<![CDATA[Ghana-Net.com - Tourism News]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:53:41 -0100Weebly<![CDATA[Slave heritage is big business, tainting the diaspora’s bonds with Africa]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 23:04:54 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/05/slave-heritage-is-big-business-tainting-the-diasporas-bonds-with-africa.htmlIn 2015 tourism and travel directly contributed a total of around GHC4.5 million (more than US $1 million) to Ghana’s GDP. This amounts to about 3.3% of national GDP.
Ghana’s meandering coast is dotted with numerous forts and castles. These monuments were built between the 15th and 17th centuries by early modern European chartered companies
They were initially used for trading gold and other commodities. After Ghana became enmeshed in the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1650 they were used as spaces to buy, torture and hold captured people before shipping them away from Africa.

Over the past three decades these landmark monuments have taken on another role. Ghana has developed a significant heritage tourism industry and the monuments have become tourist attractions. They particularly draw people of the original historic African diaspora.
The descendants of Africans who were captured and enslaved in the western Atlantic World return to the continent – and to the monuments – for a number of reasons. For many, it is a way to reconnect with their ancestry and find a sense of belonging in the African world. The memory of Africa can also be a source of strength, pride and identity.
Heritage tourism in Ghana provides an important opportunity for diasporic Africans to connect with their history and identity. But in the context of global neoliberal capitalism it also creates an uncomfortable continuity. Today the forts and castles of Ghana’s coast continue to fulfil one of the key purposes for which they were first built – making money. This trend has distorted the relationship between the historic African diaspora and the continent.

From independence to neoliberalismThe rise of Ghana’s heritage tourism industry coincided with a shift in its economic policy orientation. From independence in 1957 well into the 1980s the economy was largely state controlled. Its policies included government interventions aimed at easing the people’s hardships. But by the end of the 1990s Ghana’s economic, social and political policies had, by and large, become aligned with the global neoliberal agenda.

The economic and ideological system of neoliberalism is centred on the primacy of private property and private enterprise. Government intervention in the economy is discouraged. Neoliberalism operates on principles such as subsidy removal, social spending cuts and the privatisation of social services.

These free market and pro-business principles were imposed on developing countries desperate to secure loans to salvage and stabilise their erratic economies. Powerful international agencies made loans conditional on countries adopting neoliberal reforms. The Bretton Woods twin financial institutions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund did the same. In this way they were able to reshape the economies of many African countries, including Ghana’s.

The ultimate objective was to make developing countries toe the line of profit maximisation in both public and private sectors.

Tourism potential and profit Tourism was identified and bolstered by the government as a viable, reliable and productive source of revenue within the framework of global neoliberalism.

Ghana boasts an irresistible package of celebrated cultural heritage. In addition to its extant European castles and forts, it also has a number of old slave markets, slave routes and slave cemeteries.

In 1993 Ghana boosted its tourism attractiveness with a US$10m investment project. This was planned and implemented by the Ghanaian authorities in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme and the United States Agency for International Development.

It involved, among other things, the development of the Kakum National Park as well as the preservation and renovation of the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles. As if to glorify these sites, Unesco declared the castles and forts World Heritage sites. They were furnished with new museums and other tourist facilities.

The new policy targeted the massive patronage of the historic African diaspora, particularly those from the US, as effective partners in development.

Within the neoliberal framework, both the ideology of Pan-Africanism and the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade became marketable commodities.

Tourists, customers and investorsAfrican Americans were invited to come back to their “roots”. But increasingly they became aware that they were regarded as tourists and customers in Ghana. Some were also encouraged to become stakeholders in the broader project of capitalist development. Land grants and other business incentives were promised to the diaspora. The objective was to encourage foreign direct investment in the economy’s various sectors.

The travel and tourism sector was one where some of the historic African diaspora entered and did brisk business. Those with the necessary resources and expertise competed with their Ghanaian counterparts. By forming tour companies, they facilitated travel to the country in appreciable numbers. Others also invested in hotels and beach resorts.

In 2015 tourism and travel directly contributed a total of around GHC4.5 million (more than US $1 million) to Ghana’s GDP. This amounts to about 3.3% of national GDP.

This is good for business. But what does it mean for relations between the continent and the diaspora? Ghana’s forts and castles, among other things, were once used to make profit off African bodies. Today they continue to exist as money-making facilities. The legacy of slavery has been turned into a commodity and diasporic Africans are cast as tourists, investors, customers and foreigners – rather than members of the African family to which they belong.

