Akwasi Awuah Ababio, the Director of the Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President has disclosed how instrumental his office was in receiving celebrities from the Diaspora prior to the Year of Return celebration in 2019.
On Joy FM’s ‘Showbiz A-Z’ which aired on Saturday, April 1, 2023 Akwasi said in an interview with Kwame Dadzie, the role he played in linking American actor Spike Lee to some institutions in the creative industry.
According to him, that was not the first time his office did that; they were heavily involved in the activities that were held in December 2018 when some celebrities from the Diaspora visited Ghana for the Full Circle Festival.
“If you go back to the Year of Return, the Full Circle that came in, Bozoma, Boris Kodjoe and their team – we were very much aware, we were in the planning, we did very everything with them. We executed the part that they played to make sure that the Year of Return took off as well as it did,” he noted.
Akwasi Awuah’s comment comes on the back of backlash from a section of the public that the state institutions failed to provide a platform for Ghanaian creatives to meet with Spike Lee when he came to Ghana on March 27, 2023.
Although the American actor had said no one from the showbiz industry approached him for a meeting, the Director of the Diaspora Affairs disclosed how he facilitated an engagement between Spike Lee and some Ghanaian institutions.
In December 2018, Bozoma Saint John, Boris Kodjoe, Anthony Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Michael Jai White, American model, reality television star and actress Cynthia Bailey, Real Estates Mogul Jay Morrison, Fox Sports host, Mike Hill, radio host Ebro Darden were in Ghana for the Full Circle Festival. This was a prelude to the Year of Return project which took place in 2019.
The Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President (DAOOP), which facilitated most of the activities, was established in February 2017.
The objective behind establishing the office at the Presidency, emphasises the importance the government places on the contributions Ghanaians in the Diaspora make to the economy.
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