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.