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Ministry targets $2.3bn from tourist attractions in 2022

BY: Vincent Amenuveve & Jemima Addae
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (left), Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, swearing in the newly appointed members of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board into office in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (left), Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, swearing in the newly appointed members of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board into office in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has set in motion a number of activities aimed at generating $2.3 billion this year from the various tourist sites, including forts and castles, museums and former Presidential vintage vehicles.

The activities are also expected to create about 150,000 jobs for local people, bring home one million international tourists and generate 800,000 domestic tourists.

The sector Minister, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, announced this in Accra yesterday when he inaugurated the 10-member governing board of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB).

The board

The board is chaired by Dr Edith Dankwa, an entrepreneur and CEO of the Business and Financial Times Limited, with Kingsley Ofosu Ntiamoah, Hudu Issah, Nana Kodwo Eduakwa V and Nana Ofosua Ofori-Atta Ayim as members.

Also serving on the board are Umar Abdul Hamid, Dr Samuel Adu Gyamfi, Professor Wazi Appoh, Dr Edwin Bodjawah and Professor Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo.

They have been charged with the mandate to ensure that the GMMB becomes viable and plays a key role in the promotion of domestic and international tourism in the country.

Strategy to achieve target

Dr Awal explained that as part of activities to achieve the target, the ministry would, next week, launch the Destination Ghana Project in London, with the objective of helping to drive one million international tourists from Europe to Ghana.

Also, the various agencies under the ministry, particularly the GMMB, would be strengthened to be able to turn the various forts and castles and the National Museum, located on the Barnes Road in Accra, into profit-making centres, he said.

That, he noted, would include modernising those attractions and digitalising them to make them more attractive to both international and domestic tourists.

Income-generating innovations

The minister observed that in view of some global issues, such as the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia, countries all over the world, including Ghana, were facing some economic challenges.

It had, therefore, become imperative for agencies such as the GMMB to be creative and innovative in order to become the fulcrum for generating much of the country's revenue and foreign exchange and thereby slow down the depreciation of the cedi.

He thus tasked the GMMB board members to prepare a comprehensive proposal on how best to market the National Museum, former Presidential vintage vehicles and forts and castles and present the proposals to him by the middle of May this year.

Experience

Dr Dankwa, while expressing appreciation on behalf of the members for the opportunity to serve, said they would collaborate with other people who had the requisite expertise to support the board to turn round the fortunes of the museums sector.

“We come to the table with a lot of experience in our various fields, and we will do our best to serve this nation in our respective capacities.

“However, we cannot do this alone. We are 30 million Ghanaians and there are some who are older than we are and who have more experiences than we do. How can we use technology to move things around?

“So there’s a lot to be done and I am glad you have charged us to put the document together,” she said.

Future

Dr Dankwa intimated that museums had moved from just telling history to predicting where nations would be in the future, “so it will be our aim to turn things around to ensure that when we are no more in the next 100 years, we will be able to predict how people will live in Ghana.”