Kwaku Nti, Assistant Professor of History, Armstrong State University
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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<![CDATA[Ghana’s visa sticker is outdated – Immigration Service]]>Sat, 13 May 2017 14:13:46 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/05/ghanas-visa-sticker-is-outdated-immigration-service.html Source: myjoyonline. com - The Ghana Immigration Service says the current visa sticker issued to travellers who wish to visit the country, is archaic. 

According to Public Affairs Director for the Immigration Service, Chief Superintendent Francis Palmdeti, the Ghana visa sticker lacks certain security features making it quite easy to fake. It also means that information on the visa cannot be read when placed under ultraviolet light.
“We need to look at our visas, they do not meet international standards. It doesn’t have the required information that a standard visa should have,” Chief Supt. Palmdeti told Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

He said having identified the problem, the Ghana Immigration Service notified the Foreign Ministry on the need to upgrade the features on visas but that is yet to be taken into consideration.

“We think that it shouldn’t take us this long to get this done. Visas have evolved, in certain cases, you have the pictures of the person on the visa. Our visa has to evolve, ” Mr. Palmdeti emphasised.
Perhaps, this is one of the reasons for the influx of thousands of Chinese citizens, some of whom are engaged in the illegal mining which is destroying the environment and threatening the future survival of communities in the areas where these activities are taking place. 

Despite the challenge, the Immigration Service spokesperson said their officers are able to detect fake visas. “We have made quite a number of arrests based on that,” he added.

The GIS is also enjoying support from airlines who conduct “serious scrutiny checks” on persons they fly into the country. In some cases where they failed to do so, the GIS has had to “slap a penalty” on them.

According to him, “those [Chinese] who come in with ill motives are not in the majority; they are the minority”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Palmdeti said the GIS refused entry permits to some 202 foreigners who applied for visas from the country’s missions worldwide in 2016. These were people with interests ranging from business, social and economic.

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<![CDATA[Tema Port to be the centre of tourism in Africa - Adjei Sam]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:32:16 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/04/tema-port-to-be-the-centre-of-tourism-in-africa-adjei-sam.html Source: Solomon Anderson - The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority says it is doing all in its power to take advantage of Tema Port's strategic location in the maritime world.

According to the General Manager of Personnel and Administration of GPHA, Kumi Adjei Sam, the port is being developed to position it as the centre of tourism on the continent.
“The concept is that these days vessels are becoming bigger and bigger that they don’t want to carry their items in small vessels so they take containers in very huge numbers and come and deposit all of them in Tema and then we distribute it along ports in West Africa and all these have been facilitated by the fact that longitude 0 passes through the city of Tema,” he said.

Speaking at an event to promote the tourism potential inherent in Ghana being the centre of the world, a leading pioneer of this course, Azonko Simpi stressed the need for Ghana to harness its tourism potentials.

“There are a lot of countries that are claiming the centre of the world, we don’t blame them they also have the right but if you want to look at the universal centre of the world, it is Tema. We found it necessary that we can use this for our time culture,” he said. 

The longitude 0 degrees which is also known as the Greenwich meridian passes through the city of Tema and the equator is just 600 kilometres from the port.

A representative from the Ministry of Tourism stressed the need to build an iconic tower in Tema to attract tourists both local and international in this direction.

The Tema Port has been touted by GeoTourism experts as one of the most tourist attractive Ports in the world considering its geographical position and advantage.

The Port of Tema is said to be the only Port in the world located closest to the centre of the world.

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<![CDATA[Government lays foundations for tourism growth]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:29:33 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/04/government-lays-foundations-for-tourism-growth.html Source: B&FT Ghana - As Ghana looks to diversify its sources of foreign exchange, it has aggressive plans to expand its tourism capacity, with an ambitious proposal for coastline development on the table and an expansion of the main international airport under way.
Tourism was one of the big winners in Ghana’s 2017 budget, handed down by the minister of finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in early March. The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture saw its allocation rise from GHS38.9m ($9.2m) in 2016 to GHS43.9m ($10.4m).

In a speech accompanying the release of the spending plan, Ofori-Atta also outlined plans to increase the private sector’s involvement in the sector.

