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TOUR OPERATORS’ UNION OF GHANA OUTDOORS MAIDEN NEWSLETTER

The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), on Friday, November 24 launched the ‘Tougha Newsletter,’ the maiden publication of the Union.
The 44-page, full-color brochure is awash with information on the activities of TOUGHA including tours to sites and destinations and donations to selected orphanages in various parts of the country. The Union’s support towards promoting domestic tourism is also given much prominence in the new publication. Readers can also learn about travel tips in Ghana in the newsletter.
Several articles, including one by TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah on domestic tourism is also featured. Also contained in the newsletter are pages where almost all members of TOUGHA and their contact information can be found.
TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah
The colorful launch event at the Labadi Beach Hotel attracted a broad spectrum of Ghana’s tourism industry stakeholders, both public and private, traditional authorities, academia, and the media.
Mrs. Alisa Osei- Asamoah described as historic, the publication of the newsletter. “Indeed, this is a day that I have looked forward to for a really long time. This day marks yet another important milestone in the forward march of our beloved union,” she said.
She added that the newsletter seeks to offer a credible and authoritative medium for disseminating critical industry information, analysis of sector trends, and among others, offer alternatives to policy initiatives and inspire right partnerships and penetration into unexplored products of the country’s tourism sector.
Mrs. Osei-Asamoah postulated: “TOUGHA is contributing this newsletter as a tool that we believe can perform a useful role in facilitating the creation of a more congenial environment for sustainable growth and development of the travel and tourism industry in Ghana.”
Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey congratulating TOUGHA also highlighted the significant role in Ghana’s tourism, stating that “We could not call ourselves a Ministry of Tourism without TOUGHA.” He said the Ministry would continue to partner and work with the Union to achieve the goals of building a robust tourism sector for the country.
Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Mark Okraku Mantey
Also pledging their continuous support and collaboration was the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Development Company, Kwadwo Odame Antwi who also spoke on behalf of the Ghana Tourism Authority CEO, Akwasi Agyeman.
A representative of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Life Patron of TOUGHA, Manwerehene Baffour Osei Hyiaman Bretuo VI commended TOUGHA for the initiative to publish a newsletter. Calling for more support from the Ministry and its agencies for the Union, the Manwerehene said TOUGHA has over the years established itself as a formidable body for which reason the doors of the Asantehene were open to them on the regular.
Otumfuo’s Manwerehene Baffour Osei Hyiaman Bretuo VI
Alongside the launch of the newsletter, founding members of TOUGHA were also given citations of honor for their pioneering role in establishing the Union. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman were also presented with citations for constantly supporting TOUGHA’s activities and Ghana’s tourism.
Deputy Tourism Minister, Mark Okraku Mantey receiving a citation on behalf of the Minister from the TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah
The evergreen Winneba Youth Choir and whiz kid, Nakeeyat were also in attendance to serenade patrons with beautiful music renditions and poetry performances respectively with exciting cultural music and dance also on display.
The Winneba Youth Choir gave melodious renditions at the event
An e-version of the newsletter is available for download at www.touroperatorsgh.com
View photos from the launch of the newsletter here
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah

Brooklyn Names Street after Ghana

The Borough of Brooklyn has named a street in Bed-Stuy after Ghana, highlighting the country’s leading role in building bridges amongst the global African Family.
Bed-Stuy has been a center of African American culture since the early 20th century and has been home to several cultural icons.
Making the announcement and the presentation during a “Destination Ghana” event at Westville Heritage Center in New York, Councilman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., on behalf of the people of Bed-Stuy and the Borough of Brooklyn, commended Ghana for the Year of Return initiative and its follow up “Beyond the Return” project.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, and the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman have been staking Ghana’s claim and engaging the most business and opinion leaders in the city of New York to promote the destination Ghana.
Dr. Awal in thanking the Council member, threw an invitation to the audience made up of politicians, business leaders, clergy, and students to build on the goodwill for mutual growth adding that the street named Bed-Stuy/Ghana Way, cements the strategic partnership between Ghana and Brooklyn.
According to Dr. Awal, Ghana is at the center of the world with attractive investment opportunities and urged African-Americans to visit Ghana to reconnect to their roots and also exploit the many business opportunities.
The CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr. Akwasi Agyeman presented programs lined up for December in Ghana and a proposed Independence trade mission in March 2022.
An 85-year-old Dr. Leonard Jeffries Jr, a well-known Pan- Africanist participant in the audience was thrilled to see the day in his lifetime as Ghana will forever be part of the rich history of Bed-Stuy and Brooklyn.

