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STATEMENT DELIVERED BY THE SENIOR MINISTER, HON. YAW OSAFO- MAAFO AT THE CEREMONY TO UNVEIL THE PILLARS OF BEYOND THE RETURN PROGRAMME AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE ON 9TH SEPTEMBER, 2020

 

Colleague Ministers

Members of the Press,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We have gathered here this morning to unveil the pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ programme, a successor programme to the “Year of Return” whose benefits and contributions towards the development of the Tourism and Cultural Industry thus far cannot be overemphasized. Before I continue, let me acknowledge the efforts the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority and all their collaborators are making to implement this flagship programmes of the Government.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, one cannot speak of Beyond the Return without mentioning the Year of Return in 2019 which was a major landmark campaign targeting the Historical African Community outside our continent. The tourism initiative invited black people from across the diaspora to return to the African continent in 2019 to mark the 400 years since slave ships leaving West African coasts had carried their ancestors to the Americas.   By this, Ghana became the beacon for African people living on the continent and the diaspora. The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture led the project in collaboration with the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, the Panafest Foundation, and the Adinkra Group of USA.

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the press, towards this follow-up project, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has inaugurated a 17-member steering committee, co-chaired by Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, and Mr. Kwame Boateng, Board Member of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). A 10-year plan to build on the momentum of the Year of Return under the theme "A Decade of Renaissance-2020-2030" has been rolled out to encourage investment to help improve the heritage infrastructure of the country, among others.

 

Over the next decade, the project seeks to consolidate the gains of the Year of Return and grow tourism in the country, showcase its investment potentials and solidify its diaspora engagement programmes to promote the African Renaissance under the following Seven Pillars:

 

  1. EXPERIENCE GHANA - The core of this pillar is the invitation to the Global African family to visit and experience Ghana. Creating memorable experiences through Sankofa and healing journeys, cultural events, festivals, entertainment, nightlife, culinary experience and December in Ghana are key to establishing long-term connections with the Ghanaian and African Diaspora.

 

  1. INVEST IN GHANA - This pillar will create special investment programmes and ease of doing business for the diasporan. Key activities will be the Diaspora Investment programmes, Sankofa Savings accounts and Diaspora Housing Schemes.

 

  1. DIASPORA PATHWAYS TO GHANA - This pillar will see to the adoption of legal and policy frameworks on visa acquisition (e-visa) and the institution of a diaspora visa. It will facilitate key diaspora pathway programmes such as Citizenship Programmes, Educational and Work Exchanges, Residence and Work Permits.

 

  1. CELEBRATE GHANA – This will create a sense of national consciousness anchored on key cultural festivals, media programmes, adoption of contemporary festivals unto the national calendar and promotion of domestic tourism.

 

  1. BRAND GHANA –This pillar seeks to promote Ghana as a leading tourism destination and a hub for the African renaissance. It will craft a new narrative on Ghana and strategically promote Ghana to the world.

 

  1. GIVE BACK TO GHANA – This pillar will foster a new sense of community service and giving that will create ongoing legacies for the project. Service areas will include tree planting, community clean-ups and adoption of certain community impact projects

 

  1. PROMOTE PAN AFRICAN HERITAGE & INNOVATION - This pillar will focus on promoting Pan-African and Ghanaian heritage and developing pilgrimage infrastructure around sites of memory. Development of tourism infrastructure for target sites will be extended beyond the highly frequented sites of Cape Coast and Elmina dungeons to such areas as the Salaga Slave Market in the Northern Region, Pikworo Slave Camp in the Upper East Region, Assin Manso where the slaves had the last bath and the first Auction and branding took place in the Central Region. The Slaves after the branding at Assin Manso head towards the various castles at Elmina, Cape Caost among others.  All of which are essential parts of the history of slavery in Ghana.

 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen and members of the press, we must help make Ghana the place for investment, progress and prosperity, and not a place from where our youth flee in the hope of accessing the proverbial greener pastures, or for “a better life in Europe or the Americas.”