This engagement is necessary if the country’s economic aims are to be met: Ghana is currently working to reduce a budget deficit equal to 8.7% of GDP, roughly three percentage points higher than the target, which means the state increasingly needs to turn to private investment to fund capital projects in key areas like tourism.

Ghana’s tourism industry is already a key contributor to the national economy, ranking fourth in terms of input, after oil, gold and cocoa. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the sector directly accounted for around 3% of GDP in 2016, with its total contribution rising to 7.1%, in addition to directly and indirectly employing 5.6% of the workforce.

The council expects Ghana’s tourism industry to expand by 5.6% in 2017 and maintain an annual rate of growth rate of 5.1% through to 2027.

Mega-projects and niche developments 

Perhaps the most visible initiative where the state is looking for private sector buy-in is a major redevelopment of sections of Accra’s coastline.

Known as the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project, the plan involves developing nearly 100 ha of land along the shoreline of Ghana’s capital city between the Osu Castle beach front and the Centre for National Culture.

Among the proposed amenities are hotels, shopping malls, theme parks, an office complex and a casino.

The development was initially proposed by the former government and ratified by the Cabinet last October. It is being overseen by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, with projects to be rolled out as public-private partnerships (PPPs) over the course of this year.

According to Ofori-Atta, the initiative is a key part of the current government’s policy, which has a particular focus on growing the business tourism segment.

The push to expand private sector participation is not limited to large projects. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the tourism sector also fared well in the new spending plan. Ofori-Atta told Parliament the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture would conduct investment feasibility studies this year on promoting SMEs through PPPs.

Bid to strengthen air links 

Ghana is also moving to bolster its transport infrastructure to improve connectivity and increase visitor figures.

Expansion work on a third terminal at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport started in March of last year and is expected to be completed by July, allowing the airport to handle an extra 5m passengers a year, with the capacity to handle up to 1250 passengers an hour.

This would represent a significant increase on the most recent figures from the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), which showed that 2.19m passengers used the airport in 2015, with international travellers accounting for 1.67m of the total. The 45,000-sq-metre terminal – designed for international traffic – will comprise a large retail area, three business lounges and seven air bridges, as well as parking for more than 700 cars, according to the GACL.

In what could be a further boost for the industry, the new government has also announced plans for a flag carrier, utilising a PPP model. Such a move would fill a void dating to 2010, when Ghana International Airlines – the country’s second iteration of a national airline, following the closure of Ghana Airways in 2005 – ceased operations.

If viable, a new airline could be operational by 2019, Abena Dapaah, minister for aviation, said in February. The government has previously announced it will not finance the venture but will request carried interest. Press reports have indicated a number of foreign carriers have expressed interest in bidding for the project, although there has yet to be any official confirmation. 

This Ghana economic update was produced by Oxford Business Group.

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<![CDATA[GTA vows to close down unauthorized facilities]]>Sun, 05 Feb 2017 12:40:08 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/02/gta-vows-to-close-down-unauthorized-facilities.html
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Source: GNA - The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has vowed to stop all unauthorised operators in the hospitality industry.

Mr. Fredrick Adjei-Rudolph, the Eastern Regional Manager, said they were determined to ensure that acceptable standards were maintained.

The pledge comes on the heels of the closure of 16 hotels and hostels in the region by the Authority.
He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the affected facilities were operating illegally – had not received the authorization from the appropriate state institutions to operate.

Mr. Adjei-Rudolph said the exercise would continue to bring sanity and assure people who patronised these facilities of their safety.

He advised Ghanaians to mark this year’s Valentine Day by consuming more chocolate because of the health benefits.

“Chocolate, a healthy gift of love” is the theme chosen for this year’s celebration of the day.

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<![CDATA[Catherine Afeku not guilty of fraudl; A Newsdesk report]]>Sun, 05 Feb 2017 12:34:23 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/02/catherine-afeku-not-guilty-of-fraudl-a-newsdesk-report.html Source: The Informer Ghana - One’s first source of attack, could always be from within his/her own camp. The import of the above wise-saying is what President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the position of Tourism and Creative Arts [minister-designate], seems to be suffering from, in the hands of her detractors, believed to be members of the governing New Patriotic Party [NPP], since her announcement to the said post, pending the approval by Parliament.
Contrary to adversaries who sought to impugn ‘fraud’ on the Evalue-Gwira Member of Parliament [MP], records emanating from the court reveal otherwise.

