This year marks 400 years since African arrival in the United States in 1619. The “Year of the Return” is being celebrated across the world, particularly in Ghana, which has seen a recent influx of American tourism. For some, a return to Ghana has taken on a new meaning, as evidenced by the more than 125 new citizens residing in the country.
From actor Boris Kudjoe’s December appearance on ABC’s “The View” in honor of “The 1619 Project,” to rapper Cardi B performing there, Ghana has been swarming with visitors. However, many African Americans — and many Ghanaian-born ones — are coming to the country not just to visit, but to live. They are bringing a different set of skills and business tools from the American economy to the motherland, and Ghana is responding with open arms.
“The climate in Ghana is ripe for entrepreneurs to fill potholes, add traffic lights and digitize tax returns, among other business moves,” Ghanaian-born business owner Kojo Terry Oppong — who moved from New Jersey — told the Washington Post.
The business boom is creating a burgeoning middle class, the likes of which Ghana had not previously seen. It is not only allowing expatriates to broaden their economic horizons without the limits confronted in America, but it’s also generating additional, much needed revenue for locals.
“Artists at the biggest craft market in town estimate their monthly earnings have risen from about $450 to $750,” according to the Post.
The continued growth is creating a win-win situation for both natives and African American expatriates, proving that in some ways, the grass really is greener on the other side.