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Culture/Tourism

UNWTO to help transform Ghana’s tourism sector

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is to assist Ghana develop an innovation- led tourism strategy to help transform the country’s tourism sector.

The support will make Ghana a competitive tourism destination in Africa.

The strategy will help empower the youth, create opportunities for operators in the tourism sector and drive economic development.

This was the outcome of a meeting between the Secretary- General of UNWTO, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal at the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, on Monday, in Accra, said Dr. Awal briefed the Secretary- General and other officials of the UNWTO about efforts government was making to revitalise the tourism sector, which had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that over 70 per cent of businesses in the tourism sector in the country had been affected, with its attendant effect on jobs and livelihoods.

The Sector Minister, therefore, called for close collaboration between the UNWTO and Ghana to ensure a speedy resuscitation of the sector.

Dr Awal, who was accompanied by Ghana’s Ambassador to Spain, Mr. Muhammed Adam, said his target was to make the tourism sector the number one contributor to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2024.

He said the strategy was to use the promotion of domestic and regional tourism to achieve the target.

The Secretary-General of the UNWTO, Mr. Pololikashvili said the revitalisation of the global tourism sector was crucial to job creation and expressed his Organization’s willingness to partner Ghana to improve the country’s tourism sector.

Source:GNA

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Culture/Tourism

Asante group replies Bishop Dag; says Asantehene’s achievements are unmatched

Asantehene turns 71 today

A group known as the Asante Professionals Club, is incensed about some comments made against the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, by the founder and leader of the Lighthouse Chapel International, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills.

The group’s outrage about the “disparaging comments” stems from what they say was the Bishop’s “complete ignoramus utterances.”

In a viral audio, the renowned global evangelist in a sermon about kingship cited the Asantehene as an example and questioned his impact and legacy beyond the yearly celebrations of his reign.

Not only has the message offended the King’s subjects amidst social media anger, but there are also some persons who have threatened to attack Lighthouse Chapel branches in Kumasi, the seat of the Asantehene.

However, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills has apologized to the Asanehene explaining that the offensive sermon was preached 20 years ago.

He also thanked the King for handling the matter “graciously”.

But in a statement to set the records straight, the Asante Professionals Club maintained that since Otumfuo’s enthronement in April 1999, he has been an agent of peace and development in Asanteman and beyond.

Key amongst Otumfuo’s unmatched achievements the group says includes the following:

  • Establishment of the $45 million Bodukwan Multi-Fruit Processing Factory
  • Establishment of the $95 million Kumasi Mall
  • Establishment of $100 million Asanteman Development Fund
  • Otumfuo Education Fund providing scholarship to brilliant but needy students
  • Support to the Government of Ghana in engaging the Bretton Wood institutions and other investors
  • Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation supports rural communities with educational infrastructure, computers and healthcare.
  • Securing $174million to support Ghana’s educational sector
  • Otumfuo undertook the Manhyia Palace COVID19 Humanitarian Relief valued at $1million
  • Conflict resolution under the 2002 Dagbon Chieftaincy Crisis
  • Institutionalization of the Kumasi Declaration in the 2012 Presidential & Parliamentary elections
  • Establishment of the Asanteman Broadcasting Cooperation (ABC)

That’s not all, the Asantehene is said to have provided educational assistance to hundreds of thousands of young Ghanaians to become the doctors, engineers, and other technical experts the country desperately needs.

“In particular, under Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, over 600,000 students have benefitted from full scholarships and financial support through the Otumfuo Education Fund.

Additionally, close to one (1) million desks and another one (1) million school materials have been distributed to students across the country.

According to the group, “What is interesting to note is that the beneficiaries of all of these social interventions are not limited to Asantes but drawn from all the ethnic groups across the country”, the statement read in parts.

In his apology statement however, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills Mills also acknowledged the achievements of the Asantehene over the years.

Source:citinewsroom

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Culture/Tourism

Court fines ‘Agradaa’ for operating television channel without licence, displaying charlatanic materials

 An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced Patience Asiedua, aka, Nana Agradaa , to a fine of GHC 36,000 for operating television channel without license and displaying charlatanic materials.

Accra, June 16, GNA – An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced Patience Asiedua, aka, Nana Agradaa
, to a fine of GHC 36,000 for operating television channel without license and displaying charlatanic materials.

Agradaa, in default will serve three years imprisonment in hard labour on the charge of operating a television channel without licence.

On displaying charlatanic materials, for which she should pay a fine of GHC 10,000, she would serve a year in prison, should she default.

The sentences are, however, to run concurrently.

Agradaa was fined after she had changed her plea from not guilty to guilty.

The Court, presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh, thus convicted Agradaa on her own plea.

Source:GNA

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Culture/Tourism

Ghana’s Culture, Tourism is a Panacea for Unemployment-Experts

 Panellists at a dialogue on cultural diversity and development have urged government to make deliberate efforts to harness the abundant potentials of Ghanaian culture and arts to create jobs for the citizens.

They said the richness in the cultural diversity of Ghanaians and the arts had enormous economic benefits, which when properly harnessed, could create more jobs for the teeming youth and reduce the unemployment rate.

Professor Ernest Kwasi Ampomah, a Lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Education, Winneba, said Chapter Three of the Ghana’s Culture Policy (2004) recognised the importance of arts and cultural education in developing talents of skilled individuals.

However, he said, arts and culture were not compulsory subjects at the senior high school level, creating a limited opportunity for students and for that matter the youth in the field.

“There is huge potential in that space and I don’t think that our leaders are not aware of the potential that exists there. We have crafted various policies and things that support this but we don’t follow,” Prof Ampomah said.

“Our Cultural Policy for instance calls for the establishment of theatres in all districts across the country and for me if we are able to do just that, it will create a lot of employment.”

The dialogue, organised by the National Commission on Culture (NCC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), was to engender discussions on how best Ghana could tap into its cultural diversity and the arts industry, to create job opportunities for the youth and promote development.

It forms part of activities to commemorate UNESCO’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, which was marked on May 21, 2021.

Prof Kodzo Gavua, a Lecturer at the Department of Archeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana, said culture and arts must be embedded in the country’s development agenda to ensure they received equal attention like other sectors and enough revenue allocated to promote job creation.

“…You cannot separate America’s culture from America’s development, neither can you separate the Japanese or British culture from their development..’” he said.

”However, in our case, we talk about culture as if it is something separate. We must, therefore, understand what culture really is and the cultural context of development.”

He appealed to government to adequately resource cultural institutions in the country such as the National Commission on Culture to strengthen them to deliver on their mandates.

Mr George Nii Armah Quaye, the Chief Executive Officer of Image and Bureau, a communication firm, called for tax rebate for media organisations that showed commitment to advancing the cultural heritage of Ghanaians to serve as an incentive.

“When you look at jurisdictions that have developed the arts and made it very worthy and robust, the arts contribute to those economies. Gold and oil will get finished at some point but with the creative art resources, we can export forever and the interesting part is that the more you export the better it gets,” he said.

Dr Madinatu Bello, a Lecturer at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Cape Coast, called for more leadership opportunities and empowerment for women in the arts and culture to contribute to thier development.

UNESCO has declared 2021 the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

Source:GNA

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