In an ‘evil-smearing’ campaign targeted at the personality of Madam Catherine Afeku in the wake of her appointment, some faceless individuals hiding behind a group calling itself ‘Truth and Accountable Governance’ [TAG], has alleged that the nominee [Afeku] is a ‘fraudster’ and had appealed to Mr. Akufo-Addo to withdraw her nomination.

"Mrs. Afeku and her husband, Mr. Seth Afeku, were found guilty for defrauding an American couple on 19-10-2013 by an Accra High Court presided over by Her Ladyship Barbara Ackah-Yensu. The trial judge directed the MP for Evalue-Gwira Constituency and her husband to pay an amount of $217,464 plus 50 percent interest to the plaintiff, Patricia and Bill Gick", the group in their sinful agenda has alleged, with the intent and purpose to have her appointment reversed by President Akufo-Addo.

Blinded by its evil machination, the TAG, however, failed to bring to the attention of the general public, how the court ruling they are referring to, for which they saw it ‘Godly’ to conclude that the MP for Evalue-Gwira had engaged in fraud, had been set aside; on the basis that the case instituted against the nominee and the husband, were mere concoction, following the emergence of fresh evidence in the form of a video recording.

In fact, per available document in possession of The Informer, there were no findings of fraud or criminality against Madam Catherine Afeku and her husband – thus the defendants in the matter as TAG and other shadow actors spearheading that smear agenda would want Ghanaians and the world at large to believe.

Following the conspiracy occasioning a cause of action against Madam Catherine Afeku and the husband in the earlier judgment dated 30th November, 2007 given in Suit No. 245/06, an Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship Justice P. Bright Mensah on 5th March, 2014, upon the arguments put forward by the applicants’ lawyer, Godfred Yeboah Dame Esq. ruled to restrain the enforcement of the earlier judgment until the final determination of the instant action brought against the defendants – thus Patrick Gick, Bill Gick, David Thomas and Francis Kaku Nokoe.

As a result, the court in setting aside the judgment in Suit No.245/06 entitled; Madam Catherine Afeku and the husband as tainted by fraud and deceit practiced on the court; general damages for fraud; an order for recovery of all sums paid to the 1st and 2nd defendants by plaintiffs in satisfaction of the judgment debts, release of plaintiffs house No. LVC/73, Lower Axim from attachment; recovery of possession of 1st Plaintiff’s Nissan Navara Pick-up vehicle with registration No. GC 3300-09, punitive costs to mention, but few.

From the above, it is therefore tacit fact that Madam Catherine Afeku is, after all, not guilty of ‘fraud’ as her detractors are alleging until the final determination of the matter [civil suit].

So, for a group like TAG to say that the nominee is not fit to be appointed minister, is not coherent with the provision of Article 94 Clause [2] of the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana, which clearly spells out how a person may be debarred from holding public office.

Background

In 2016, the Gick family [Patrick, Bill] went to court claiming that, Catherine Afeku and her husband, had defrauded them in a business venture they both funded.

Patrick and Bill [both America citizens], argued that since they were partners in the business [inter Café’] set in Ghana, they were eligible to a percentage of the proceeds that had accrued from the business.

The position of the Americans were contested, however, strongly by Catherine and the husband on the basis that, the proceeds from the business, were used to cater for their son, David Thomas, who was in their [Afekus] care after an agreement reached by the two parties.

The court, presided over by Her Lordship, Barbara Ackah-Yensu, after listening to argument and counter-arguments from both sides, ruled against the nominee[Catherine] and the husband, and ordered them to pay the US couple US$217,464 with interest.

The recent ruling of the Court as secured by Godfred Yeboah Dame, counsel for the Afekus, undercut the victory earlier chalked by the American couple against the nominee and the husband; and that will mean that it will take damages to restore the hard-won reputation of the Evalue-Gwira MP, following the application filed by her counsel, who is currently waiting to appear before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting.

Legal Arguments

Arguing the motion, the learned Counsel for the Applicants [Afekus] recounted the facts in Suit No. 245/06 and the events leading to the institution of the present suit. Relying heavily on the averments contained in the affidavit, he reiterated that once the issue has been raised as to the propriety of the judgment of the Commercial Court, this court, though differently constituted, has the power to stay execution of the earlier judgment. In support of the proposition, Counsel referred the court to the decision of the Supreme Court in Merchant Bank [Gh] LTD v Similar Ways LTD [2012] SCGLR440 and one other. Support for Catherine [Afeku] Paramount Queenmother of Nzema Traditional Council in-charge of development, Obaahemaa Edze Nkrumah II, unhappy with attempts by the unscrupulous few to stampede the appointment of Madam Catherine Afeku, has publicly come out to warn the nominee’s detractors to be mindful of their activities.

