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24 Hours In: Accra

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There’s plenty of things to do to fill 24 hours in Accra, Ghana, from enjoying a traditional breakfast with locals to getting a history lesson in the Old Town to exploring the city’s cosmopolitan side by night. Best of all, you can do it all by foot, since the areas listed below are all within walking distance of each other.

Early morning: 7 – 9am
A good way to start your day before the heat and traffic becomes too much to bear is to head straight into the heart of Accra, to Makola Market. This market is a typical African urban market and is from where all items are bought, sold, and distributed throughout the country. There is a little bit of everything here, so be warned, it can be a little overwhelming, but it’s also a great place for interacting with locals.

Start by walking along the main streets on the periphery of the market. For breakfast, there are quite a few tasty options. Stop at at one of the many food stands featuring piles of eggs and loaves of bread, and order up an omelet with toast. Some of these stands offer guacamole or smashed pear on bread, as well. Fruit is plentiful, with the best mangoes, pineapples, watermelons, and papaya (popo) you’ll find anywhere. The local favourite, though, is bananas and peanuts (groundnuts), often sold from the top of a woman’s head.

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can try a local breakfast treat, waakye (pronounced ‘watch-eh’), which is black eyed peas with rice and your choice of other toppings. You can get it topped with spaghetti noodles, boiled eggs, gari (ground cassava), salad, tomato stew (which is practically a necessity to counter the dry rice and beans), spicy shito (roasted chili peppers, onion, garlic, and ground shrimp), or beef or chicken. If you’re not sure where or how to order waakye, just ask some of the locals — they’ll be more than happy to help, especially if you tell them it’s your first time in Ghana and tasting waakye!

In the morning, Ghanaians typically drink tea, coffee, or Milo (hot chocolate). The egg seller should have any of these options for you. You can also look around for guys with red Nescafe carts and large thermoses, who can make you a cup of coffee. Yes, unfortunately it’s instant coffee only; there isn’t much of a fresh coffee drinking culture in Accra.

After sustaining yourself, you can now get lost in the market, although don’t expect to find much in the way of crafts or souvenirs. Instead, you’ll find items that Ghanaians use in their everyday lives, such as food, clothing, cooking and kitchen items, beauty products, and so on.

Morning: 9am – 12pm
From Makola Market, you have two options: you can either head north up Kojo Thompson Road or Barnes Road to the National Museum of Ghana, or go southwest along Kojo Thompson Road and John Atta Mills High Street into James Town and Old Accra.

The National Museum offers great perspective into the cultures of Ghana and West Africa, aided with artifacts, pictures, sculptures, and traditional art.

James Town and Old Accra are a wonderful mix of old and new coming together. There are a number of historic sites that blend into the surroundings, as the community has grown around them over the years. There are two forts, Ussher Fort and Fort James (although you’d probably be just fine with only seeing one of them). They are both colonial era forts that were formerly used as prisons. In 2005, Ussher Fort was used to house Sudanese refugees, and still has some interesting graffiti from this time. Fort James was most recently used as one of Ghana’s prisons, but is now decommissioned. You can tour either of these but be warned that both are in a pretty rundown state.

Down the street a little farther to the west is the James Town Lighthouse. You can climb this lighthouse for a nominal fee and get one of the best views of Accra, but note that it’s not for the lighthearted as it requires climbing an old ladder through a narrow space. From the lighthouse, you can descend back to the street and visit the nearby local fishing beach. You’ll see how the fisherman go out to and return from sea here. Most of the surrounding community still relies on fishing as its primary income.

From here you can walk some of the narrow avenues of James Town and see local street art mixed with colonial architecture. Every August there is the Chale Wote Street Art Festival, which brings together music, dancing, street art, food, and just an overall great time.

Midday: 12 – 2pm
No matter where you went for your previous stop, you’ll be very close to the beach, which is a great place to take a break with a cold drink and enjoy lunch. Our pick is Osekan Bar (pronounced ‘oh-say-can’), which sits on a cliff over the water off John Atta Mills High Street. At the end of a football pitch at the beach side near the cocoa house, there is an arched entryway and stairs that lead down to Osekan. It is a lovely spot to sit outside and get a nice breeze and view of the water and fishing boats all around. The area also holds historical significance, as it was formally a very sacred spot for the Ga people, and there are still several shrines as well as rites and festivals that happen annually.

