Ghana declared 2019 the Year of Return for the African diaspora. It was part of a campaign to reach out to millions of descendants of Africans who were forcibly uprooted from the continent through the transatlantic slave trade.
On the West African coast where slave trade was pervasive, Ghana was one of the leading departure centres, hence the reason many an African diaspora trace their roots to the motherland.
It is no wonder therefore that West Africa’s beacon of democracy and the world-acclaimed hospitable nation, Ghana, has become the first African country to formally invite all African diaspora in the Americas and elsewhere to return and invest in building the new Africa.
The expected response is gradually building up. Meanwhile, a recent report by France 24 revealed several hundred people have already put down roots in Ghana, mostly African-Americans.
Video Copyright: France24
Some early birds have pinned investments in real estate, hospitality, arts and crafts trading, among others, in the capital Accra or the lush hinterland.
Yet many more who are willing to make the return home are uncertain of the economic prospects. And rightly so.
In this regard, it is worth noting that in addition to Ghana’s enviable democratic and hospitality accolades, Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa beans – the raw material for the 30-billion dollar global chocolate and confectionery industry.
Ironically, the 30-million population nation has only a handful large-scale cocoa processing companies.
The smaller scale craft or batch chocolate industry is still in its virgin state, perhaps opening a wide opportunity to be harnessed by African diaspora investors.
Dr Harnet of the African Business Jumpstart sheds more light in this video.
Video Copyright: Dr Harnet
Incidentally, the Ghana Cocobod, the cocoa industry regulator is championing an agenda to increase local consumption of cocoa products, which currently stands at 0.54kg per capita as against 8kg per capita in other cocoa consuming countries.
The goal ties in with the plan to have 50percent of Ghana’s cocoa beans processed locally to serve the local consumer market and for export while creating sustainable jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
And for this reason, Ghana Cocobod offers so much technical support to would-be investors in the country’s nascent chocolate and confectionery industry, while the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre is at your service with business advisory services.