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SPEECH BY HON. BARBARA OTENG-GYASI, MINISTER FOR TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE AT THE (FIRST) ANNOUNCEMENT OF DISBURSEMENT OF GRANTS FOR TOURISM SME/SITE UPGRADE GRANT SCHEME,HELD AT THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION ON TUESDAY, 20TH OCTOBER, 2020

HON. KWADWO OPPONG-NKRUMAH, MINISTER FOR INFORMATION

HON. JOHN PETER AMEWU, MINISTER FOR ENERGY

HON. DR. ZIBLIM IDDI, DEP. MoTAC

HON. NANA AMA DOKUA, DEP. MINISTER FOR INFORMATION 

CHIEF DIRECTORS PRESENT

CHIEF EXECUTIVES OFFICERS AND HEADS OF AGENCIES PRESENT

MEMBERS OF GTDP NATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE

MEMBERS OF THE GRANT COMMITTEE,

OUR FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA,

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

I will like to extend a warm welcome to all our distinguished guests who are here today to witness the maiden announcement of the disbursement of Grants under the Ghana Tourism Development Project.

This Grant Scheme, as you maybe aware is being implemented under the Ghana Tourism Development Project of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to support SMEs, develop and improve the various Tourist Sites and also build capacity within the Tourism Sector.  

It is barely three months since the scheme was launched and true to our words, the team at the Project’s Coordinating Unit, the Grants Management Team, the Grants Committee, in collaboration with the World Bank Task Team have worked assiduously to review over 1,400 Expression of Interests (EOIs). These firms, individuals and organisations were then invited to submit their proposals. Applicants who met all the necessary requirements, have been approved to receive the support. It is therefore my pleasure this morning to present to you, the first batch of recipients of the Grant.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastating effect on the tourism and hospitality industry globally and the proactive interventions like this by Government offers us the opportunity to revitalize and make a meaningful impact in the tourism and hospitality sectors. 

The Nana Government and indeed my Ministry believes that such support schemes through the participation of private sector enterprises, is an investment that will yield benefits to the tourism sector and the transformation of our economy which will eventually lead to the Ghana beyond Aid Agenda. As a Government, we recognise and believe in the special abilities and unique roles of the Private sector to positively impact on the tourism sector through the special initiatives and programmes such as this.  

Today an amount totalling an equivalent of US$ 1.4 MILLION is being awarded to the first seventeen (17) beneficiaries to whom we say Congratulations - Ayekoo. Your business plans have been carefully assessed, you satisfactorily met all the requirements and have been selected on merit. Do seize the opportunity to add more value to your tourism products and services to stimulate tourism and the Ghanaian economy.

I wish you all the very best in your business endeavours and be assured that the Ministry and the team at the Project Coordinating Unit, in collaboration with the World Bank will continue to provide the necessary assistance and monitoring to ensure we derive the desired results for our mutual benefit and that of the Country at large.

Distinguished Guests, the Ministry remains resolute in efforts to see the Tourism sector bounce back. As indicated during the launch of the scheme three months ago, we are currently undertaking renovation works on selected tourist sites and I am happy to report that activities are progressing steadily at various levels of completion at the WLI waterfalls, TAFI AFOME Monkey Sanctuary, Paga Crocodile Pond, Nzulezu Village amongst others.

I am also excited to announce that in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ghana Immigration Service, we have launched the procurement process to select a firm to implement the Ghana Electronic Visa Programme (E-Visa) early next year. This is a major activity that will boost our tourism arrival figures as it will eliminate onerous visa application processes.

It is worthy to note that the well trained staff of the tourism and hospitality sector is a sire known for excellent service delivery. In this regard, the Ministry shall partner the private sector to establish state-of-the-art tourism and hospitality training institutions in some selected Regions of the country.

Ghana currently has become very attractive to tourists and investors from the African diasporic community in particular and the world generally. Hosting the ‘Year of Return’ to commemorate the 400 anniversary of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade which celebrated African resilience, and the initiation of the ‘Beyond the Return’ project spanning a ten-year period 2020-2030 to consolidate the gains made during the ‘Year of Return’ has projected Ghana as a preferred tourist destination in West Africa.