Food at Osekan is typically of the local variety. A couple of favourites are the jollof rice and chicken, or ‘Red Red’. Jollof rice is a spicy, yet very flavourful, tomato vegetable-based rice. Red Red (named for the colour of the dish) is a spicy bean stew with fried plantains. You can also add fish or chicken to your Red Red. They have the local varieties of cold beer: Star, Club, and Guldar, which are all light English-style lagers.

Afternoon: 2 – 6pm
After lunch, head to the nearby Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, where history buffs can learn about the first president of Ghana and see a memorial to this great man, as well as a small museum with photographs.

A little further on is the Accra Cultural Centre (or Art Market). This is where you’ll find all the Ghanaian souvenirs and gifts to take home: paintings, art, jewellery, drums, carvings, and more. This place can be a little hectic and the people persistent, so if you are only browsing, stay strong and don’t get pressured into any purchases you don’t want to make. If you already know what souvenirs you want, it might be a good idea to find a quieter shopkeeper on the fringes and ask for help in navigating the market (for a tip). This will keep the other sellers at bay and also help you to get a good price and quality goods.

Not too far to the east of the art market is Independence Square, where there are some Soviet-style national monuments that might be good for a quick picture.

For the next stop, it’s probably worthwhile to grab a cab to Oxford Street, to see the more modern, economic hub of the city. This is the trendy part of Accra, with many shops, stalls, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and casinos.

fountain at the mausoleum in accra

Evening: 6pm until late
Lucky for you, you’re now already in the centre of Accra’s nightlife. Dinner, drinks, and entertainment are all around! And since by now you will have tried you fill of local food earlier in the day, we think you might enjoy trying something a little more international and getting a feel for Accra’s cosmopolitan side.

Osu is the favourite area for taking it all in. It’s easy to walk around and try out different places or just settle into a place you like. The true nightlife can start a little later, typically around midnight, and go all the way until 6am.

For dinner, some of our favourite options are Monsoon (sushi), Mama Mia (Italian and pizzas), Frankie’s (Lebanese fast food), Tip Top (Chinese), Asanka Locals (Ghanian), Duncans (awesome banku, which is lightly fermented corn dough, and tilapia with a pepper salsa), Fire Fly (best burger and fajitas), Sunshine Salad Bar (Indian, salads, and sandwiches), Heritage (Indian and Chinese), and Papaye (Ghanaian fast food with rice and chicken).

For cold drinks and music, you can find so many places, but there are a few that are especially popular with locals and travellers:

Container Bar. Just opposite Papaye on Oxford Street, this bar is aptly named for being run out of a container. It’s wildly popular with both locals and visitors, with affordable drinks, outdoor seating, loud music, and great people-watching.
Republic Bar. This is a very trendy place but not overrun or too pricey. It plays good music and is popular with both internationals and locals. It also has a great mix of cocktails and local beer on draft. You might see your first African hipsters.
EPO’s. This spot is very popular with locals, and has outdoor and rooftop seating. It can be a bit of a trip to find (you’ll have to venture down alleyways and might reach a few dead ends), but the place is always packed and there’s lots of cold beer at local prices.
Clubs. There are a few clubs around, such as Hot Gossip, Duplex, Bella Roma, and Fire Fly. They are all high-class affairs and you will need to have long pants and closed-toe dress shoes. No sneakers or flip-flops allowed.
If Osu isn’t doing it for you and you would like some live music and more of a lounge atmosphere, a quick ride in a taxi can take you to either Club 233 or the Afrikiko Leisure Centre. Club 233 has live jazz on the weekends, and meals, with outdoor seating. Afrikiko has a number of different restaurants in the complex, and usually has live music and dancing, also with outdoor seating. From there, go back to your hotel and rest up for another day. You’ve deserved it!

Shorter stays
Don’t have time for a full 24 hours in Accra? No worries, we’ve got the speedy version for a shorter layover.

Note that because of traffic and the extra time needed for immigration (if you’re flying internationally), you’ll probably need at least five hours to get into the city and still have time to see the sites. Depending on the time of day, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to get to the city centre. Taking a taxi is the most affordable and efficient option from the airport — a ride to the city centre will cost you about USD 8.

If you’re in Accra in the morning or early afternoon, you’re in luck, as mid-morning is the best time to avoid city traffic. Visit Makola Market, Accra Mall, or the art stalls around the Tetteh Quarshie interchange, all of which will give you a real taste of local flavour in this modern African city. Alternately, take some time at Labadi Beach. A beach layover would be awesome if you don’t mind flying with a little sand in your pants! You’ll need to spend about two hours in the city to see these sites.

