The Year of Return (YOR) initiative since its commencement has received several backlash and criticisms from the media and the general public in Ghana but the Tourism Authority believes it has done well enough with its marketing strategies.
For many aspiring citizens hoping to meet their favourite celebrities through the YOR initiative, information has been scanty leaving citizen no choice than to show less interest in the campaign.
Barely a month after rapper Sarkodie put the spotlight on Ghana at 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards, he was named as an ambassador for the ‘Year of Return’ to help further promote the homecoming activities.
Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts bestowed the honour on the rapper at the Creative Arts Industry Forum at the National Theatre held October 31st.
But according to dancehall sensation Shatta Wale, even though there’s an ambassador to project the initiative, Government has failed in educating citizens about ‘Year of Return’ initiative and this has bridged the gap between potential investors for local entrepreneurs and the diasporas returning.
“I am clueless about the initiative and all I know is that people are coming to Ghana and leaving with no impact.”
“I also notice that when the people come to Ghana, they only visit the president and the Cape Coast castle,” Shatta Wale laments in an interview with UTV.
Responding to the Shatta Wale’s sentiments, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority refuted the claims made by the popular musician stating that his team who had only six-months to plan the entire initiative, have marketed it well.
“The feedback from abroad is positive.” he shares with NetbuzzAfrica.com.
“We could have done better internally but we had limited time to properly plan”
“Events of this nature deserves enough preparatory time. Take for instance the World Cup, it’s planned 4 years ahead. We only had six months to pull this off,” Mr Agyeman continued.
“The positive feedback has inspired our next initiative which is beyond the Year of Return – The Year of Return 2.0 and we have plans to leverage on this to properly define our products for the market share going forward.”
“This is the only way we can invite investments opportunities to Ghana beyond the many events we have hosted this year,’ Mr Agyeman told NetbuzzAfrica.com in a recent interview. Listen below. (Skip to 5:20)