WoodxWatta Festival Closed 2022 with Business Brunch, Opened 2023 With WoodxWatta Jamaican Bashment Party
2-Day Festival Featured Award-Winning Ghanaian Dancehall Artist Stonebwoy, Spotify Africa Manager Benewaah Boateng; founder of Surf Ghana, Sandy Alibo; COO of Republic Bank, Ray Klein, and more
Featured here in Essence Magazine
WoodxWatta, Ghana’s newest Afro-Caribbean festival, hosted its inaugural festival this Detty December in Accra, Ghana, which was featured in Essence Magazine. The two-day Afro-Caribbean festival, recently kicked off with a Business Brunch on Monday, December 26, which featured two panel discussions focused on culture and business with some of the industry’s top representatives; and closed with a tete-a-tete conversation with Ghanaian Dancehall Artist Stonebwoy and renowned Nigerian-American culture journalist Ivie Ani.
The brunch, which Ford Communications organized in partnership with Ghana’s Office of Diaspora Affairs, had a programme lineup that included panel discussions with culture and business visionaries from across the diaspora, live DJs, an interactive Afro-Caribbean brunch featuring an authentic Jamaican menu, and networking opportunities. The discussions focused on the long-term Afro-Caribbean visions of culture, technology, real estate, trade, and mutual investment potential.
WoodxWatta Business brunch was hosted by Lakeshia Ford, MD, Ford Communications, and six (6) business and culture magnates as panellists, namely: Ray Klein, COO, Republic Bank, Benewaah Boateng, Manager of Spotify Africa, Sandy Alibo, founder of Surf Ghana, Leticia Browne, Zeepay Head of Market, Inclusion & Advocacy, Ivie Ani, culture writer for Amazon Music, and special guest Afro-dancehall artist Stonebwoy.
“In the end what are we really here for if we don’t live for one another, and expand as a race. The little things matter – just the small connections, whether it’s art, culture, business, entertainment,” said Stonebwoy.
The business brunch invited the visiting diaspora and Ghanaian investors to shift their focus to the collaborative future of Ghana and the Caribbean; and unlock industry, trade, and investment opportunities between the two regions.
“WOODXWATTA was designed to explore interests, investments and innovation between Jamaica and Ghana. My hope is that the Caribbean and Africa can identify synergies, collaborate and work in harmony in areas such as culture, technology, real estate, trade and business. Together with top industry visionaries from the diaspora, we’re having these conversations, looking at the challenges in both regions from various angles so that the solutions can take a layered approach,” said founder Lakeisha Ford.
Spotify Africa manager Benewaah Boateng noted “The first WoodxWatta festival opened the conversation and interest about Africa and the Caribbean in ways I hadn’t previously thought of. It was fascinating to connect with stakeholders across different industries interested in both regions. The team put everything together so thoughtfully and seamlessly. Looking forward to more of these brilliant platforms that will incite partnerships across industries and countries in future.”
WoodxWatta concluded the “December in Ghana” activities on January 4 with a proper bashment at the luxury venue The Underbridge in East Legon. More than just a party, this culturally immersive experience celebrated the possibilities of our shared futures and the collective liberation of the Black diaspora through Dancehall and Afrobeats. Patrons enjoyed sounds and vibes from some of Ghana and the Caribbean’s most renowned DJs, emcees and producers, alongside authentic Jamaican cuisine. View the recap video here courtesy of media partner Blac Volta.
“There is more than $1 Billion in trade and export potential between Africa and the Caribbean. We are anchored by our cultural connection, but it’s time for emerging markets to start collaborating, economically. This festival is the answer to that call for the Caribbean and Ghana, and Africa, at large,” says founder Lakeisha Ford.
WoodxWatta is officially sponsored by Zeepay, Travel Deeper, Republic Bank, and Jameson. The festival is endorsed by the Consulate of Jamaica, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Office of Diaspora Affairs, and Beyond the Return with collaborative support from Chambers Media and Oaccess Jamaica. Stay tuned for more announcements on upcoming WoodxWatta Festivals across the diaspora.