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INTERVENTION FOR THE TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE SECTOR TO ALLEVIATE THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON PRIVATE SECTOR

 

INTRODUCTION

The Tourism, hospitality and arts sector has been hard hit by the Covid- 19 pandemic because it thrives on public gathering.  The sector contributes significantly to the socio-economic growth and national development of many countries which Ghana is not an exception.  Ghana is endowed with many natural attractions, rich cultural heritage, creative abilities and a naturally hospitable people, which contributes to the nation’s potential as a preferred tourist’s destination.

The tourism industry has made immense strides in 2019 with a successful implementation of the Year of Return Programme. International arrivals reached 1.13million, from 956,372 in 2018, a 27% growth which was above the global average of 5%. The average expenditure per tourist increased from $2,708 in 2018 to $2,931 in 2019.

The increased number of travelers to Ghana positively impacted private sector industries such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and art & crafts dealers amongst others.

For example, several hotels announced 100 % occupancy for the month of December, 2019. Artifact merchants also reported doubling their sales in 2019 compared to 2018 as well as car rental services registering increased patronage. However, the gains have been eroded by the Corona virus Pandemic.

In view of the devastating effect of the COVID-19, Government has introduced interventions to ameliorate its impact on business.

 A stimulus package of Six Hundred Million Ghana Cedis through the NBSSI to the private sector to stimulate economic activities of SMEs affected by the COVID-19 as well as a 3 billion Ghana cedis facility for larger businesses has been introduced which operators in the sector will benefit from.

The Ministry under the Ghana Tourism Development Project, a world bank funded project, an amount of nine million dollars has been earmarked for interventions to boost the tourism industry- to be disbursed as follows:

 Developing Tourism Sites and Destination – US$4m and US$5m for Tourism Enterprise Support Programme (Grant for SME Development).

The modalities for assessing this grant will be published soon.

His Excellency the President has also constituted an IMC to assess the impact on covid 19 on the Tourism and hospitality sector specifically and prepare a stimulus package to alleviate the impact of the pandemic, protect jobs and ensure the industry recovers post covid 19.

In order to further support the recovery of the Tourism and hospitality sector, the President in his 10th Address eased certain restrictions on the operations of the sector and we hereby provide the guidelines in that respect for compliance by all operations.

THE ACCRA BREWERY LIMITED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE AKOSOMBO TEXTILES INDUSTRIAL COMPANY DONATED 3,000 LOCALLY-MADE NOSE MASKS TO THE TOURISM MINISTRY ON 27TH MAY, 2020

The Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) in partnership with the Akosombo Textiles Industrial Company has donated 3,000 locally-made nose masks to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The gesture was to help curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country, particularly within the hospitality sector in Ghana.

Receiving the items, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi expressed her delight for the gesture shown by Accra Brewery Limited and the Akosombo Textile Company, to help curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

According to her, businesses have overwhelmingly been impacted adversely by the Covid-19, particularly those in the value chain in the hospitality industry in Ghana.


Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, further indicated that the tourism sector is largely driven by events and social gatherings and, therefore, expressed her optimism that the Covid nightmare would be over for the tourism landscape to bounce back to its former glory.  

This she said, would help to significantly boost the country’s socio-cultural and economic fortunes and enhance the living conditions of the Ghanaians.

Hon.  Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, further intimated that the donation had come at an opportune time, given the unwavering commitment of H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo’s commitment, to ease some of the restrictions imposed on Ghanaians as a result of the covid 19 pandemic. The observance of the guidelines would help us a country to engage in our routine activities and thereby give room for some groups in the hospitality industry to operate as well.


She stressed that the nose masks would be channeled to the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) which is an agency under the ministry. They would in turn   distribute them to local restaurants, drinking spots and some operators in the tourism value chain in Ghana.

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, implored other well-meaning corporate organisations in the country, to also extend support to the tourism Ministry in their work to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in the hospitality sector.

On his part, Country Director of ABL, Mr Galo Rivera remarked that as part of their corporate social responsibility, his outfit planned to donate 15,000 nose masks to some government institutions in the country and tourism sector alone was earmarked to receive 3,000 of the nose marks.

Present at the ceremony were the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Dr. Ziblim Iddi Bari, the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. John Yaw Agbeko, the Director of Human Resource, Mr. Vitus Otto Langmangne.  Also present at the ceremony were Mr Ahmed Muhammed, a Director at the Finance and Administration Directorate of the Tourism Ministry, and the Public Relations Officer of the Tourism Ministry, Mr. Alhassan Abubakar Sadik.

HON. BARBARA OTENG GYASI INAUGURATES BEYOND THE YEAR OF RETURN” STEERING COMMITTEE ON MAY 27, 2020

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has inaugurated a steering committee on BEYOND THE YEAR OF RETURN which is an ambitious project outlined by the Ghana's Tourism Ministry, under His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo's administration, after having successfully made great stride in organising THE YEAR OF RETURN programme, which saw the influx of many diasporas and celebrities worldwide into the country.

 

According to Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the BEYOND THE YEAR OF RETURN” project seeks to further consolidate the gains made under “THE YEAR OF RETURN” programme and seeks to boost the countrys tourism sector and hence the socio-cultural and economic advancement of the country.

