The city of Cape Coast in Ghana’s Central Region is widely known as the nation’s tourism hub and the ‘Makah’ for African Americans. Every year, hundreds of Black people across the world visit the city and other historic slave sites to learn about the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The region was the hotbed of the slave trade that saw millions of Africans uprooted to the New World. The coastal region has a number of castles and dungeons that were used to keep enslaved men and women for days before they were transported to the Americas to work on various plantations.
Since the end of slavery with Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) attaining nationhood, Cape Coast has seen the return of many African Americans and Caribbeans to have firsthand information about the inhumane treatment their ancestors endured.
In 2019, Ghana organized ‘the Year of Return’ to commemorate the landing of slaves from Africa in America. The event was highly patronized by members of the diaspora. Beyond the Year of Return, there has been an effort to consolidate the gains made.
In this regard, the city of Cape Coast has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Africa Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) and two local companies to create an ultramodern city. The city will be called the “Wakanda City of Return.” The proposed name of the city is inspired by the popular Hollywood movie, “Black Panther.”
The project seeks to leverage the heritage and cultural tourist assets in Ghana. The partners want to create a place of pilgrimage for the people of African descent to learn about their history, culture, the civilization of Africa, and its role in the creation of the new world economy.
The project, which is a private sector-led initiative, will develop the coastline and new areas in Cape Coast by creating a heritage experience with the provision of 5-Star hotels, retreat/ health resort, conference centers, and an ultra-modern continental corporate headquarters for ADDI.
The organizers say the timing of the project is apt since the country is still benefitting from the “Year of Return” and the “Beyond the Return” initiative organized by the government.
The project is expected to create about three thousand (3,000) jobs in Cape Coast.