- Diaspora led-project to create 5,000 jobs
The Africa Diaspora Development Initiative (ADDI) is to invest over US$100million into different sectors of the economy.
ADDI, which pools funds from the diaspora community, is eying opportunities in agriculture, healthcare and education, industrial parks, among others, under the first phase of its Wakanda City of Return project at Asebu in the Kwamankese district, where it has already secured a 5,040-acre land.
The first phase of the ultra-modern city will host a hotel, restaurant, gift-shops, 200-bed hospital facility, virtual university, spare-parts manufacturing company, a commercial poultry farm and more than 1,000 homes.
The project is expected to create about 5,000 direct jobs and open up opportunities to boost tourism, ADDI’s founder and President, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, said in Accra.
In the second phase, ADDI plans to double the investment with a fully-fledged university and an industrial park, among others. “The idea is to build a city of return in each of the regions across the country,” she said.
Apart from the project, ADDI in partnership with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) will provide interest-free loans to women-focused enterprises in addition to support for technology and innovation, mentorship and entrepreneurship.
“The ADDI was born out of the desire to bring Africa to the world and the world to Africa. We have come to the realisation that the status of the African economy is due to the mass exodus of Africa’s diaspora out of Africa. The exodus began with the loss of Africa’s children through slavery 400 years ago, followed by the recent migrants who left Africa in search of greener pastures or running away from famine or war,” the former African Union ambassador said.
Dr. Chihombori-Quao spoke during a joint press conference between GNCCI and ADDI on the Wakanda One City of Return Trade Expo scheduled between December 3 and December 13 at the Central Region capital, Cape Coast; and said the sod-cutting ceremony for the multi-million project will be performed as part of activities lined up for the event.
The expo brings together over 160 delegates from the United States of America, the Ghanaian business community, government departments and traditional authorities, and seeks to highlight viable and ready-to go opportunities for local businesses. It comprises a conference, trade tours, panel discussions and an exhibition.
She said discussions will focus on areas such as engineering, real estate, healthcare, education, agriculture, digital technology, finance and banking, mining and minerals, trade and investment, culture and tourism. She explained that the project will be a legacy of government’s ‘Year of Return’ and ‘Beyond the Return’ tourism initiatives.
For her part, GNCCI’s second Vice President, Victoria Hajar, said tourist-flow during the Year of Return showed the interest of Africans in the diaspora to invest in Ghana.
“In view of this, the ADDI and GNCCI believe that before AfCFTA fully finds its feet, there is a need to bridge the gap between the diaspora and the continent in terms of investment, infrastructure, technology transfer, education and the creation of an enabling environment in order to push the African continent’s industrialisation agenda. The GNCCI is poised to work in close collaboration with these investors and others coming in to transform the Ghanaian economy,” she added.