Pan-Africanist including W.E.B. Du Bois, Pauli Murray, George Padmore, Maya Angelou, and etc after Ghana gained independence. This demonstrates Ghana willingness to grant Africans of the diaspora citizenship. The Ghana Year of Return Citizenship and events has enabled Africans of the diaspora to inherit their inheritance and claim their identity, relatively, some are also seeking to learn about the culture and traditions of their ancestors. According to the DAB (diaspora affairs bureau), more than 3,000 African-Americans and people of Caribbean descent are estimated to be living in Ghana presently. In 2014 Rita Marley the wife of reggae legend Bob Nesta Marley was granted a Ghanaian citizenship. Another 34 Afro-Caribbean citizens were granted a Ghanaian citizenship in 2016. On the contrary, people of African descent are acquiring their citizenship in Ghana and other parts of Africa through marriage. There is no prejudice or racism because Mother (Mama) Africa recognize every black person as African.
NOTED CELEBRITIES DURING THE YEAR OF RETURN
RIGHT OF ABODE, GHANA
The right of abode was formulated to give those in the diaspora hope to return to Ghana, though many African-Americans have claimed their citizenship in other African countries. Samuel L. Jackson (Gabon), Ludacris (Gabon), Idris Elba (Sierra Leone) and Tiffany Haddish (Eritrea) has claimed their citizenship during last year’s event. In Ghana, one could be granted a citizenship through the following:
⦁ Granted to Ghanaians who have lost their Ghanaian citizenship by reason of acquisition of a foreign nationality.
⦁ Granted to a person of an African descent in the Diaspora who is of good moral character attested to by two Ghanaians who are notaries public, lawyers, senior public officers or other class of persons who has been approved by the ministry (minister).
⦁ People who do not have prior criminal records or who has not been convicted or sentenced twelve months or more in prison.
⦁ A person of independent means and agenda.
⦁ People who want to invest and bring developmental ideas.
⦁ A person who is 18 years and above.
⦁ An application letter addressed to the Minister for the interior applying for Right of Abode
⦁ Attach relevant documents.
Six (6) months after report on due diligence has been submitted by the Ghana Immigration Service. For more on this, you can visit the diaspora Affairs Bureau.