CULTURE POLICY TO FOCUS ON ELEMENTS OF GHANAIAN CULTURE

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal has clarified that the cultural policy will be tilted to focus more on the elements of Ghanaian culture to put Ghana on the world’s cultural map.
According to him, the old cultural policy has outlived its usefulness and must be updated to capture relevant practices that seek to engender growth and development.
Dr. Awal made the call during the inaugurations of the Board of the National Commission on Culture today at the conference room of the Ministry in Accra.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, who doubled as the current chairperson for the NCC board, promises that the board will produce an updated cultural policy by June 2022.
“The board is willing to make Ghana’s culture profitable by renovating cultural centers starting with five centers by 2022, adding that there is no tourism without culture.
The 14-member board for NCC includes the President's nominees, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (chairperson), Madam Janet Edna Nyame, Kwaku T Danso-Misa, Shirley Nana Akua Frimpong-Manso, Sheikh Zakaria M Seebaway, and Alex Lucky Mensah.
The others are, Felix Otis Tsibo-Darko, Isaiah Kwadwo Ampong, Gifty Twum-Ampofo representing Ministry Of Education, Fatimatu Abubakar representing Ministry Of Information, Dzifa Kemevor representing Ministry Of Gender, Osagyefo Kwame Akonu X representing National House Of Chiefs, Nana Ama Serwaa Bonsu Queen Mother, and Dr. Christine O. Asare representing Environmental Protection Agency
In a related development, the National theatre board also took its turn to have its board inaugurated and was also charged by the sector Minister to rehabilitate the National theatre and instigate a variety of activities to liven up the place to create revenue of not less than 5 billion dollars per annum.
Dr. Awal entreated the board to develop proposals that will allow increased national and international events such as the upcoming expo 2020, adding that, their activities should always depict the Ghanaian culture.
The chairperson for the board Nana Fredua-Agyemang Ofori Atta accepted the appointment but highlighted some challenges the Ghana National Theatre is confronted with.
He appealed for resources to support the work of the theatre since the commission has good policies but no resources to fund them and pleaded with the minister to visit the facility and assist with staff’s training needs.
The nine-member board aside from the Presidents’ nominee, Nana Fredua-Agyemang Ofori Atta (Chairperson) also has Dr. Misonu Amu, Kofi Adu, Adjetey Anang, Abdulai Awudu, Issahaque Serikpera Naa, Amy Frimpong Executive Director, Ghana National Theatre, Prof Awo Mana Asiedu representing Director, School of Performing Arts, UG, Legon, and Prof. Dzodzi Tsikata Director, Institute of African Studies, UG, Legon.

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TOURISM ABSORBS ONE-FOURTH JOBS IN GHANA – Dr. MOHAMMED AWAL

Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture has specified that tourism absorbs one of every four jobs created in Ghana adding that the figure will change to two, due to the hard work of the Ministry in its bid to double the fortunes of the sector.

According to him, the sector is poised to create additional four million jobs by the year 2024 focusing much on the working class especially young people and women who form the majority of the population.
Dr. Awal made the statement during a ceremony to sign a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Spanish government at the Conference room of the Tourism Ministry today in Accra.

The MoU which is primarily aimed at capacity building, developing potentials of the youth, and increasing Ghana’s GDP revenue, will help boost the tourism sector and the Ghanaian economy at large.

The Spanish Ambassador to Ghana, Javier Gutierrez has indicated his Government’s preparedness to assist the Government of Ghana and the tourism sector to double its earnings using the capacity building and developing potentials of young people in Ghana for job creation and national development.

He was of the view that such capacity building is appropriate for an enhanced skilled youth to tab into as a guide for their future development.

The International Affairs Officer for Camaras Foundation (INCYDE), Mar Cassanova Llorens detailed that an avenue for the training of trainers and entrepreneurs will be created, as well as high tech incubation in innovative areas in the hospitality and creative art industry.

According to Mar Cassanova Llorens, Spain with a population of 40 million over the past year received 80 million tourist visits as a result of the robust innovations pinned to their tourism sector.
Such innovations she opined, will help young people and women harness their potentials and create new sources of employment across the sector and beyond.
The Chief Director of the Tourism, Arts, and Culture Ministry, John Yaw Agbeko took the time to welcome the Spanish team to Ghana and encouraged that the collaboration between the two countries will inure to the benefit of Ghana and serve as a monumental project in history.

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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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