According to her, if those behind the smear campaign were indeed true indigenes, they should have welcomed the honour done the Nzemaland by President Akufo-Addo, since the last time a native of the land was appointed a minister was in the 60s.

Obaahemaa Edze Nkrumah II, therefore pleaded with the President to treat the accusation leveled against Catherine Afeku with disdain, since they were baseless and fabrications just to tarnish the hard-won reputation of the nominee.

"I am on behalf of all the Chiefs in Axim, the Axim Youth Alliance and all the queenmothers, in the area, pleading with President Akufo-Addo not to listen to the accusers of my grandchild and work with her. Were Catherine a fraudster I would be the first to raise red-flags about the issue. I know all about what they are saying and I can say on authority that there's no iota of truth in it”, she is quoted to have said.

Also, the Nzemaland Development Association- has indicated its preparedness to lock-horns with any individual or group that would be impediment to the appointment of minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Abelema Afeku.

According to the leader of the Association, Diana Nyankopa, the group is ready to defend the nominee’s appointment to the letter, and hint of embarking on massive demonstration, should the appointment of Madam Catherine Afeku is withdrawn.

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<![CDATA[Flagstaff House now Jubilee House]]>Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:36:18 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/02/flagstaff-house-now-jubilee-house.html Source: Daily Guide Africa - The name ‘Flagstaff House,’ Ghana’s seat of government, appears to have been changed to ‘Jubilee House’ by the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Recent correspondences personally signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo indicated ‘Jubilee House’ instead of ‘Flagstaff House.’

There has always been a tussle between the current NPP administration and the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government over what name should actually be used for the seat of government.

Initially called Flagstaff House when Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah re-developed the facility in the 1960s to serve as his official residence and office, the NPP government under President John Agyekum Kufuor, rebuilt the whole place into a top-class edifice and changed the name to (Golden) Jubilee House as a monument in commemoration of Ghana’s 50th independence anniversary.

Before being used by Ghana’s first president, the facility had been used as the residence of the Inspector General of the Gold Coast Constabulary in the colonial days.

However, immediately after the NDC won power in 2009, it reverted to ‘Flagstaff House,’ sparking a heated political debate at the time, especially when John Mahama moved his office to the place from the Osu Castle where his predecessors, the late President John Evans Atta Mills, Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings had governed the country from.

Some other names put on important edifices were equally changed.

For instance, the immediate past Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Chief Executive Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije – now MP for Ablekuma South – led an operation to change the name Ohene Djan Sports Stadium to Accra Sports Stadium, as well as the names of other state facilities in Accra.

The NDC top figures, then in opposition, condemned President Kufuor and his NPP government for what they claimed to be profligate construction of the ‘Jubilee House,’ which was funded by the Indian government with a very low interest on the loan.

Some NDC officials were even on record as saying that they were going to use the facility for poultry – a comment that attracted condemnation from sections of the public.

President Mills did not use the Jubilee House and remained at the Osu Castle; but when President John Mahama took over after the sudden demise of the law professor, he (Mahama) moved into the edifice immediately he controversially won the 2012 election.

The Mahama government started with correspondences on ‘Jubilee Flagstaff House’ letterheads, indicating that it was merging the names.

However, when NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, was asked about the development, he said cabinet had not taken any decision to merge the two names.

Mahama Ayariga, then Minister of Information, had to take responsibility for the gaffe and the name was soon reverted to ‘Flagstaff House.’

Throughout the campaign, then NPP candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo never referred to the seat of government as ‘Flagstaff House.’

During the 2016 electioneering campaign, he said “Everybody should come and ride on the back of the ‘Elephant’” (the NPP, as it uses the elephant as its symbol). “The ‘Elephant’ has entered the White House; let us get the ‘Elephant’ in the Jubilee House.”

