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Akwaaba Festival 2022 slated for August

BY: Dickson Worlanyo Dotse & Abigail Sedinam Kortiah
Gabriel Ashun (right), Technical Advisor to the Ghana Tourism Development Project, introducing Dr Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi, aka Akumaa Mama Zimbi (2nd from right), a television and radio talk show host, Gyedu Blay Ambulley (2nd from left), a Ghanaian highlife musician, and Patricia Adepa Bani (left), Chief Executive Officer of the World Multimedia, as Akwaaba  Ambassadors after the launch in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Gabriel Ashun (right), Technical Advisor to the Ghana Tourism Development Project, introducing Dr Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi, aka Akumaa Mama Zimbi (2nd from right), a television and radio talk show host, Gyedu Blay Ambulley (2nd from left), a Ghanaian highlife musician, and Patricia Adepa Bani (left), Chief Executive Officer of the World Multimedia, as Akwaaba Ambassadors after the launch in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

Creator of the famous Akwaaba portrait, Joe Osae, has launched the Akwaaba Festival with the aim of promoting Ghanaian cultural heritage through the exhibition of textiles, music, food, beverages and accessories.

Festival

The festival is expected to take place from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6 this year at the National Theatre.

The festival is expected to boost the economy by influencing and attracting investors into the country by presenting local producers, content creators and service providers with the opportunity to exhibit their creativity.

It will also support the government’s efforts in revamping the arts, culture and entertainment industry and assist the promotion of tourism business while deepening confidence in made-in-Ghana products.

The launch, which was held last Wednesday, at the National Theatre in Accra, was attended by various stakeholders in the arts and culture industry and saw the announcement of Gyedu Blay Ambulley, a prominent Ghanaian highlife musician; Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi (popularly known as Akumaa Mama Zimbi), a famous Ghanaian broadcast journalist; and Patricia Bani, a musician, as the ambassadors of the festival.

The three-day festival will showcase various aspects of the Ghanaian culture, as well as tourist sites in the country.

It will also give opportunity to participants to exhibit their products to promote trade, exposure and relationships.

Exhibitors will be provided with tents at a fee to showcase paintings, woodwork, artefacts, beads, drums, clothes, as well as food and beverages.

It will also feature performances of cultural groups, a fashion show dubbed “Wear Ghana Fashion show”, Highlife music performances and Miss Akwaaba ‘22 pageant show.

Support

Mr Osae encouraged Ghanaians to show interest in the project and support it for the country’s benefit.

“We need to come together and make the Akwaaba Festival celebration a big success. I want everyone who is getting ready to come on board to help promote the festival to know that you are supporting a worthy cause,” Mr Osae said.

Leverage

For his part, the Technical Advisor, Ghana Tourism Development Project of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Prof. Gabriel Eshun, said it was prudent for the country to leverage on its reputation as the second most peaceful country in African to attract investments.

“You all know what is happening in the sub-region, but if Ghana is going to be an oasis of hope and peace for the continent, then that’s a wonderful thing to do,” he added.

Prof. Eshun said the hospitable and welcoming nature of Ghanaians were the intangible components of the culture, so there was a need to place a market value on it.

He added that the country needed to consciously and strategically carve out the components in a way that became a competitive edge to attract International Meetings, Conferences, Incentives and Exhibitions (MICE) and harness them towards economic transformation.

“Ghana has the market for MICE which the Akwaaba falls under, and that is why we at the ministry try to tease out the importance of the festival to help position Ghana as the most preferred tourism destination in Africa,” he explained.