If your layover has you in Accra in the evening, you won’t be able to do much sightseeing (the city gets pretty quiet), but you could check out the local bars, clubs, or even a night market. Grab dinner from one of the places mentioned above, and enjoy an outdoor meal or drink with a cool evening breeze. You’ll need about four hours in order to enjoy yourself and not rush through a meal.

Source: Urban Adventures.

Restaurant

How To Get Better Service In A Restaurant, According To An Ex-waiter.

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Ever wonder how to get better service in a restaurant? Score the best table in the house? Avoid getting cleaning fluid in your food? We sat down with Steve Dublanica, author of the bestselling book, "Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter" to get the answers.

Dublanica was a professional waiter in New York City-area restaurants for years and says he saw it all over the course of his career. He shared his tips about how to score better service when you dine out.

Timing Is Everything
The first thing to keep in mind when looking to score better service in a restaurant, Dublanica said, is the time in which you dine.

“If you want really good service don’t go on Friday or Saturday night,” Dublanica said. “Saturday is traditionally the busiest night of the week for a restaurant. Managers really want to turn and burn — get you in and out so the restaurant can make money.”

Dublanica says if you are looking for a long, romantic dinner or to host an important business dinner, you should consider booking a table on a weeknight instead of a weekend, when servers won’t be under pressure to rush you through your meal.

“For personal attention, the best thing to do is to go on an off night, like a Wednesday or Thursday,” Dublanica said.

Dublanica said that just as the night of the week is important when it comes to getting good service — so is the time of the evening in which you dine.

“You don’t want to be the first customer or the last customer of the night,” Dublanica said. “Servers are at their worst at the beginning and end of the shift.”

Customers who sit down to dine immediately after a restaurant has opened run the risk of coming into contact with servers who are still trying to finish their own dinners or were looking forward to some quiet time before the dinner rush.

“Sometimes the staff is still getting things together when the restaurant opens and may be resentful of the early customers,” Dublanica said.

You don’t want to be the first customer or the last customer of the night. Servers are at their worst at the beginning and end of the shift.

Customers who wander in a few minutes before closing may be confronted by not only unhappy servers, but also an unhappy kitchen staff, eager to go home, Dublanica said.

“You will never see food cooked faster than the food that’s cooked for the last customer of the night,” said Dublanica, noting that it’s not uncommon for a kitchen staff to rush through the preparation of the last meal of the night, and might be more inclined to cut corners.

Customers who are the last diners of the night also run the risk of having unwelcome ingredients around their food, including cleaning sprays and solutions, Dublanica said.

“The staff is typically starting to clean up the kitchen and the restaurant near closing time,” Dublanica said. “And that stuff can and does get in and around the last meals of the night.”

If you arrive late to a restaurant and know that the kitchen is about to close, Dublanica advises it’s best to order an entrée only, and to ask for the check right away, which sends a message to the kitchen that you’re not trying to be a difficult customer.

“The staff will be nicer to the customer who they know is just hungry and not trying to add three more hours to their night.”

Keep Your Reservation — and Tip Well
Ever wonder if restaurants keep track of customers they like — and customers they don’t? Dublanica says they do. And that means being a good customer can pay off — and being a bad customer can come back to haunt you.

“Nowadays people can change their plans on the fly, and that can hurt your relationship with a restaurant,” Dublanica says. He notes that in an age in which reservations can be easily made online, using OpenTable and other apps, people sometimes double book and fail to inform a restaurant when they decide to go elsewhere. “People often don’t show up or they cancel at the last minute. Restaurants definitely keep a record of that.”

If you have to cancel, Dublanica says, call the restaurant directly and apologize. The worst offenders, he said, are those who fail to show up at all — leaving the restaurant to hold their table needlessly and potentially turn customers away.

Repeat offenders score a black mark in the restaurant’s book. And yes, Dublanica said, the restaurant keeps written track of customers.

And just as restaurants keep track of who doesn’t show up for reservations, he said, they also keep a running list of good tippers. He said most restaurant have codes in their reservation system, which allow hosts, managers and wait staff to note good customers.

“You don’t have to be an extravagant tipper — but all the waiters remember if you’re cheap,” Dublanica said. “A standard decent tip is 15 to 20 percent. But if you fail to tip a server an appropriate amount, they’ll remember you. And word often gets around. Suddenly you may not be getting a table on a busy night or you may not be getting reservations at all.”