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<![CDATA[How SADA aims to unleash Brong Ahafo’s agric and tourism potentials]]>Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:32:10 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/02/how-sada-aims-to-unleash-brong-ahafos-agric-and-tourism-potentials.html Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - Every year, millions of domestic and international tourists troop to Ghana in such of mindboggling, rich but natural and captivating sights to feast their eyes on.
Worn-out by growing pressures from offices and homes, many people are now beginning to make travel and tourism a key component of their family and corporate budgets, as the need to de-stress catches on with almost individual. That is good news, at least to the country’s private sector operating in the tourism business.

Home to many world heritage sites and sumptuous natural assets that include waterfalls, Ghana is indeed a force to reckon with when it comes to tourism.

Brong Ahafo’s potentials

Unfortunately, however, not much effort has been put into exploiting that potential. This is in spite of the fact tourism continuous to show clear evidence that if fully exploited the business of traveling for pleasure can easily overtake gold and cocoa as the premier foreign exchange earner for the country.

Conscious of this, the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has made tourism one of its focal points in the development of its medium term development plan, the SADA Master Plan.

Although the plan intends to unlock the agricultural and tourism potential of the entire savanna ecological zone (NSEZ), its regional concept plan gives much impetuous to harnessing the burgeoning potentials of the business in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Home to about 24,042 square kilometers, Brong Ahafo accounts for 18 per cent of the total land area of the NSEZ and boasts of rich natural assets that consist of 40 per cent of open forest and 36 per cent of grassland.

The region currently contributes about 13 per cent of NSEZ’s total economic output, measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Its economy is primarily agrarian economy, with fishing activities being prominent in Sene East, Sene West and Pru districts mainly because of the close proximity to the Volta Lake.

It is also home to many scenic tourist attractions due to its ecology, hence the emphasis on tourism and agriculture.

Game-changer projects

Under the regional concept plan, SADA aims to develop three strong projects – Kintampo Tourism Cluster, the Digiya Tourism Cluster and agro industrial tourism center – to make the region the nerve center of the tourism industry in the country and the subregion as a whole.

While the Kintampo Tourism Cluster seeks to capitalise on the many natural assets and scenic tourist attractions in that area of the region, the Digiya Tourism Cluster aims to make that community nature park and bird lovers’ hub. SADA also seeks to also exploit the agro-tourism potential in that area, using the large fertile land around Atebubu.

The agro industrial tourism center will also help encourage tourists to experience the traditional or local products.

This unique composition makes the region a hotbed of tourism that SADA is now seeking to use its master plan to unleash.

The authority is of the firm believe that given the right support and funding, its projects, which could easily pass for a blueprint of the government’s ‘one factory, one district programme’ will help propel the region to the next level of its economic development.

Other key projects

Under the regional concept plan, SADA intends to develop the following key urban centres in the region to serve as the hub for regional and district level commercial, community facilities and administration:

Regional Centre - Kintampo

Small Cities/Key Urban Centres - Atebubu
Multi District Centres/ Key Rural
Centres – Yeji, Nsawkaw and Kajeji

These centers will add to the following projects aimed at opening the area up to commerce, tourism and agriculture.

Agro-processing park housing the agriculture Research & Development and Training Centre at Kintampo to drive agriculture knowledge development in the region that will capitalise on the large amount of priority agriculture land surrounding the centre.

Agri-processing park with agro-industries and market centres for agriculture produce in other identified settlements.
Develop aquaculture industries at Kwadwokrom to optimise its frontage along the Lake Volta.

Develop phase one of the expressway for the Kumasi/Boankra Inland Port-Kintampo to bypass Kumasi city for the purpose of travel time reduction.
Develop a bridge at Kete Krachi to connect Kete Krachi and Kajaji to improve inter-regional road connectivity.
Upgrade coach and bus station to enhance intercity and intra-city transport respectively.

Develop a regional hospital in Kintampo and increase provision of secondary healthcare facilities to improve the quality of healthcare services in the region.

Develop polytechnic, vocational and technical institutions at the key urban centres, including Kintampo and Atebubu, to enhance human capacity building.
Establish flood protection zones.
Provide 100 per cent infrastructure coverage for water supply and electricity access.

Upgrade the existing power lines and equipments to reduce power losses.
Develop Kintampo Tourism Cluster to capitalising on the scenic natural assets with Kintampo waterfalls and national parks.
Agro industrial tourism will also be encouraged for tourists to experience the traditional or local products.