 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen and members of the press, may I make a clarion call to the Steering Committee, stakeholders, and all Ghanaians that consolidating the gains after the Year of Return is not just enough, the plans and programmes you put in place for the “Beyond the Return” agenda must seek to not just attract tourists into the country, rather it must be geared towards attracting the best pool of talent from people in the diaspora with African descent to return and contribute their skills, knowledge and wealth to the development of Africa especially Ghana; within these 7 pillars are efforts we are seeking to harness the expertise of Africans across the globe to transform the continent and provide a very welcoming business environment for direct investments into our economies. The Beyond the Return agenda must focus on “brain gain”, albeit the push and pull factors that have been attributed to brain drain in our continent must be consciously addressed by initiatives such as this.

 

It is worthy of note that, Africans in the diaspora are comprised of professionals who possess the right skills mix constructive to economic development of Africa and are keen to make contributions to the continent.  Fields of research and development, commerce, technology, analytics, and industrialization is the way to go.

I believe that this should be a central theme for all programmes and activities that would be designed for this agenda.

 

Members of the press, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular honor to formally outdoor the Pillars of the Beyond the Return programme and hope that these pillars will firmly drive the “Beyond the Return” project to do more for Ghana.

 

Thank you all for your attention and May God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.

GHANA OUTDOORS 7 FOUNDATION PILLARS FOR 'BEYOND THE RETURN

 

9th September,2020.

In the quest of the Government of Ghana to project Ghana on the global tourism map by attracting diasporas across the globe into the country, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has launched the 7 Pillars foundation christen as “Beyond the year of return,” after the successful organization of 2019 year of return event in Ghana.   

These 7 foundation pillars seek to primarily spur the socio economic improvement of the nation by rebranding Ghana’s image on the international scene, given that the Akuffo Addo government viewed the tourism sector as a game changer in diversifying the country’s economy.

At the launch of the event, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Lawyer Barbara Oteng-Gyasi indicated that Beyond the Return project will cement Ghana’s relationship with the global African family and the rest of the African continent by given Ghana a competitive urge to attract people with diasporic identity and international tourists into the country.

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, emphasized that the 7 pillars project is a cross fertilization of ideas and policy direction that establishes strong connections with the diasporic community and also has a propensity of attracting investors into the country.

She indicated that Despite the Covid -19 pandemic, the diasporic community continues to express their commitment to return to Ghana in particular and Africa at large. In this regard Ghana by extension has open its arms in welcoming the diasporas to be an integral part of Ghana’s Culture.

 Hon. Barbara Gyasi, stressed that the 7 pillars of the Beyond the year of Return underscores the socio-economic advancement of the nation, whiles urging all and sundry in the country to endeavor to embrace it in order to become a reality.

 Hon. Oteng-Gyasi disclosed that the country is currently fashioning out a modality to implement a 'Homeland Return' legislation to ease the return of the diasporic community in Ghana and be duly integrated into the Ghana’s culture.

She further entreated the diasporas to endeavor to return to their motherland Ghana and Africa in order for their dignity to be protected.

On his part Mr. Akwesi Agyeman who doubles as the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority(GTA), for the Beyond the Return Steering Committeeas the Coordinator of the Beyond the Return Steering Committee, stressed that the Beyond the Return initiative is an agenda, that is going to ignite a deeper conversation among the global African family to the rest African countries.

The Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo who performed the unveiling of the 7 pillars of Beyond the Year of Return programme in Accra, remarked that the initiative is a 10-year master plan to build on the successes gained in the Year of Return event, under the theme "A Decade of Renaissance-2020-2030.

According to him, the project is to also help encourage investors to help build on the African heritage infrastructure and for that matter Ghana.

He said Beyond the Return should not just build on the Year of Return but rather, it must be anchored on attracting the best pool of talent from the diasporic community to return and contribute substantially to the knowledge gap and wealth for the development of Ghana and Africa at large.

Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo intimated that the 7 pillars are the government of Akuffo Addo’s administration quest to harness the expertise of Africans across the globe to facilitate Ghana’s transformational agenda.

THE 7 PILLARS.

The seven (7) Pillars foundation were outlined as follows:

 Experience Ghana

The object of this pillar invite the Global African family to visit and experience Ghana. Creating memorable experiences through Sankofa and healing journeys, cultural events, festivals, entertainment, nightlife, culinary experience and December in Ghana are key to establishing long-term connections with the Ghanaian and African Diaspora.

