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GHANA IS READY TO HOST THE FIRST UNITED NATIONS WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION (UNWTO) REGIONAL CONGRESS ON WOMEN IN TOURISM EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME WITEP, IN ACCRA. FROM 25 TH -27 TH NOVEMBER, 2019.

 

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) under the auspices of the Ministry

of Tourism, Arts and Culture, (MoTAC) is set to host the first Regional Congress on Women in

tourism Empowerment programme (WITEP), which is an African centred initiative.

The main objective of this maiden all-important congress in the country is to brainstorm on the

inhibiting factors and opportunities for women’s empowerment in the tourism sector and to

create a synergy within the African region and other players in the industry, for their economic

empowerment.

The congress also seeks to provide the platform for women in technology in Africa, to showcase

their vision for a more inclusive, sustainable and competitiveness in the tourism sector.

This important programme is expected to come-off from 25-27th November 2019 in Accra.

The congress received an endorsement from the recently concluded 23rd General Assembly held in

Saint Petersburg, Russia, when the Secretary-General presented it as part of the activities to be

held in Africa.

As part of the preparation towards hosting the event in Ghana, UNWTO delegation visited

Ghana in September, this year, during which the delegation called on the Minister of Tourism,

Arts and Culture. Honourable. Barbara Oteng –Gyasi, at her office.

Hon. Barbara Oteng –Gyasi who was enthused about the forthcoming event in Ghana

stressed that Government under H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo was committed to

addressing the Socio-Cultural and economic issues affecting the development of women in

Ghana and Africa.

 “I am confident the conference has come at an opportune time and will afford Ghana, Africa and

the world an opportunity to discuss and have an inclusive approach towards women in the tourism

sector. We look forward to engaging stakeholders to support and increase the participation of

women in education, entrepreneurship and leadership “she remarked.

Meanwhile, all 54 African countries Tourism Ministers are expected to grace this all

an important event and Seven Hundred (700) participants across the world have also confirmed

their participation.

THE TOURISM MINISTER, HON. BARBARA OTENG GYASI, MEETS WITH STAFF AND HEAD OF AGENCIES UNDER HER MINISTRY

The Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, on the first the day of her official duty met with the Senior Management Staff of the Tourism Ministry and Heads of Agencies under her Ministry. The meeting was necessitated to give the affable incoming Minister, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, an opportunity to have an in-depth appreciation of the workings of Ghana’s Tourism Ministry. The supposed events took place at the Ministry’s Conference Room in Accra, on the 11th April 2019, for the Management Staff and the 16th April 2019, for Heads of agencies to officially usher Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi to her new portfolio as a substantive Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. In his remarks during the meeting with the management team at the ministry, the Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon. Dr Ziblim Iddi Barri bemoaned that Ghana’s Tourism Sector which abounds with diverse tourism potentials has been neglected over the years by the successive governments. This he indicated that upon the assumption of office by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, under the New Patriotic Party, the Ministry was elevated to the rank of a cabinet status.

According to Dr Ziblim Iddi, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Gusheigu Constituency, in the Northern Region, the Ministry and players in the tourism industry can leverage on the president’s commitment to improving the well-being of Ghanaians by creating job opportunities for the youth in the industry. The Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Gyasi, in her remarks, emphasized that the President expects the Ministry to deliver on its mandate which would invariably translate into the achievements of the Government. By so doing, it would help advance the President of Ghana’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, and also improve upon the hospitality industry and thereby improve upon the general well-being of those in the industry. Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi further outlined the priority areas of which she intends to engage in. She indicated that her passion was to see to the successful implementation of the Copyright Law, the Construction of Ultra-modern theatres in the country for the production of good films. She also promised to pay greater attention to practitioners in the Creative Arts Sector, since the area has a propensity to increase Ghana’s GDP and also create massive employment for Ghanaians.

The Minister assured staff, she would establish a Technical Directorate to supervise the activities and programs of the Creative Arts sector, and also advocate
for the passage of the Creative Arts Bill into an Act.nHon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi further stressed that as indicated by His Excellency the President during his SONA address, she would also aggressively pursue the upgrading of the existing tourists' facilities in the country, to boost the country’s tourism returns. She also mentioned the Creative Arts Fund, which when set up would help improve incomes of those engaged in that venture.

The Director of Policy, Planning, Monitory and Evaluation (PPME) of the Ministry, Mrs Olivia Opoku Adomah, indicated that since other countries in the world can derive the needed returns from tourism, there is every indication that Ghana with its diverse culture and attractions sites, can replicate similar example. A Deputy Director at the PPME Directorate at the ministry, Mr Reuben Kwadzofio added his voice by welcoming the honourable minister and pledged the support of all to enable her to prosecute the agenda of making Ghana a tourist destination. He made her aware, that the ministry has human resources that she can rely on and must trust for her to achieve her goal. He also suggested the need for her to also focus on domestic tourism as a way of boosting the tourism potential of the country. At a meeting with the Heads of agencies under the ministry, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi espoused similar sentiments on how she intends to make the President’s vision become a reality. On his part, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Alhaji Abudulai Yakubu on behalf of the staff of the ministry and its agencies, assured Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi of his unflinching support together with the entire staff to assist her in revamping the tourism sector.

NATIONAL FESTIVAL of ARTS And CULTURE (NAFAC)

The Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, opened the 2019, National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) with an appeal to the Media Practitioners in the country, to prioritise local content in their programmes.