Develop the Digiya Tourism Cluster as a nature park and bird lovers’ hub, as well as for agro-tourism with the large fertile land around Atebubu.
Challenges

In spite of the potentials, SADA acknowledges that the region is faced with some challenges.

It lists gold mining activities in Tain and Banda districts, the prevalence of annual bushfire and related environmental degradation and heavy timber extraction in forested areas for firewood and construction material.

Also, the authority observed that urban areas are primarily located along the central corridor while most of the other areas in the region are rural.

Other challenges include

Population density in the region being lower than the national average
Limited non-agricultural economic attractions as the regional capital is located outside NSEZ boundary
East, Pru and Kintampo south districts are not suitable for variety of crop production
Irrigation potential mapping showed that agriculture master plan for this region is not as abundant as other regions, although the dominance of the Volta Lake across the zone implies that pump irrigation can be, to a certain degree, largely exploited, just as much as cage and pond aquaculture
Although blessed with the long lake coastline, its aquaculture potential is not explored and utilised
Opportunities to leverage

In the environment, opportunities exist in the areas of conservation of existing protected areas, forests, wetlands and water bodies.

Brong Ahafo sub-region is the fastest urbanising area in NSEZ with the growth rate of 6.3 per cent, 34 per cent of urban population and positive migration rate of five per cent.

This presents opportunity to create secondary and tertiary urban centres to ease urbanisation pressure in the central economic corridor by taping into the variety of economic potentials in the region, which will help in a more even distribution of urban and rural population in the region.

There is also opportunity to develop large scale agro- processing industry in Kintampo due to its diverse agricultural potential and close proximity to Techiman, Buipe & Tamale.

Beynd that Atebubu could serve as a hotbed for agricultural production, processing and agro-tourism hub.

Similarly, Nsawkaw could be developed into a gold mining hub, with high value agricultural production and processing.

Gold mining and processing opportunityies also exist around Brohoni, Nsawkaw and Bodi towns.

The region also has aquaculture potential between Yeji and Kajaji lake coast.

Beyond these, teh following opportunities also exist, which SADA is seeking to exploit through the implementation of its master plan in the region

Agriculture: Soil conditions around Atebubu and Digya National Park made it suitable for the production of variety of crops, fruits and vegetables, signifying the potential for such agriculture value chains creation.

Also, agricultural land in Tain and Wenchi can be used for commercial scale cashew, cassava, new value added crops fruits, cashew production.

There is also pportunity for the land in the northeast belt of the region to become the rice bowl of the region with given irrigated condition. The area can also be utilised for forestry and large scale live stock production.

Transport: There are also opportunities to improve inter-regional road connectivity in the eastern part of the region, construct a bridge across Volta Lake to improve Kajaji and Kete Krachi connectivity and develop the Techiman-Kwadwokrom rail corridor as well as enhance the Kintampo-Techiman road safety record with safety measures.

Infrastructure: SADA envisages to construct a hydro power plant at potential dam sites at Lanka. There is also opportunity for the development of solar farms to provide additional power to the region.

Conclusion

All in all, the Brong Ahafo Region is a huge potential that the nation should fight to fully exploit.

While the regional concept plan on the region provides an excellent glimse into the future SADA intends to build for the region, the plan also provides a clear blueprint to the government’s ‘one district, one factory’ programme that will be rolled out shortly.

This is because although the plan does not cover the entire region, each of the projects could easily be adopted as factories under the programme and implemented to the letter.

This way, the government will be using its development facilitation wing in the savanna, which is SADA, to achieve one of the programmes that could define its success.

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<![CDATA[Kwame Nkrumah’s bombing site neglected]]>Sat, 04 Feb 2017 12:28:40 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/02/kwame-nkrumahs-bombing-site-neglected.html Source: GNA - As tourism gradually takes centre stage in the country’s foreign exchange earnings, one key touristic attraction that could rake in fortunes for the country but has been neglected is the Kulungugu bomb site.
Picture, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana, Ghana Tourism, Bombing, Upper east, Northern Ghana
A miniature statue was erected by the Bissa Youth Association in 2002
The historic site is where in the heat of Ghana’s first Republic some disgruntled persons unsuccessfully attempted bombing the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. 

Since August 1, 1962 when the incident took place at Kulungungu, in the then Upper Region, and now the Pusiga District in the Upper East Region of Ghana, the site has not received any proper attention from the Ministry of tourism even though it has high tourism potentials.