 

Invest in Ghana

This pillar is to create special investment programmes and ease of doing business for the diasporas. Key activities will be the Diaspora Investment programmes, Sankofa Savings accounts and Diaspora Housing Schemes.

 

Diaspora Pathways to Ghana

This pillar will see to the adoption of legal and policy frameworks on visa acquisition (e-visa) and the institution of a diaspora visa. It will also facilitate key diaspora pathway programmes such as Citizenship Programmes, Educational and Work Exchanges, Residence and Work Permits.

 

 

 

Celebrate Ghana

This is to create a sense of national consciousness anchored on key cultural festivals, media programmes, adoption of contemporary festivals unto the national calendar and promotion of domestic tourism.

 

Brand Ghana

This pillar seeks to promote Ghana as a leading tourism destination and a hub for the African renaissance. It will craft a new narrative on Ghana and strategically promote Ghana to the world.

 

Give Back to Ghana

This pillar will foster a new sense of community service and giving that will create ongoing legacies for the project. Service areas will include tree planting, community clean-ups and adoption of certain community impact projects.

 

Promote Pan African Heritage & Innovation

This pillar will focus on promoting Pan-African and Ghanaian heritage and developing pilgrimage infrastructure around sites of memory. Development of tourism infrastructure for target sites will be extended beyond the highly frequented sites of Cape Coast and Elmina dungeons to such areas as the Salaga Slave Market in the Savannah region and many other areas which played a role in the slavery history.

 

 

The event was attended by some high ranking government officials, and a broad spectrum of the Diaspora community and some Captains and stakeholders in the Ghana’s tourism industry.

To ensure successful implementation of this Beyond the Year of Return programme. The committee is to be co-chaired by the Board Member of the GTA, Mr. Kwame Boateng and Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio of the Office of the Diasporas Affairs at the Flagg Staff House. Other Members of the committee were the Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. John Yao Agbeko, the Reps from the Ghana Tourism Authority are Mr. Ben Anane Nsiah, Mrs. Roberta Dawson Amoah and Mr. Eko Sampson.

Whiles other representatives were from the Ministry of National Security Mr. Lawrence Kofi Azuma, the Panafest Foundation, Prof. Esi Sutherland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Khadijah Iddrisu, Ghana Police Service Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations Dr. Shaibu Pabi, the Ghana Immigration Service Ms. Edith Arhin, the GIPC, Mr. Yofi Grant, the Ghana National theatre Mrs. Amy Appiah Frimpong, Jessica Ayivor, and some rep from the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG).

THE ENTREPRENEURS FOUNDATION OF GHANA PAYS COURTESY CALL ON THE HON. MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE

The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi on 30th September, 2020 at her office. The visit was at the request of the Foundation and it was to enable the minister receive an award on behalf of the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo in honour of the role he played during the COVID- 19 pandemic, particularly for his provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). It was also in recognition of his example of promoting African wear. His wearing of African Print shirts according to Mr Sam Ato Gaisie, the President of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana is one of the ways he has helped to champion Made in Ghana goods locally and internationally. He says by his example, he has supported with the marketing of Ghana to the entire world, particularly during the Year of Return 2019 Programme and Beyond the Return, 2020. On her part, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi expressed her privilege to receive the award on behalf of the President for Promoting Made in Ghana goods, and for the role the president played during the covid 19 pandemic. Background The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana for the past ten years have given recognition to entrepreneurs who excel in their various enterprises through an awards ceremony. For the first time in the history of the association, a virtual awards night was organised to recognize them, due to the ban on conferences and social activities announced by the President of the Republic of Ghana to curtail the spread of covid 19 pandemic. The virtual broadcast took place on TV3 Network, GTV, UTV and live streaming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Saturday 18th July 2020 at 5pm from Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. The award sought to honour entrepreneurs and business executives who have built a legacy and have demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership, sustained business performance, integrity, vision, innovation within the past decade and the year under review. Present at the meeting with the minister were the Director of Human Resource, Mr Vittus Otto Langmagne and Mrs Mabel Cudjoe, Ag. Director of Research at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Mr Alvin Ekow Gaisie, also from the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana.

