Throughout African American history, there have been movements to return to Africa, from Marcus Garvey and beyond. Over the last decade or so, African Americans have been moving to the continent. Looking to escape oppression and racism, they are relocating to countries from Senegal and The Gambia to Ghana.
Ghana, in particular, has been urging African Americans to move there through a repatriation program the government launched. An estimated 3,000-to-5,000 African Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, according to Al Jazeera.
In 2019, Ghana celebrated the “Year of Return,” attracting hundreds of thousands of people in the diaspora to visit including U.S. celebrities Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Steve Harvey, and Cardi B.
There is a group that wants to take the concept of repatriation to the next level.
On May 15, six pan-African organizations signed a historic alliance geared towards the mass and the immediate repatriation back to Africa of not just African Americans but all of those from the African diaspora, Africa Global Radio reported.
Towards that goal, the Alkebulan Development Group in Senegal West Africa plans to develop a 600-hectare repatriate city. The Made In Africa Project, the organization managing media and marketing for the project, was inundated with inquiries from all over the world about the development and how to repatriate to Africa.
The following six organizations signed the agreement:
Once up and running, the Sankofa Repatriation Assistance Program will be based in Accra. During the first two years of operation, the goal is to open branch offices in Abuja, Nigeria; Dakar, Senegal and Banjul, Gambia.
The organization’s goal is to “repatriate descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the diaspora, who are suffering political and economic genocide worldwide, back to the continent of Africa,” according to its website. “We want to repatriate all those who desire to return to their ancestral homeland and assist them in all areas of reintegration back into African societies.”
The Sankofa Repatriation Assistance Program said it is receiving donations from private individuals. SRAP is also asking 1 million “brothers and sisters from the diaspora to commit to donating $1 a month to fund the mission of repatriating our people back to Africa.”
SRAP said it will also act as an incubator for repatriates looking to begin businesses in their new countries. “These new businesses and the new jobs they produce create wealth through multiplier effects and new tax generation to African governments — that ultimately benefits the community beyond the individuals directly assisted by our SRAP,” according to the group’s website.
“While some of our people are achieving some amount of upward mobility throughout the diaspora, there still exists a vast majority of our people who are underserved and are still subjected to the sub-standard social, judicial, and economic state of being. Through the strategic partnership of The Exodus Alliance, we seek to improve the standard of living of our people in addressing the direct needs of our people,” according to the Made In Africa Project website.
The Alliance is seeking $1 billion in funding to provide sustainable solutions in real estate, agriculture, education, and other industries to provide economic assistance for returning families.
It plans to help less fortunate families with travel and other expenses as well as providing seed funding to start businesses on the ground by way of SRAP.
The U.S.-based member of the alliance, Universal Negro Improvement Association & African Communities (UNIA-ACL), has been reaching out to interested people throughout the country. Its president general is former NFL player Cleophus Miller.
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Among the African countries the alliance is considering and working with to repatriate Black Americans are The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Ghana.
The Alliance said it ultimately hopes to be the bridge for the growing number of Affrican Americans looking to leave the U.S. to rediscover their ancestral roots.
On May 25 and May 26, the organizations of the alliance will host a 16-hour live conference and telethon in celebration of Africa Day, Medium reported. The live conference will replace what was supposed to be a week-long event in Dakar, Senegal, canceled due to covid-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns. Pan-African influencers, media personalities, and repatriate experts plan to participate with a collective theme focused on the “Mass & Immediate Repatriation of the Diaspora.”
The Africa Union website will be live streaming the event. Watch it here.