Photo (L-R): Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S. Hajia Alima Mahama; Managing Partner of LIQUID SOUL-DC, Paxton Baker; D.C. United President of Business Operations Danita Johnson; Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates; and Destination D.C. President & CEO Elliott / © AfrikanPost
The inaugural Africa Week Festival will be held from October 9–14, 2023, according to an announcement made by the Ghana Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Ghana Tourism Authority, Liquid Soul-DC, Events DC, and D.C. United.
The centrepiece of the event on October 14 will be the ‘Capital City Africa Cup,’ a historic soccer match between D.C. United, the most decorated team in Major League Soccer, and Medeama Sporting Club, the champions of the Ghana Premier League.
The festival will celebrate the diversity and richness of Africa through a series of cultural, economic and sporting events presented in the nation’s capital. It will boost economic engagements, cooperations and investments in critical sectors such as health, infrastructure, energy, agribusiness and digital.
“This momentous occasion not only brings our vibrant Ghanaian culture to the forefront but also strengthens the bonds of friendship and partnership between our two nations,” said Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S. Hajia Alima Mahama.
“Ghana was the first country of choice in Africa for the international initiative, dubbed ‘Obviously DC’ by the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development, to develop a special strategy to promote and establish businesses and now reached an understanding of Ghana’s business ecosystem which has led to business deals in the pharmaceutical area and more. We’re grateful to the Mayor’s office in the District of Columbia.”
Ambassador Mahama, alongside D.C. United President of Business Operations Danita Johnson, Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates, and Managing Partner of Liquid Soul-DC, Paxton Baker, hosted a media event this week to reveal more details regarding the inaugural event.
“The Capital City Africa Week Festival is set up to be a celebration of African culture,” said Baker. “Ghana is an amazing country and the goal of the Capital City Africa Cup is to expose Ghanaian culture and African culture to Americans. Our hope is this week of special events will plant a seed to inspire people to visit Ghana and learn more about it.”
D.C. United is one of the founding clubs of Major League Soccer in 1996, and among the most decorated teams in the United States with 13 domestic and international trophies. The team has won the MLS Cup four times (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004), the Supporters’ Shield four times (1997, 1999, 2006 and 2007) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup three times (1996, 2008 and 2013).
“D.C. United being the host of the Capital City Africa Cup is a true representation of bringing cultures together and the unification of soccer,” said Johnson.
“It is so important for us at the club to be able to create new opportunities, both economic and on the pitch, around our city. We get to do just that with this partnership and truly help elevate the Ghanaian community here in Washington, D.C. We are thrilled to be hosting this game and we look forward to doing this for years to come.”
Medeama SC was established in 2002, formerly known as Kessben F.C. before changing its name in 2011. The club was the 2022-2023 Ghana Premier League champions, and has represented Ghana twice in the CAF Confederation Cup. It also earned a top-four-finish on two occasions in five years, and won the famous FA Cup twice, beating local giants Asante Kotoko twice to win the title. Recognized as one of the most disciplined teams in Ghana, Medeama won the Fair Play Award during the 2014/15 Ghana FA/Premier League Board gala
“DC has indeed evolved into the District of Champions and as such the city has become a true hub for global competition and one of the most important sports destinations in the United States,” said Angie M. Gates.
“Hosting the Capital City Africa Cup in the District of Columbia will grow our local economy and bring in over $3.4 million dollars. It is not just about the sport itself, it is about the local economic impact in all 8 Wards of Washington, DC. We are super excited about this event and the opportunity to showcase African nations and increase DC tourism.”