The opening of our airports by H.E the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, coupled with the redevelopment of our sites through the Ghana Tourism Development Project, we are hopeful that these sites will be patronised by local revellers to assure our international tourists that our sites are safe. It is gratifying to say that my Ministry, under the Tourism Development Project has begun an aggressive marketing promotion of the country locally and internationally.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby announce that the second window for the submission of Expression of Interest for the Grant Scheme will be opened on Monday, 26th October, 2020 and therefore encourage as many as possible in the industry to take advantage and apply to benefit from the scheme.

For those who are yet to receive the results from the Grants Management Team, be assured that the team is reviewing the proposals received and will contact all applicants to inform the next steps required to facilitate approval and disbursement of funds.

Distinguished Guests may I take the opportunity to thank the World Bank Task Team for their continued support for the project to ensure efficient disbursement of the Funds.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the Hon. Minister for Finance, The Director of External Resource Mobilisation Department of the Ministry of Finance and her team, the Grants Management Firm, the Grants Committee and my team at the Project Coordinating Unit of the Ministry. I am fully aware that the task has not been easy but ‘there is always light at end of the tunnel’.

As a Ministry and Government, we are optimistic that the beneficiaries would utilise the funds for the intended purposes to enable us achieve the desired developmental objectives of the project.

I will like to reiterate that the Ministry and the project team will embark on an aggressive monitoring and evaluation exercise to ensure that the funds are put to the right use to develop the country’s tourism and hospitality industry.

Hon. Ministers, Hon. Deputy Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all for coming.

May God bless us all and Our Homeland Ghana!

TOURISM MINISTRY DISBURSES $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS TO 15 SMEs UNDER THE TOURISM SECTOR.

Ghana’s tourism and hospitality sector has over the years play very significant role in the socio-economic development of the country. It is in this regard that the government is making efforts to rejuvenate the sector to reduce the catastrophic effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sector over the last few months.

As a result of this the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture through the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) has disbursed an amount of One Million, Four Hundred United States Dollars ($1,400,000) to Fifteen SMEs in the tourism sub-sector.

The object of this initiative is   to mitigate the effects of covid-19 pandemic on the operators in the tourism and hospitality industry in Ghana. It is also to improve the tourist sites and boost service delivery in the Ghana’s tourism sector in order to attract the required revelers into the country which will in the long run help grow the local economies.

At the event held in Accra on Tuesday, 20 October 2020, to present the said amount to the beneficiary institutions, the Sector Minister intimated that the COVID-19 has had a debilitating effect on the travel and tourism industry globally. Hence, the need for a   concerted efforts by all and sundry to get our shoulders to the wheel to help ameliorate the effects of the pandemic on businesses in the tourism sector in particular and the national economies in general.

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi remarked that the President’s   Government is of the considered opinion that when the private sector is being given the needed support it desires, it would   be able to propel the tourism sector into higher heights to enable the nation benefit enormously from the tourism sector. She therefore appealed to the private sector to see themselves as agents of growth and development.

The Minister used the occasion to commend the 15 beneficiary institutions for being selected as a beneficiary and appealed to them to use the funds prudently so that it will of great benefit to their institutions and the nation at large. She further charged on the beneficiary organizations to endeavour improving their service delivery in order for Ghana’s tourism sector to be attractive to revelers globally.

On his part, Mr. Daniel Ababio who is a Senior Manager of Ernst & Young, who are the Fund Management Consultant to the project, earlier gave a highlight on the modalities in accessing the funds.  

He indicated, that the Grants Management Team, and the Grants Committee, in collaboration with the World Bank Task Team reviewed an excess over 1,400 Expression of Interests (EOIs) since the initiative was launched.

According to him the institutions and individual organizations were subsequently invited to submit their proposals for evaluation and necessary assessment was made before approval was given.

 He mentioned the organizations which received the various financial support as follows; the Manhyia Palace Museum, with Gh¢3.36 million, Afadjato-Tagbo Ecotourism Centre, received GH¢690,000.00, the Agumatsa Ecotourism Centre, also had GH¢859,153.00, whiles the Arc World Travels Limited, was given GH¢225, 000.00 and last but not least to have benefited is the Shabasa Travel and tour with Gh¢150,000.00.

BACKGROUND

The participants were informed that the amount represent 25 percent of the matching grants for the SMEs under the tourism value chain to improve on Ghana’s tourism sector.  

Whiles the financial package to the beneficiaries is part of the $40 Million dollars World Bank facility under the Ghana Tourism Development Project

TOURISM MINISTRY MARKED THE 2020 WORLD TOURISM DAY CELEBRATION IN THE WESTERN REGION.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has marked this year’s World Tourism day celebration in Bogoso and Secondi-Takoradi in the western Region. 