Dublanica said cash tips are always appreciated over credit card tips, so even if you pay the bill with a credit card, servers appreciate the tip in cash, if possible.

“It’s not necessary, but it can go a long way to cultivating a good relationship with your server. And if that server likes you, he’s going to take better care of you.”

Dublanica notes that it’s also important to remember to tip 15 to 20 percent based on the full amount of the bill — so if you’re using a gift certificate or a Groupon, tip based on what the full amount of the bill would have been, without discounts applied.

“Servers are counting on those tips to help cover their own bills. Tips are built into their salary. And the last thing you want to do is come across as a cheap or difficult customer.”

Wanna Score the Best Table in the House? Do Your Homework
Dublanica said if you’re intent on scoring the best table in the restaurant, it’s wise to do your homework.

“If it’s an important business dinner or you’re going to propose or try to impress a significant other, stop by the restaurant a few days in advance and take a look at the place,” Dublanica said. “Talk to the manager or the staff. Tell them what you have in mind and select the table that you think will work best for you.”

Dublanica said that restaurants are often eager to please the person who does his or her homework — and the personal contact will ensure that your romantic dinner or business dinner will go off without a hitch, with you and your guests dining at your chosen table.

Do Servers Really Spit in the Food of Customers They Don’t Like?
Ever hear about servers spitting in the food of customers they don’t like?

Dublanica says he’s heard about that, too — though he insists he never witnessed anyone doing that in all the years he waited tables.

Still, he says, servers are known to take action against customers who behave badly.

“If someone was very rude and they asked for decaffeinated coffee, I am aware of times that customer was given caffeinated coffee,” Dublanica said, laughing. Dublanica said he has since come to recognize the health risks that can pose — and would never encourage a server to intentionally give a bad customer caffeinated coffee. Still, he said, rude customers should keep in mind that servers sometimes work to “get even” with those who are impolite.

“If someone was really rude to me at my table, I used to tell them in front of a table full of people that their credit card had been declined,” Dublanica said, noting that the maneuver would inevitably mortify the rude customer. Dublanica said he would run and then re-run the card a couple of times until the card would “magically” work.

If You Do Want to Report Bad Service, Write a Letter — Not An Online Review
Finally, Dublanica said, if you do get bad service in a restaurant and want to report it, don’t turn to Yelp or other online reviews. Instead, he said, sit down to write a letter.

“A lot of restaurant managers and owners don’t take Yelp and other online reviews seriously any more,” Dublanica said — noting that the online reviews are often riddled with fake reviews, often posted by a restaurant’s competitors. “Even if the online reviews are legitimate, they’re often ignored. If you really want to get a manager to take you seriously, write a real letter. Managers who see a real letter signed by a real person, who uses their full name and provides an address, tend to take those letters very seriously and will sit down with wait staff to address those problems.”

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Kaya Tours Ghana – Thrilling Easter Experience.

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On the 19th,20th and 21st April 2019, Kaya Tours Ghana Limited delighted it’s patrons with a thrilling unforgettable experiential trips in Ghana to Akosombo, Kwahu and Ada simultaneously for 3 days.


The participants were sourced from the U.K, USA, Nigeria and Ghana. A total number of 52 persons experienced the rich distinctive tour packages from Kaya Tours ltd within 3 days.


According to the Managing Director of Kaya Tours Ghana ltd, Mr Abeiku Aggrey Santana, the demand for inbound tourism has invariably shifted from the traditional Sea, Sun and Sand resources to cultural, adventure, heritage and eco-tourism resources.


The travel and tourism operator proclaims that, tourism has become a major vibrant sector of every economy, therefore players must be innovative in their product development.


The first stop of the 3 days road trip was at Shai Hills game reserve for a short hiking to the Mogo hills, the ancestral home of the Krobos, wildlife including antelopes, baboons, caves and cultural remains were sighted.
On the way to Akosombo the tourism Honcho, unfolded the historical values of the people of Akwamu, the construction of the Akosombo dam and township to the tourists on board the intercity STC 44seater bus.


Making the trip culinary oriented tours, local foods such as Waakye, Jollof rice, Banku and Tilapia, fresh palm wine, pito, sobolo etc. was served at Afrikiko river front resort in Akosombo.


There is nothing quite trawling a large wide lake on a cruise boat and your hands through the water for a wonderful experience.

On the second day of the tours, about 32 persons from Nigeria joined their Ghanaian, British and American counterparts to the famous Kwahu Easter celebration.


