President Akufo-Addo has applauded two African Americans; actor Boris Kodjoe and international marketing icon, Bozoma Saint John, for contributing to the success of the Year of Return.
He said the two personalities embraced their Ghanaian heritage and played a key role in the effort to build lasting bridges between Ghana and the African American community.
“We are grateful to both of them for leveraging their star power to attract thousands to the land of their fathers,” he said while addressing Parliament, Thursday.
He stated that the influence Mr Kodjoe and Mr Saint John have driven a fresh narrative about that country to the diaspora.
President Akufo-Addo said that the narrative says “Ghana is a land of opportunity, visit, invest (and) make it your home. We appreciate deeply their contribution and that of many others to the success of the entire project (Year of return).”
Boris Kodjoe in late 2018 brought to Ghana 40 of his friends in Hollywood after government’s announcement on the commencement of the Year of Return.
Some of these friends included his wife, Nicole Ari Parker, Micheal Jai White, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Anthony Anderson, Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell, Rosario Dawson, Jidenna, Ebro Darden, Gabourey Sidibe, Cynthia Bailey, Bozoma Saint John, Jay Morrison, and Mike Hill.
These celebs toured various tourists sites in Ghana including visiting former selves sites like the Elmina Castle.
They also participated in the 2018 Full Circle Festival, established to honour Ghana’s ancestry by celebrating the country’s heritage and generational legacy.
Micheal Jai White was installed enstooled as chief in Akwamu in the Eastern Region of Ghana by the Akwamuhene Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III at the Bogyawe Palace, Akwamufie.
He was given the stool name Odupong— literally meaning ‘a tree firmly rooted’ during a traditional ceremony.
Boris Kodjoe was also conferred a citation for “leading our kinsmen home” by the Akwamuhene.
Their presence in the country attracted many Hollywood stars in 2019 to find out more about their heritage.
Steve Harvey, Samuel L Jackson, Conan O’Brien, Ludacris, rapper TI, his wife Tiny and many stars also came to the country to explore.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed he has felt the influence and positive image Ghana has gained through the year of return and influence of the Hollywood stars in his visits to other countries.
“My trip to Germany, France, Austria, Japan, Russia, the Caribbean, this past year has brought tangible dividends and they are growing investments in Ghana from these companies in those countries,” he added.