The event was celebrated under the theme: “Tourism and Rural Development”. This year’s theme highlighted the sector’s unique ability to drive economic development and provide opportunities outside of big cities, including those communities that would otherwise be left behind.

The programme is an annual event, which is celebrated globally, on 27 September every year, to draw the world’s attention to the significance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic importance to the world.

The world Tourism Day also underscores the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting cultural heritage, and building the local economy.

At a durbar to climax the occasion in secondi-Takoradi, the sector Minister, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, in her keynote address expressed her unwavering commitment and that of Government of Ghana to turn the economic fortunes of Ghana’s tourism landscape and the rural communities across the country.

She intimated that, her outfit was also working tirelessly to promote domestic tourism in Ghana, given that this year’s theme “Tourism and Rural Development” was amply anchored to drive economic development and provide opportunities to the underprivileged societies in Ghana and the rest of the world.

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, further reiterated that the importance and unique roles tourism plays in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage, creating employment opportunities thereby curbing urban migration.

She said the Ghana Tourism Authority has embarked on a marketing campaign strategy dubbed “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, and Feel Ghana’’ to make Ghana very attractive to both domestic and international tourists.

She disclosed that, the President was committed to the sector and has recognized the quintessential role tourism plays in national development. According to the minister, it was against this backdrop that the government has earmarked a $4Million Dollar to cushion small and medium enterprises (SME’s) in the tourism value chain in Ghana. To ameliorate the effect of the Covid -19 pandemic on businesses subsequently, the Government of Ghana has also made an allocation of GH¢600 million stimulus package for the SMEs of which some operators in the tourism and hospitality industry have immensely benefited.

On his part the Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Council, Nana Nketia V entreated all successive governments endeavor to promote rural tourism in Ghana, upgrade Ghana’s tourism sites to international standard to enable it compete globally.

This according to him would help improve on the rural economy, which would significantly help curb rural-urban migration in Ghana.

 The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA) Mr.Akwasi Agyeman, further expressed his outfit’s commitment to develop tourist sites.

 He also indicated that, all mechanisms would be put in place to ensure full implementation and enforcement of regulation governing Ghana’s tourism and hospitality industry.

Activities for the celebration.

Meanwhile the activities that took place for the 2020 world Tourism Day Celebration Were Virtual Symposium via Zoom; which kick start on the 22nd September, 2020, Health Walk; on the 26th Sep. 2020, Tree Planting Exercise and Musical Concert also took place on the 26th Sept, 2020, all in Bogoso in the Prestea Huni Valley, whiles Photo exhibition and the Grand Durbar to climax the occasion happens on the 27th September, 2020 in Secondi - Takoradi, in the Western Region.

 

 Present at the function, were the Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kwabena Nketia, V. who also double as the Chairman of the occasion, and a host of other government functionaries in the Western Region as well as the staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and some stakeholders in the tourism industry in Ghana.

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE, HON. BARBARA OTENG-GYASI ON THE OCCASION OF UNVEILING THE SEVEN PILLARS OF BEYOND THE RETURN AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE ON 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2020

 

THE HON MINISTER

MINISTERS AND DEPUTY MINISTERS OF STATE

MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS

BOARD MEMBERS OF THE GHANA TOURISM AUTHORITY

DIRECTORS AND HEADS OF AGENCIES OF THE MINISTRIES

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

MEMBERS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE- “BEYOND THE RETURN”

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

OUR FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

 

 

 

It’s a great pleasure to be at this important gathering on the ‘Beyond the Return’ Initiative, which seeks to build on our competitive edge in attracting and building a mutual relationship with the African diasporic community. The ‘Beyond the Return’ Initiative is set to build on the gains made from the highly successful ‘Year of Return’ campaign.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative, is an opportunity that allows for cross-fertilisation of ideas, policy directions and implementation of strategies to make Ghana more attractive as the destination for tourism, trade and investment on the African continent, especially for the African diasporic community.

The African diasporic community who dream of returning to Africa and having a home here on the continent are confronted with the uncertainty of which African country they could call ‘Home’.

This sad reality, has not stopped Ghana from showing leadership in positioning the country as the Homeland for returning diasporans. Over the years, Ghana has received personalities like W.E.B. Dubois, Maya Angelou, Frantz Fanon, Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott King, Mohammad Ali, Malcolm X and Benjamin Zephaniah. Indeed, Rita Marley, Louis Armstrong, Steve Harvey, Isaac Hayes and many others who have all traced their roots to Ghana.

