Ahenfo Radio Denmark

Ghana to black Americans: Come home. We’ll help you build a life here.


Kimberly Reese has never visited Ghana, but she is already designing her dream home there. The Ohio mother of five says she doesn’t feel safe in the United States.

“Some of us are tired,” Reese said. “Some of us just want to be in an environment where we don’t have to look over our shoulders. Where we don’t have to worry about our sons getting pulled over.”

She’d rather focus on floor plans some 6,000 miles away.

As the United States again confronts its history of racism, as outrage again erupts over police killings, leaders in Ghana say they’re rolling out the welcome mat for black Americans who want to get away from the turmoil.

The government has negotiated with local chiefs to earmark 500 acres of land near the nation’s center for newcomers, carving out enough space for about 1,500 families. Survey and registration fees are waived for members of the African diaspora.

The effort grew out of a public campaign called the Year of Return, which attracted a record number of tourists to the West African country last year — four centuries after the first slave ship reached Virginia — and aims to convert visitors to residents with special land deals, expatriate guides and easier paths to citizenship.

“We want to remind our kin over there that there is a place you can escape to,” said Akwasi Agyeman, chief executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority. “That is Africa.”

Reese, who owns a public relations agency in Cincinnati, heard about the deal from her close friend and business partner, who is from Ghana.

She can work anywhere with an Internet connection and has tucked away savings from her time in corporate America, where a manager once said her natural hair was inappropriate for the workplace.


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