Four Black entrepreneurs who relocated to Africa share why Ghana is the perfect country to move.
Ghana has become a repatriation hot-spot for many Black Americans over the last few years. For some, Ghana is a destination where worries about safety and racism are non-existent. For others, Ghana is a place where expatriates feel they can effortlessly thrive while connecting with their ancestral roots. These ex-pats give an insight into their lives in Ghana and what has made them stay.
“I came to Ghana for work alone with no family, children, or romantic ties. I feel like I’m here because I am on a divine assignment. I always saw myself having a global career and moving around the world. Different opportunities have come up but never seemed to work out, so I am trusting God with the process,” says Erica M. Daniel, a global health professional and intimacy coach who relocated to Ghana in July 2013 for a work opportunity and has remained in the country ever since.
Daniel describes her current life in Ghana as peaceful, fun, and invigorating. “I’m comfortable in a space that brings life to who I am, a joy to my world and my being. What I love most about Ghana is the simplicity of life and the happiness I choose to experience in my life here. I am employed and have other businesses I am elevating.”
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While building a life in Ghana, Daniel has been making a name for herself as an entrepreneur. One of her businesses, For the Love of Fufu, curates unique experiences intended to promote social engagement. As explained on her site, “Fufu, originally a Ghanaian traditional meal served in various West African countries as well, is often a communal meal shared among family and friends. The spirit of fufu brings everyone together in a respectful and joyful way. This platform is committed to maintaining the spirit of fufu in bringing like-minded people together to meet, engage and develop long-lasting memories.” Experiences include everything from sex toy parties to intimacy coaching and speed dating.
Daniel says she encourages other Black Americans to visit Ghana but dig deeper into their “why” while deciding if Ghana is for them. “The culture and history are undeniable. When coming to Ghana, my suggestion is to experience the culture. Go to the castles and understand what our ancestors went through in that space,” suggests Daniel. “Come and understand what real Black culture looks like, what adinkra symbols mean, the value of a naming ceremony, etc. Don’t just come to enjoy the lights and parties. There is so much here to celebrate.”
Quickly approaching her ninth year of living in Ghana, Daniel leaves aspiring Black American repatriates with words of wisdom. “Not everyone’s journey to Ghana will look or has to be the same. You don’t have to hate America to want to move to another country. You don’t have to feel like your Blackness is under attack or isn’t enough to move to Ghana. Move here because you feel called, led, and have an adventurous spirit. This doesn’t have to be the end of your journey. It can be the start of something greater and much more beautiful. Know that when you leave, you’re leaving where you are and coming into something greater.”
Tim Swain is a poet, educator, and entrepreneur who left his life in the United States to tap into more of his gifts and talents in Ghana. Swain visited Ghana for the first time in 2007, and the Indiana native continued to travel back and forth for over 14 years before permanently calling the country home in 2019 with his wife and son by his side.
“The first time I came to Ghana in 2007, everything I thought about who I was as a Black and religious person was transformed, and that stood out to me,” recalls Swain. “Every time I came to Ghana, I got pieces of that. It eventually became harder to return to the U.S.”
For Swain, there were many challenges but living in the freedom of humanity in Ghana outweighs all of them. “Ghana is a developing country, so the structures and systems are still in progress,” says Swain. “To get things done in Ghana, you need people. In the States, you have systems that work.”
The deep difference of culture stood out to Swain upon his move to Ghana. “If you are a Black person that was raised in the U.S. your entire life, you don’t understand how American you are until you come to Ghana. One thing about American culture is how individualistic we are. I’m an American before Black in Ghana, but in the States, I’m Black before American.”
With a background in higher education, community programming, and student leadership development in the U.S., Swain moved to Ghana to develop his organization Anidaso 360, which creates global leaders through cultural immersion programs in Ghana.
The inspiring entrepreneurial spirit is one thing Swain says he loves the most about Ghana. “The opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs to create impactful businesses is undeniable. Currently, I work with my organization to consult people trying to relocate to Ghana and facilitate seminars on career development and leadership.”
Swain’s YouTube channel is an informative resource for those aspiring to create a new life in Ghana and gain a realistic perspective of what to expect. “Ghana is a great place to visit and provides a cultural experience like none other,” he says.
Ike and Natalee Anderson have been married for 20 years. For over 30 years, the Andersons have lived in Palm Beach, Florida, where they met and eventually began their family of five. With a strong passion for learning about their ancestral roots, after taking several DNA tests, the Andersons discovered that most of their collective ancestral lineage was West African, with Ghana as a leading country. “We came to Ghana first in 2018,” the Andersons recall. “Ghana was one of the countries on our DNA results, so we initially went there to intentionally experience our first visit.”
The Andersons say adjusting to life in Ghana with their family of five took strategic planning. “We did a lot of research around where to live, what we would need, and how to settle in comfort quickly. We got involved in a few diaspora and repatriation groups, learning from those who have already made the move, then customized for our family’s unique situation and perspective.”
For the Andersons, the most significant difference between life in Ghana and the U.S. is community. “There’s a greater sense of community for us here that we don’t get in the States. The culture in Ghana is based mostly on connection, spending quality time, and fostering relationships, which we truly appreciate.”
They say life in Ghana is easygoing and flexible for their family. “Our children are homeschooled, so we travel locally, learning the culture while balancing academic lessons. Our biggest challenge is not having fast and easy delivery from Amazon! We love the sense of safety we feel and the general respect and care for others embedded in the culture.”
The couple says that their bigger mission and purpose of moving to Ghana has kept them in the country. “The greatest reward so far is seeing our vision for the Exploring Legacy Birthright & Rite of Passage Foundation launched and seeing the impact it’s having on others. Also, being able to form new deep and meaningful friendships has been fulfilling.”
The Andersons encourage those with African ancestry to visit Ghana and are excited to continue reaching others through Exploring Legacy and their foundation. “It’s not just the place, but what you do here that matters! There is a spiritual loop that we make by coming back, so as long as we honor the journey in that light, balancing it with fun and adventure, we have done our mission.”
As Ghana continues to be a popular place for Black Americans to relocate, one thing remains clear: everyone’s path to repatriation in Ghana looks different. Life in Ghana comes with its ups and downs, but for many, there is no other place they would rather be.