Philadelphia, PA (emergingminds.org) - In August 2005, the 20/20 Real Estate Investment Group took a long awaited step toward uniting two continents, Africa and America, when 25 returnees, Americans of African descent took part in the ceremonial coming home march across the Volta River in Ghana.
In this case, unlike the many civil rights marches of old, there were no Bull Connors or sadistic dogs, or venomous mobs, only the love and respect of reawakened kinship. This group of black Americans represent the first wave, the vanguard it is hoped of a planned emigration of the descendants of American slaves back to the motherland to develop their own version of the city on the hill.
The culmination of the August trip was the 2-day homecoming to Ye Fa Ogyamu. In addition to the Crossing Over Ceremony, the groundbreaking of the secondary and vocational school complex, the group was treated to performances by local artistic groups, shopping for indigenous crafts, arts and clothing, and sampling of the local cuisine.
Fihankra International, a Ghana based non-governmental organization (NGO), and the 20/20 Group, an African American Real Estate Investment Group operating out of the United States, are the driving force of this unique initiative, a joint venture aimed at the expansion of Fihankra by developing this 30,000 acres of land in the Volta region of Ghana, West Africa into a state of the art, self-sustaining community.
Fihankra, which translates they left without saying goodbye, initiated this township development in 1997. In one of the earth's most spectacular rolling mountain ranges and virgin forests, the NGO has carved out the beginnings of a full service community burgeoning with potential. A major part of Fihankras mission is promoting the cultural and economic reintegration of Africa by its Diaspora. The establishment of this partnership with the 20/20 Group is the next phase of that mission.
This monumental undertaking arises out of the historic atonement ceremony held in December 1994 in Accra, Ghana where representatives of Ghana's National House of Chiefs, along with the Spiritual Head of the Godian Mission of Nigeria, ceremonially opened the gateway to Africa to the descendants of Africans born in the Diaspora as a direct result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This historic ceremony customarily referred to as The Purification of the Stool and Skin of Fihankra consisted of an apology for the participation of some chiefs of the past who supported and profited from the slave trade. The event was witnessed by the more than 3,000.
A large area of land was then set aside with the intent to provide both a spiritual and customary home for Diasporan Africans wishing to repatriate to Ghana. The portion of land upon which the township is being constructed is part of that larger land area. The township named Ye Fa Ogyamu, means we have passed through fire and reflects the trials of Africans of the Diaspora over centuries of separation from their ancestral homeland. This historic venture comes at a time when the world's attention is being captured by events in and concern for the Motherland as exemplified by the recent Live 8 Concerts and G8 Summit.
Each of the twenty-five 20/20 Group future homeowners, for the price of an annual real estate tax, gets a 10,000 sq. ft. plot to develop into a home site for a planned retirement, a vacation property or second home. These home sites are to be part of a planned series of self-sustaining eco-villages, a community of some 250,000 residents that will boast an international school.
"The school and other facilities will be developed upon the dual foundation of respect for history and the application of scientific knowledge in a creative and sustainable environment," said Ali Salahuddin, founder of the 20/20 Group. Fully 30,000 acres of prime Volta River property is being set-aside for this project that organizers see as a 15-year 90 million dollar initiative.
In its own way the Ghanaian government is in the forefront of a move by West African nations to atone for their own complicity in the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, which brought the ancestors of these modern day Americans across the seas and deposited them in circumstances whose legacy we are still dealing with to this day.
With the launch of this project the union of cultural reawakening and cooperative economic planning are welded into a concrete form through which all African people will benefit.
Its a win-win. Ghana gets the benefit of the expertise, money and resources of these intrepid, African Americans and these homesteaders get their own piece of the motherland to develop as a legacy for future generations. Once again the land of their ancestors is theirs to cherish and revive.
The 20/20 Group was established by the dZert Club in January 2000 as a limited partnership after the club visited Ghana with 220 students, parents and adult group leaders with the express purpose of investing in real estate development projects in Africa.
To learn more about the d'Zert Club, please visit www.dzertclub.com
All those interested in employment, business and travel opportunities or in acquiring land in this community should call the 20/20 Group at 215-247-1545 or email [email protected]