December in Ghana 2018 was a thing!!!! December in Ghana 2019 will be another thing. And then on, and on, and on; for as long as we are willing to sustain the magnitude of culturally relevant events we have for tourists and returnees during that time. In fact, I shared the following with friends on Dec 29th while reflecting on the season. It might be helpful to think
So a lot of people talk about “December chilling” but I’ve been thinking about the fact that this is way deeper than chilling. I can just sense how eager people are to return to Ghana because of December and what young people are doing around it in terms of unique events and experiences. Prolific American marketer, Seth Godin, talks a lot about the fact that culture is the only way to change people’s beliefs and that’s evident with what’s happening in Ghana now. December in Ghana is becoming a black cultural staple. It will change people’s perception of Ghana/Africa more rapidly and deeply as an independent agent than advocacy, storytelling, or business alone can. That is, if you want to show me that a thing is good, take me to the thing and IMMERSE ME in it rather than use words to paint a picture of it for me or giving me something made there.
In other words, Ghana is the new Miami. lol.
I cannot overstate my excitement about this moment. So many friends from outside of the country have written to tell me that my December looked lit. Many more have expressed interest in coming to Ghana specifically for that December in Ghana magic. People are so excited about the season that they are planning a full year in advance. For example, my Jamaican friend who is currently in Ghana tried to book her flight for December 2019 this week. Airlines haven’t even issued tickets for those dates - talk about an eager beaver.
Yet, I am excited for her and others like her who want to come to Ghana specifically during Christmas. The economist in me knows that it has paid off tremendously in business revenue - especially for our local transport (Uber did a crazy surge in Ghana this December), events, and food businesses.
Still, I have a few concerns that are worth noting if we should have this discussion in full:
How do we build momentum for visiting the country during other times of the year - Easter, late summer, etc - since we have proven that we can generate the demand per our December efforts?
How can event organizers collaborate and support each other for more success? It appears that there are some mounting challenges with issues such as capacity and quality of events/experiences.
How many of the December in Ghana events are accessible to non-diaspora local youths who don’t have the funds/foreign reserves, to splurge during the season but should still have access to these cultural experiences?
What is our government doing to capitalize on this moment? Where can there be synergies with other development projects beyond its Year of Return initiative?
Finally, what is the government doing to address infrastructural challenges (traffic, waste management, etc) that will impede on the future success of December in Ghana as the volume of people moving into the country increases?