In time with the ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture campaign to see Ghana, the first stop was at Bunsu Aboretum, where the tourist experienced the 320 – metre long canopy walk soak in the breath-taking fauna and flora with fascinating history.


The 44-Seater Scania Marco polo comfortable Intercity STC coach departed to Kwahu at the peak of the journey. The first stop was at the Obo, Kwahu, Air Jay Zipline and the 877 Steps are required much adrenaline to make it to the zipline.

On the 3rd day, the bus departed Accra for Ada in what Kaya Tours termed as ‘Rainbow Sun Set Experienced’.


The first stop of this destination was at the A1 raceway, vrooom vrooooom!!!! Yes, these were the sounds of the go kart powered by Honda GX 270kl engines with equal acceleration. The day trip ended at Aqua Safari with party, fun boat cruises, horse riding and other activities.

Abeiku Aggrey Santana encouraged lovers of heritage, Adventure, Eco-romantic and leisure tourists to contact Kaya Tours Ghana limited for amazing experience. He concluded that his company shall continue to improve their services to increase overall visitor experience in Ghana

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8 Types Of Uber Riders Every Driver Encounters

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Thank God for Uber and the fact that we can get to anyplace we want to go to without any hassle and at very affordable prices too!

People always talk about the Uber drivers but…what about the passengers? lol, the riders?! Ask any Uber driver and he’d probably tell you we are spot on! Here are the different types of riders that the Uber driver has had to drive to some place or the other!

The Quiet one

This is the ideal type of rider. They’re usually quiet, mind their own business and only talk when they are spoken to. Most of the time, they sit at the back and play with their phones for as long as the ride will take. No stress.

The Chatterbox

They are too friendly. They are the ones who’d usually ignore the backseat and sit right by the driver. Front seat. They will chat with the driver like they’re old friends and by the time they get to their drop off point, they’d know the driver’s story, what they ate and everything their ancestors have ever done.

The Snappy Rider

No one likes this type of rider. Why? They’re rude! They get into the car, like they’re doing the driver a favour and proceed to complain about everything!!! If the driver even tries to start a conversation, they will snap at him like he/she offered something weird! Chances are, they’re definitely on their phone tweeting about a nonexistent ‘terrible’ experience.

Space To Space Rider

There’s always that rider who’s always on their phone. If you pay attention…you’d know a lot about their friends cos they gossip!!!!!!!! They will talk on the phone for hours… from the moment the driver picks them up all the way to their stop and it’s rarely ever any harmless conversation! Gossip nkoaaa. It’s actually entertaining. Very!

The Glutton

These ones sit in the car and eat saaaaa!!! We aren’t talking about snacks. We are talking about food ankasa. The kind that sits in the uber and eats like they’re in their mother’s kitchen. They will finish the food and it’s very likely that they will leave the empty packs in the car or drop pieces of the food in the car. Stress.

The Lovey-dovey Riders

This one is quite common. Couples that take the Uber and just snuggle and forget the driver even exists. If the driver doesn’t speak up…they will forget and assume they are in their bedroom and ermm well…God forbid anyone does that.

The Party Animals

Friday nights, these ones are a definite! These are riders who will get in the car as a group and talk loudly and excitedly till they reach their destination. They are usually drunk. Very drunk. And the driver will be treated to bad odour, forced conversations and by force laughter at their dry jokes till they get off.

The Sleeper

The sleepy rider will sleep so much that the driver will have to constantly wake them up to make sure they are alive and when the driver gets to the destination…lol the driver better pray to God that the person is not a deep sleeper or else…how will you wake them up to get down?!!

Despite all of these characters they encounter day in day out, Uber drivers have a reason to constantly smile nowadays thanks to Old Mutual Life Assurance.

As a driver, when the unfortunate happens, you get to benefit from a medical expense cover that is to the tune of GHs12,500, a funeral expense policy that is to the tune of GHs50,000 and GHs5,000 for funeral expenses.

That’s not all (yeah we know some of you said “is that all?’’). In the event of permanent disability, you get to benefit from a lump sum of Ghs50,000 depending on the severity of the accident.

Let’s not forget the icing on the cake, whereas a driver you get a Ghs50 daily payment when the doctor certifies that you are unfit to work for a period of up to 30 days.

Stay safe out there though, it’s the most important thing!

