Commemorating the ‘Year of Return’ in Ghana, the Forum and Festival Will Focus on Economic Collaboration and Cultural Ownership and Exchange Among Black Communities Globally.
The first international ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum will be held in Accra, Ghana during the eight-day ESSENCE Full Circle Festival experience. Taking place at the Movenpick Hotel on December 31, the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa 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, will convene entrepreneurs, executives, entertainers, influencers and government officials to establish an agenda driving economic and cultural collaboration among Black communities globally.
The ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa will partner with additional African nations to further this mission, and upcoming cities will be announced moving forward.
The ESSENCE Full Circle Festival takes place from December 27, 2019 through January 3, 2020 and will commemorate the Year of Return, honor common heritage and celebrate African ancestry, culture and achievement.
It will unite 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, Enosh by Design and more.
In addition to the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa, engagement activities during the week will include cultural and heritage experiences in Cape Coast, Kumasi, and Ada, city tours of Accra, local events including the Beach Polo Cup and Afrochella, New Year’s Eve celebrations and a Service and Exchange Day in Accra on January 2 that will include volunteer initiatives as well as entrepreneurship and creative industry masterclasses.
Packages and tickets are available for the ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa and various social activities, including New Year’s Eve celebrations, at www.essencefullcirclefestival.wrstbnd.com
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.
ESSENCE Full Circle Festival partners include SheaMoisture, Microsoft, Conservation International and the Office of Diaspora Affairs.