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE GHANA TOURISM AUTHORITY ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNWTO WORLD TOURISM DAY CELEBRATIONS HELD ON 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2020 AT THE , TAKORADI - WESTERN REGION

 Nana Chairman

Hon. Regional Minister

Hon. Members of Parliament, 

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Heads of Departments

Heads, Directors and Staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its Implementing Agencies

President, Executives and Members of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and Other Private Sector Operators in the Tourism Industry

The Clergy 

Tourism Industry Players

Esteemed Sponsors

Our Cherished Youth and Students

Friends from the Media

Distinguished Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

It gives me great pleasure to be here this morning in the oil city, Takoradi, as we officially celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day under the theme, "Tourism and Rural Development" which seeks to focus on the role and potential of rural communities for tourism development.

 

World Tourism Day, commemorated each year on 27 September, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the first World Tourism Day.

 

May l take this opportunity to extend a warm "Akwaaba" to all our tourists visiting this beautiful city for the first time. Premised on the “Beyond The Return” project, we urge all diasporans and indigenes of our land to help push the investment drive associated with this ten (10) year project (2020-2030) 

 

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Ghanaian economy with linkages to various sectors, providing employment to several young people and creating an avenue for rural development.  

 

Ghana has diverse natural, historical and cultural tourist attraction sites which are mostly located in the rural areas. For instance, Paga Crocodile Pond in the Upper East Region, Mole in the Savannah Region, Wauchia in the Upper West Region, Kintampo Waterfalls and Buaben Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in the Bono East Region, Craft production villages ie. Bonwire Kente Village, Ntonso Textile Village, Ahwia Carving Villages in the Ashanti Region, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, Wli Waterfall and beautiful scenery in the Volta Region. Nzulezu Stilt Village, beautiful beaches, forts and castles here in the Western Region. These are all rural based attraction sites. There are also numerous festivals and cultural activities which are rural centered. The theme, focusing on Tourism and Rural Development is therefore appropriate since there is a correlation between both.

 

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, tourism will continue to grow at an average of 3% annually until 2030. This growth reflects the progressive expansion of access to tourism more especially in the rural communities and distributing wealth. 

 

Tourism provides direct and indirect jobs in the rural areas thereby complimenting the government's agenda of creating jobs and employment to the citizenry. 

Since the private sector is the engine of growth, the Ministry strongly considers the private sector wing, Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) as one of the key partners and as an avenue in the provision of jobs and employment thus creating a better future for all especially in the rural communities.  We will continue to engage the private sector trade associations including the Hotels, Restaurants, Travel and Tour Agencies, Chop Bars, Guest Houses, Tourist Sites and Attractions, on how we can together expand the industry to provide more jobs in the rural communities. 

 

Inspite of the impact of COVID 19 on the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality industry, we are gradually waking up from the slumber as we recently unveiled the Seven (7) pillars of the “Beyond The Return” project that seeks to push investment into the country especially the rural developing areas to help boost the sector thereby providing employment and income to the local population. In order to mitigate the impact of the COVID 19 on Tourism and to drive the sector’s recovery, It is important to have a more sustainable and resilient future.

 

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, the importance of domestic tourism cannot be overemphasized as it helps to accelerate the development of rural areas since there would be compelling reasons for the development of road infrastructure, portable drinking water, reliable telecommunications networks and sustainable receptive facilities for both international and domestic tourism. Domestic tourism promotes the redistribution of income from the urban rich to the rural communities, foster national cohesion, create decent jobs and livelihood opportunities for the rural communities and provide revenue to the District Assemblies.

 

The Ministry’s Policy to promote domestic tourism under the World Bank's Ghana Tourism Development Project has skills development as well as upgrade of sites and attractions taking center stage. This offers us the opportunity to expand our tourism reach by turning to our rural communities. The Ministry and its agencies are also undertaking several other projects like the Highway Rest Stops, Tourism Receptive Facilities, Tourism Information Centres, just to mention a few, which will ultimately lead to expansion of tourism more especially in the rural communities.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, l would like to once again call on all stakeholders including the Traditional Authorities, District and Municipal Assemblies, Heads of Departments, the Private Sector and media to partner the Ministry and its agencies to deliver its mandate to the good people of Ghana.  

 

Thank you and God bless us all.

 

Long live The Oil City!

Long live The Tourism Industry!!

Long live Our Homeland, Ghana!!!

 

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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