The government of Ghana has officially conferred citizenship on 126 people of African descent who have been residing in the country for many years. The conferment forms part of Ghana’s flagship Year of Return policy calling on various nationalities of African origin to return and settle in the country.

Speaking at the conferment ceremony, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated that the Year of Return “has so far proven to be a joyful and learning experience all round” and that Ghana has a responsibility to extend a hand of welcome back home to Africans in the diaspora. “I am glad you have decided to make Ghana your home, and thereby, join several generations of Diasporans who committed their lives to us.

The president further urged them to learn any local language of their choice to help integrate them successfully into the Ghanaian society.

Ghana hosts 75 percent of the slave dungeons built across the west coast of Africa to serve as transit points for the transportation of slaves through the Middle Passage. It was also the favourite destination of pan-Africanists such as George Padmore, Maya Angelou, Pauli Murray, and W.E.B Du Bois. In 2000, it became the first African country to pass the Right of Abode law allowing people of African descent to apply for citizenship and settle in the country.

With the Year of Return in full gear, Ghana is poised to become the favourite home for African Americans, Carribeans, and other people of African origin seeking to rediscover their African identity.