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Senegal Welcomes the African Diaspora

A few months after discovering from a DNA test that most of his ancestors were from West Africa, American businessman Kyle Jones got on a flight to Dakar, Senegal. Jones was among about 75 people including business leaders, mayors, and entrepreneurs from the US who came into Dakar this week to attend ”The Return,” a seven-day event spearheaded by the organization NuWorld. The aim was to encourage members of the African diaspora to return to the continent, both as a form of healing, and to develop economic and social ties. NuWorld is an umbrella platform encompassing a variety of programs and initiatives directed by American entrepreneur Andre Amos. It was motivated by similar initiatives in Ghana, whose president Nana Akufo-Addo announced 2019 the ”Year of Return” to commemorate 400 years since the first arrival of enslaved Africans in the US. Ghana staged a marketing campaign throughout the year and saw tourist figures rise by 45% compared to the previous year, though it’s hard to determine just how many visitors came right as a result of the effort. Included in the initiative it granted citizenship to over 100 African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans.