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ESSENCE GOING GLOBAL IN GHANA

SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES — The first international Essence Global Black Economic Forum is being held in Accra, Ghana during the eight day Essence Full Circle Festival experience. The festival that began Dec. 27 and continues through Jan. 3, commemorates the “Year of Return,” honoring common heritage and celebrating African ancestry, culture and achievement.

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(Black PR Wire) – The first international Essence Global Black Economic Forum is being held in Accra, Ghana during the eight day Essence Full Circle Festival experience.

The festival that began Dec. 27 and continues through Jan. 3, commemorates the “Year of Return,” honoring common heritage and celebrating African ancestry, culture and achievement.

Organizers said the Essence Global Black Economic Forum: Africa, at the Movenpick Hotel, has a mission to create new opportunities for economic development, cultural exchange and how the private sector can help sustainably drive this development and transform African communities on the continent and across the Diaspora.

The Forum, a centerpiece of the week-long Essence Full Circle Festival activities, is convening entrepreneurs, executives, entertainers, influencers and government officials to establish an agenda driving economic and cultural collaboration among Black communities globally.

The plan is to partner with additional African nations to further this mission, with upcoming cities to be announced.

The festival is uniting more than 200 influencers and business executives from the United States and across the Diaspora with Ghanaian and regional leaders and communities via a cultural exploration of history, cuisine, music, fashion, nightlife, commerce and more.

Local collaborations have been key in helping to curate the Essence Full Circle Festival experience, with Ghanaian businesses and brands such as Giraffe & Co., Gold Coast, BBnZ, Kollage & Glitz, Sankofa Chips, R&R Luxury, DUNK, Joselyn Dumas Foundation, Studio Online, Best AM, linkn solutions, and Enosh by Design.

In addition to the Essence Global Black Economic Forum: Africa, engagement activities during the week include cultural and heritage experiences in Cape Coast, Kumasi, and Ada, city tours of Accra, local events, and a Service and Exchange Day in Accra on Jan. 2 that will include volunteer initiatives as well as entrepreneurship and creative industry masterclasses.

The Essence Full Circle Festival is a venture between Full Circle Festival, LLC – founded by Boris Kodjoe, Bozoma Saint John, and Patrick Kodjoe, all of Ghanaian descent, and Nicole Ari Parker – in partnership with Essence Ventures, an independent consumer technology company – founded by Liberian entrepreneur, investor and social impact innovator Richelieu Dennis – that merges content, community and commerce and is the parent company of Essence Communications, Inc.

The inaugural Full Circle Festival took place in December 2018 and brought more than 100 guests to Accra for cultural engagement and ancestral reconnection, resulting in an estimated economic impact of more than $70 million in tourism revenue for Ghana.

Under the newly-formed partnership, the Essence Full Circle Festival is focusing on a three-part mission: (1) supporting cultural ownership and economic collaboration among Africans on the continent and people of African descent in the Diaspora; (2) connecting Black communities globally for the exchange of ideas and shared objectives that leads to cultural monetization and community reinvestment; and (3) facilitating the global learning and discovery of African nations as ancestral, spiritual, cultural and commercial epicenters.

“This partnership recognizes Ghana’s role as a beacon for people of African descent in this Year of Return,” said His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana.

“The Year of Return, Ghana 2019, is a conscious effort to cement our pan-African legacy,” the president added. “Throughout the Year, the Tourism Authority has worked with several partner organizations to welcome home our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora. The Essence Full Circle Festival is a welcome addition to the activities and will hopefully become one of the legacies of the year which celebrates African resilience.”

For other details regarding the Essence Global Black Economic Forum: Africa, visit essencefullcirclefestival.wrstbnd.com.

This article originally appeared in the South Florida Times.

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