A miniature statue was erected by the Bissa Youth Association in 2002 at the site at Kulungungu to earmark the site for memorial purposes, but it has since been destroyed by thunderstorm and nobody seems to care about it.
The Kulungugu community which is also a frontier between neighbouring Burkina Faso, could be developed into a big tourism attraction site to serve as a revenue base for the Pusiga District Assembly to augment its revenue generation.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) quest to unearth untapped tourism potentials in the Upper East Region, came to conclusion that the Pusiga District Assembly, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector could collaborate to turn the area into a major tourism hap.

Already, the Pusiga District, which was carved from the Bawku Municipality hosts the Naa Gbewaa Shrine; a historic monument that has freezing background and one of the biggest tourist attraction that brought people from neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo and the Mamprugu area to observe ancestral sacrifices. 

The endowed cultural heritage in the Kusuag area is interconnected as tourists could take advantage to enjoy a holistic and complimentary tourism sites between the Pusiga District and the Bawku Municipality as the latter is also host to attractions such as the Boko Crocodile Pond, and the Wiidi Ecotourism sites and the Samanpiid and Bugum (fire) Festivals.

Mr Yahaya Zanko Bandago former Assembly Member for the Kulungugu Electoral Area who spoke to the GNA at Kulungungu said several efforts to revamp the site by the youth of the area to attract tourists proved futile because, nobody was willing to invest and spearhead the move. 

Mr Bandago indicated that the district assembly had been informed on several occasions on the need to revamp the site to generate some revenue, but the local authority has since not responded positively to the proposals anytime it was repeated.

He disclosed that foreign tourist across the world including Russians had come to the area to visit but there was nothing to indicate that this was the area and the spot where the attempt was made to assassinate the first president of Ghana.

Mr Bandago indicated that since the incident formed part of Ghana’s history, there was the need for government to marshal resources and develop the place into a tourism centre just as it has been done for the Mausoleum in Accra “so that school children and researchers could come to know who, how, when, where and why the attempt was made” he emphasised.

He told the GNA that Kwame Nkrumah met the untimely incident when he went to the Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso to settle land disputes between that country and Ghana. 

He explained that it was on his return to Ghana that he decided to pass through Kulungungu which was part of the issues when the unfortunate incident occurred.

Naba Zito Abarichi, Chief of the area who is a surviving victim of the bomb attempt said the girl who presented the welcoming flower to the president died shortly after arrival at the hospital, while a boy named Tobazila died on the spot.

Naba Abarichi said many were wounded while others were arrested and detained at the Bawku police station and later transferred to the Navrongo prisons for detention.
He called on government to make the area a place of interest so that people could go there to learn about the consequences of the bomb attempt.

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<![CDATA[GTA shuts down 15 private hostels in Koforidua]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2017 12:24:49 GMThttp://ghana-net.com/1/post/2017/02/gta-shuts-down-15-private-hostels-in-koforidua.html Source: kasapafmonline. com - Students of Koforidua Technical University (KTU) are expected to hassle for hostel accommodations when school re-opens on February 10.

This is because the Ghana Tourism Authority in the Eastern region on Monday commenced closing down some illegal student hostels and Hotels in the region.
Fifteen hostels in Koforidua and a hotel in Akropong -Akuapem are expected to be shut down by close of the exercise on Tuesday.

The facilities are operating without a license by the Ghana Tourism Authority contrary to the Tourism Act of 2011 (Act 817) hence the closures.

The student's hostels shut down on Monday are Vine Yard, Lincoln, Universal, Mr Doe, Joe Joe and, hostelhostels.

Others expected to be closed down on Tuesday are Solo, Hallelujah, Rising Bell, Madiba, Frontline, Hostel 99, Stella, Central, Pacesetters and Supreme Hostel all located in Koforidua.
Picture, closed, hostel closed, hotel closed, Ghana Tourism
Provision of Private Hostel facilities has become a lucrative venture which many landlords and investors have ventured into the business without recourse to standards.

The private Hostels provide accommodation for students mostly from Koforidua Technical University augmenting the accommodation stress facing institutions due to lack of inadequate student hostels for students admitted.

This means that, students may struggle to have hostel accommodation when school re-opens next week.

This will have a toll on the students should Managers of the hostels fail to obtain the legitimate license to operate their facility.

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