Source: Kuulpeeps.com

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Ghana Is Being Heralded As The Next Big Tourist Destination. Here’s Why

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When some of the most well-known faces from the African diaspora arrived for a recent vacation in Accra, Ghana, it looked like just another gathering of famous people.

Actors including Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with supermodel Naomi Campbell, TV sports presenter Mike Hill, and author Luvvie Ajayi.
Behind this meet-up of box office stars, fashion royalty and top creatives is a focused and ambitious strategy to make Ghana a major tourist destination.

The country recently unveiled a 15-year-long tourism plan that seeks to increase the annual number of tourists to Ghana from one million to eight million per year by 2027.

Ghana's travel industry is projected to raise $8.3 billion a year by 2027, plus associated benefits, according to the plan.

Star Power
VIP guests attended events chaired by Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo, the architect of the plan to boost tourism and diversify the country's economy through reaching out to its diaspora, while guests took part in conferences, festivities and trips across the country to discover its unique and sobering heritage.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsHGxTtnNSF/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The primary purpose of the festival was to forge closer ties between Ghana, the African continent and those of African descent living elsewhere.
It's 400 years since the first African slaves were taken from countries like Ghana to mainland America, marking the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade route. This timing is based on the first recorded landing of a ship carrying Africans in Virginia in August 1619.

An estimated 75% of slave dungeons on the west coast of Africa were in Ghana -- millions of people were taken and transported on ships that departed from Ghanaian ports.

President Akufo-Addo's Year of Return announcement pointed to Ghana's tragic legacy as a reason for diaspora descendants to return and learn about this chapter of history.
The celebrities who attended the Full Circle Festival were taken on guided tours of the slave dungeons.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtWglxQFtH0/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

"Every person of color needs to get on this pilgrimage," said actor and co-organizer Boris Kodjoe who is of Ghanaian descent. "They need to experience this journey and get in touch with their emotional heritage, walk through the dungeons and see the 'door of no return,'" he told CNN.

Marketing rockstar Bozoma Saint John -- who has a series of marketing coups like Beyonce's halftime Super Bowl show under her belt -- worked with Kodjoe, inviting 100 of the most influential members of the African diaspora to party with them at the festival over Christmas and New Year.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsGgUX0gecp/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Saint John, who works for global media conglomerate Endeavor and previously had high profile roles with Uber and Apple Music, says the project is close to her heart.

"As long as you have melanin and you are seeking a return to Africa, it is a must," she told CNN.

"I really felt that I wanted to show people the country I know and love. I take it as a personal mission and will use my professional weight to help the mission."

Saint John says that returning members of the diaspora can expect joy on their trip to Ghana as well as moments of solemnity. Skyscrapers and restaurants feature prominently in her promotional material.

"All the fun things you can do in Nice, Bali, Ibiza, you can do here in Ghana too," she added.

Year of return
The celebrity-attended Full Circle Festival was the opening act of a broader Year of Return, announced by President Akufo-Addo in September 2018.

Speaking about the year ahead at Washington's National Press Club Akufo-Addo said Ghana would open its "arms even wider to welcome home our brothers and sisters in what will become a birthright journey home for the global African family."

The Year of Return includes a music festival, an investment conference targeting diaspora Ghanaians, and the Right to Return initiative, encouraging African-Americans to seek citizenship in Ghana.

This year-long initiative builds on a long tradition of looking outwards.

Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African country to win independence from colonial rule, has a history of pursuing ties with Africans overseas. It dates back to the country's first President Kwame Nkrumah, whose vision of pan-Africanism included alliances with diaspora communities.

Nkrumah enjoyed warm relations with African-American icons such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, who both traveled to Ghana to meet him. Writer Maya Angelou spent time in the country after its independence and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois is buried in Accra.

Ghana has also sought to incentivize diaspora returnees through legislation such as the Right of Abode law of 2000 that allows people of African descent to apply for the right to stay in the country indefinitely.

It was followed by the Joseph Project in 2007 that encouraged Africans in the diaspora to return, officials have compared it to Israel's Law of Return that allows Jews to become citizens.

These initiatives have had some success. An estimated 3,000 African-Americans had permanently settled in Ghana by 2014.

By the time Saint John is finished with marketing Ghana to the world, she is hopeful it will have knock-on impact across the region and wants to reshape people's perceptions.
"We are going to use Ghana as a gateway to the rest of the continent," she said.
"There are beaches in Kenya as well as snow-capped mountains. We need to tell the story of all the amazing opportunities Africa has to offer."

Source: CNN.

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