June 15th: The President of Ghana His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo arrives in Jamaica as a part of an official two-day working visit “The Year of Return Ghana 2019 Tour” between Jamaica and the other Caribbean Islands.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness issued a press statement at Jamaica House on June 15, 2019, advising of a visa waiver agreement between Jamaica and Ghana. This announcement was made alongside President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, solidifying a reciprocal visa free travel between both countries and stressing the importance of building strong ties between both countries.
What does this mean for Jamaicans?
This means starting July 1, 2019 (when this visa waiver agreement takes effect), Jamaicans can now travel to and from Ghana without obtaining a visa. The crucial document Jamaicans will need for travel to Ghana now is a valid Jamaican passport.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated at the press conference:
“We cannot have visas standing in the way of those relations, so the decision has been taken by my government that, as Ghanaians benefit from visa free arrangements here in Jamaica, we are also going to provide visa free arrangements for Jamaicans in Ghana, to facilitate and also make it easier for you to come and join us for the ‘Year of Return.”
He went on to say, “We can use this initiative to forge increased inter-personal connections and at the same time deepen the trade and commercial relations between our respective countries”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emphasized that the intention is to use the symbolism of 'The Year of Return, Ghana 2019' to take concrete steps to solidify the relationship between Jamaica and other countries in the region.
“The relationship that we are forming here in Jamaica, will form part of this process of solidifying the relations between those of us on the continent of Africa and those of you in the Diaspora outside Africa,” he said.
Sunday June 16th: The arrival coincided with the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference which began on Sunday June 16th. His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was a guess speaker at the conference. During the address, the president expressed the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
The president end his visit by telling the diaspora “please come and sample Ghana. Make the return journey a happy and joyful one. The Year of Return awaits you all. Now is the time to engage each other positively. I am looking forward to many Jamaicans taking up this offer”.