 

She further indicated that the project is also envisaged to be a catalyst that would propel Ghanas Creative Arts Industry, considering that, the creative economy is a multi-billion industry, which can turn around the economic fortunes of the country for the betterment of the Ghanaian citizenry.

 

The committee is co-chaired by a Board Member of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr. Kwame Boateng, a lawyer and Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio of the Office of the Diaspora Affairs at the Flag Staff House.

 

Other members of the committee include the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. John Yao Agbeko, and three representatives from the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Ekow Sampson, Mr. Ben Anane Nsiah, and Mrs. Roberta Dawson Amoah.

 

Other representatives include Mr. Lawrence Kofi Azuma from the Ministry of National Security, Prof. Esi Sutherland Addy from the PANAFEST Foundation, Mrs. Khadijah Iddrisu from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Shaibu Pabi, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Ms. Edith Arhin from the Ghana Immigration Service, Mr. Yoofi Grant  from the  Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mrs. Amy Appiah-Frimpong from the Ghana National Theatre, Ms. Jessica Ayivor from AAAG, Mr. Kingsly  Ofosu Ntiamoa From the Ghana Museum and Monuments  Board and some representatives from the African American Association of Ghana.

 

The “BEYOND THE YEAR OF RETURN programme, according to the Hon. Minister is primarily hinged on seven (7) cardinal pillars and outlined as follows: Experience Ghana, invest in Ghana, Brand Ghana, Celebrate Ghana, Pathway to Ghana, give back to Ghana and Improve Tourism Heritage Assets.

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi entreated the committee to endeavor to deliver on their mandate and also used the occasion to eulogize the committee members for the YEAR OF RETURN” for the excellent performance in organising the programme.

 

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), who is also the project coordinator of the programme, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman recounted the success stories chalked by THE YEAR OF RETURN event, and intimated that Covid-19 has presented a new dawn of challenge to the implementation of the new project and gave the assurance that his outfit would do its best to ensure that the objective of the current project is realized to enable Ghana derive its fullest benefit.

 

The Co-Chairperson of the committee, who is also a board member of the GTA Mr. Kwame Boateng stressed that in spite of Covid-19, Ghanas tourism sector would bounce back and thrive for the better. He indicated that his team would live up to expectation in order to achieve the intended purpose for which the BEYOND THE YEAR OF RETURN programme has been envisaged by government.

 

The committee members were sworn into office by a High Court Judge, Justice Alex Owusu-Ofori.

 

BACKGROUND 

The BEYOND THE YEAR OF RETURN programme is an epilogue to the Year of Return Ghana 2019 campaign event, and sought to commemorate the 400 years of arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia, USA.  It was launched by the President of the Republic of Ghana, H. E.  Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo in 2018 in Washington, Virginia in the USA.

THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE INAUGURATES FILM CLASSIFICATION COMMITTEE - 14TH MAY, 2020.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Honourable Barbara Oteng Gyasi has inaugurated a Film Classification committee under the chairmanship of Mr Socrates Safo, a seasoned Film Producer in the country.

 

According to her the committee is to preview and classify any Film advertisement intended to churn out Movie and Film content consumption of the Ghanaian citizenry.

 

She stressed that the Film Classification committee is to help open a new Chapter in the development of the Ghanaian Film industry.

 

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, indicated that the committee will work to ensure that the country derives the optimum financial reward in Film Production and this is expected to change the narratives in the Ghanaian movie industry, position stakeholders well such as will help them derive maximum benefits from the industry.

 

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, made these remarks at the inauguration of a Film Classification committee in Accra, on 14th May, 2020.

 

She stressed that her outfit attaches great importance to the work of the classification committee, as established by the Film Act 935 of 2016, considering that it is a multi-billion dollar sector, which must be protected for the betterment of the Ghanaian people.

 

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, further entreated the committee to discharge their duties without bias or favour to any group or persons in the Film industry.  This according to her will help advance the socio-cultural and economic benefit of any Ghanaian movie production.

On his part, the Chairman of the classification committee, Mr. Socrates Safo, assured film-loving fans in Ghana and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, of his unflinching support and together with his team pledged to deliver effectively on the assigned mandate.

He was quick to lament that as a producer, what baffled him a lot is the unprofessional way Film Maker’s flood the Ghanaian market with content which have negative impact on the viewing public particularly the youth, and promised that under his tutelage, the issue would be tackled.

A veteran actor, who also doubles as the Chairman of the National Film Authority (NFA) and also the Chairman for the occasion, Mr. David Dontoh, used the occasion to appeal to stakeholders in the movie production industry in the country, to collaborate with the classification committee to improve their enterprises to enable them compete globally to rake in the much needed revenue for the country.

BACKGROUND.

The Film Classification Committee is a body under the NFA with the sole purpose of benchmarking the categorization, classification of all audio-visual materials such as Movies, Television Programmes and Music Videos, Standardization, and preview of Film content meant for public consumption.

Meanwhile the various institutional representation on the classification committee are the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Information Services Department, National Commission on Culture, National Film and Television Institute, Film Producers Association, Ghana Police Service and the Copyright Office. The the rest are the Christian Council of Ghana, Federation of Muslim Council, Traditional Religious Authority, Ministry of Gender and Children and Social Protection and the National House of Chiefs.

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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