It was therefore, not surprising that the ‘Year of Return’ Initiative, became a momentous and trailblazing effort at diaspora engagement on the African continent in recent memory.

His Excellency President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo  on September 20th 2018 in Washington D.C., U.S.A, declared 2019 as the ‘Year of Return’ to commemorate the 400th anniversary since the arrival of the first twenty African slaves to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The ‘Year of Return’ provided Ghana with the unique opportunity to establish the country as the preferred destination and homeland for people of African descent globally.

Distinguished Guest, on November 27th 2019, President Akufo-Addo also conferred Ghanaian citizenship on one hundred and twenty-six Diasporans. On that august occasion the President stated as follows: “we recognize our unique position as the location for 75% of the slave dungeons built on the West Coast of Africa, through which the slaves were transported. That is why we have a responsibility to extend a hand of welcome back home to Africans in the diaspora”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghana today has become more attractive than ever before to tourists and investors from the diasporan community and all over the world. They have embraced what we have done with the ‘Year of Return’ commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and celebrating African resilience.

It is in synergy with the ‘Year of Return’, that we have initiated the ‘Beyond the Return’ project spanning a ten-year period 2020-2030 to consolidate the gains made in 2019. This 10-year plan under the theme, “A Decade of Renaissance-2020-2030”. The very premise of this Initiative is to create a mutually beneficial co-operation with the African diasporic community.

In the light of this, Ghana is developing a Homeland Return legislation to facilitate various forms of migration and integration into the country. Ghana as the leader of Pan-Africanism through the Homeland Return Act, will offer opportunity for citizenship to our brothers and sisters. They will be embraced for the positive values they embody and there will be equal and full opportunity for them to contribute to all aspects of civic and political life, to the ultimate benefit of the country and our diaspora citizens.

At the start of the New Year, we had many plans to jumpstart Beyond the Return including our participation in the New York Travel Show. We had plans to travel and be featured as part of the annual Memphis in May festival in the United States, but unfortunately, COVID-19 struck. 

As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought lifestyle-shattering protocols and direct impact on national economies. In terms of the tourism and hospitality industry, the UNWTO reports that the potential impact shows that this year there will be 850 million to 1.1 billion fewer international tourist arrivals, US$910 billion to US$1.2 trillion loss in export revenues from tourism and 100 to 120 million direct tourism jobs being at risk.

Despite what is happening in the World, our global African family, continues to express their desire to come home to Africa and to Ghana. We are ready to welcome you and provide the most positive experience as you make the decision to connect with Ghana through travel, investments, community services, business collaborations and repatriation.

During the Year of Return, we received feedback on the issues of concern to our diasporic community in planning to return to Ghana. We also heard from our fellow Ghanaians about ways we could work towards integrating them in our activities to create a more inclusive environment for both the diaspora and Ghanaians. We have heard you, and various stakeholder institutions are working diligently to incorporate all your suggestions.

Beyond the Return is a 10-year initiative that will serve to strengthen ties with our global African diaspora. Each of the 7 pillars being unveiled today, touches on the many areas that are key to developing Ghana and providing an environment that supports the diaspora. In developing the pillars for the Beyond the Return, we took into consideration the many questions, concerns, and feedback we received from the diaspora and local communities during and after the Year of Return.

Africa is the future and building it will be a collaborative effort between continental Africans and the historical diaspora. Together, we can shape the future and revitalize our continent into the greatness it was destined for. Through establishing business opportunities, celebrating culture, learning our history and heritage, providing innovations, giving back to our local community… we rise and change the narrative of Africa.

Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you for joining us on this day and look forward to the next decade as we experience the African Renaissance, together.

May God bless us all and Our Homeland Ghana!

LONG LIVE THE AFRICAN DIASPORA

LONG LIVE AFRICA

Ministry Overview

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture was renamed in 2017 through Executive Instrument E.I28 Civil Service (Ministries) Instrument, 2017 by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to replace the then Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. The Ministry’s policy directive is to provide a firm, stable policy environment for effective mainstreaming of Ghanaian arts and culture into all aspects of national life. This it is believed will help in ensuring the emergence of a strong, vibrant and creative environment that would help improve and advance the Tourism, Arts and Culture industry in Ghana.


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  (+233 263) 341 550
  Ministries, Accra

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