He said the choice of selecting a very good local content programmes helps in the shaping of a meaningful National discourse for the country.

Hon. Yaw Osafo- Marfo expressed these sentiments during the NAFAC 2019 celebration in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region, which took place from 8th to 15th November, 2019.

The week-long Festival was under the Theme; "Empowering the Youth Through Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts for Employment and Wealth Creation".

He implored the media in Ghana to endeavor to use their space as a matter of priority to add culturally inclined programmes, since they help sustain Ghanaian Culture in all diverse spheres.

According to the Senior Minister, we must hold high the values of this country and help entrench them in our youth and also teach our children about our cultural values.  In effect, we need to organise our culture well and live by it.

He hinted that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, (MoTAC) has received support from the Japanese Government to undertake a Training Programme at the Regional Centre for National Culture for Youth Development.

Hon. Osafo-Marfo outlined the various vocations such as woodworks, traditional pottery, ceramics, textiles, fashion and design, leatherware, basketry, jewellery and bead-making amongst other things, which are geared towards empowering the Ghanaian youth with economic livelihoods.

He further emphasized that the Government would embark on the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project to open up Ghana to investors in Ghana's tourism Sector, to further create jobs and wealth for Ghanaians.

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi(MP), on her part stressed that there was an urgent need for all and sundry in the country to protect our Ghanaian norms and cultural values from adulteration and foreign influence.

Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said Ghana's Tourism Sector has enormous potential, given that it is the fourth-highest income earner for the country.

She assured the unwavering commitment of the Government under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo's administration to help realise the Ghana's Tourism industry to its fullest potential.

According to her, the "Year of Return" flagship programme organized by her outfit, has seen an immense benefit to the country, considering the influx of diaspora communities into Ghana.

 

She assured the citizenry in the country, that all available effort would be made by the Nana Addo's Government, to further sustain the feat chalked in Ghana's Tourism landscape.

The Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs who also doubles up as the Paramount Chief of the Abeadze Traditional Area in the Central Region, Daasebre Kwebu Ewusie, appealed to the Ghana Education Service to pay critical attention to the country's culture by promoting cultural education in schools.

On his part, the Paramount Chief of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Professor (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, called for an aggressive youth-based initiative that would enable them to become employable.

Meanwhile, the activities billed for the NAFAC event included a colloquium, Regional Days, Music and Dance performances, Miss NAFAC beauty pageant and a day dedicated for the Youth A trip would be organised on the last day to some attraction sites in the Eastern region.

 

BACKGROUND

NAFAC is a biennial event which offers a common platform for all sixteen (16) regions of Ghana to display their rich culture and traditions.

The event is being organised by the National Commission on Culture (NCC), which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC).

The dignitaries who were present to grace this all-important and colourful event, were the Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng- Gyasi, The Deputy Tourism Minister, Hon. Dr. Ziblim Iddi Barri, TheDeputy Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, The Chief Director at the Tourism Ministry, Alhaji Abudulai Yakubu, and some Heads of Agencies under the Tourism Ministry.

THE DIASPORAN HOME COMING EVENT 2019, HELD IN ACCRA.

As part of activities to mark one of the flagship programmes on the calendar of events of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, the Ministry through one of its agencies, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) organised the “Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Event” under the “The Year of Return Ghana 2019‘programme.

The opening ceremony of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming celebrations kick-started on Wednesday July 3rd, 2019 with a summit at the Accra International Conference Centre, under the theme: “Recognizing Diaspora Contributions towards Nation Building” and is expected to end on Saturday 6th July, 2019,

The occasion was officially used to launch a cloth for the year-long programme, which marked a historic and memorable event for African diasporans who were at the programme.

The ‘Year of Return’ cloth comes in two colours, Black and White which were showcased to participants at the summit by Miss Tourism Beauty Queens and other models, who donned the colorful Ghanaian cloth in different styles including Kaba and slit, shirts, skirts and other traditional attires. 

The president of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, graced the occasion as the special guest of Honour,  where he charged the organizers of the programme to live up to their bidding in making the YEAR OF RETURN programme a memorable one.

He also admonished stakeholders in the Tourism sector in Ghana to as matter of a priority improve on their service delivery in making their guest feel at home.

He used the occasion to commend members of the diaspora community for their relentless contribution to the socio economic improvement of the country.

Opening the ceremony, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng- Gyasi implored all African brothers and sisters from the diaspora to endeavor to take a keen interest in participating in the event and also patronize the brand cloth for the Year of Return 2019.

Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, also used the occasion to charge Ghanaians to further exhibit their Ghanaian hospitality to the visiting tourists and other guests who would be arriving in the country to participate in the Year of Return programme.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon.  Barbara Oteng Gyasi, used the occasion to officially present a piece of the ‘Year of Return’ cloth to the H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.

The high powered government functionaries who also attended the all-important programme were the Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the C.E.O of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Mr. Yoofi Grant, the C.E.O of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, the C.E.O. of the Ghana Tourism Development Company, Mr. Kwadwo Odame Antwi and the Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President who also doubles as the Chairman of the Year of Return Steering Committee, Mr. Akwasi Awuah Ababio.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE YEAR OF RETURN

The event is aimed at creating the enabling environments for all Africans in the diaspora to return home “Brafie” not only to experience culture, warmth and rhythm of Ghanaians but also to explore business opportunities in the country.

BACKGROUND

The Year of Return event, seeks to commemorate 400years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown Virginia, USA, from the Shores of Ghana and other West African Countries.

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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