GTA and Queen Mothers Foundation Host Eat Ghana Fair with Celebrity Cooking Competition

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Accra, August 4, 2022

The Ghana Tourism Authority in Partnership with the Queen Mothers Founders Foundation and Ghana Chefs Association have held the ‘Eat Ghana Fair’, as part of activities marking the launch of December In GH 2022.

The one day Fair, under the auspices of the Ghana Cares program, saw Queen mothers representing all the 16 regions of Ghana converge at the La Palm Royal beach hotel to exhibit and talk about their local foods.

As part of the Ghana Cares Obaatampa Program by the Government of Ghana to support the local industry, the event was organised in partnership with the Queen mothers to showcase the wide variety of Ghanaian meals and promote their consumption. The meals were prepared by the Chefs Association and displayed with labels, and dished out by the queen mothers to patrons of the Fair and the ‘December In GH’ 2022 launch.

Adorned in their royal regalia, the Queen mothers processed beautifully to the venue and took time to explain the health and nutritional elements of their meals as well as the basic ingredients to the public.

The ‘Eat Ghana Fair’ according to Akwasi Agyeman, the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, was held to promote the consumption of Ghanaian foods to support the local economy.

Over 30 Queen Mothers served meals including Fanti Fanti, Omu tuo, Ga kenkey, Acheke, Ebunu Ebunu, Ampesi, Kontomire, Fufu, Tuo zaafi, Omu tuo, Fomfom Etew, Borodee eto, Tubaani and many more.

As part of the event, some celebrities participated in a Jollof cooking competition. The celebrities included Ghanaian broadcaster and fashion designer Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD), Comedian and Actor Kalybos, Counsellor Lutterodt and veteran actor, Fred Amugi.

The celebrities were supported by students from the Teshie Technical Training Centre to compete for the bragging rights of who could cook the best Jollof.

At the end of the about 1 hour competition, the judges from the Ghana Chefs Association adjudged the contestants as follows:

1st place – Kalybos

2nd place- KOD

3rd place – Counsellor Lutterodt

4th place- Fred Amugi

Participants including the students were each presented with hampers from Ghana Tourism Authority.

By: [email protected]

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‘December in GH’ 2022 Campaign launched

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Accra August 4, 2022

The shining ‘Black Star’ of Africa is ready for you to come and celebrate your December in Ghana. Each year the holiday celebrations in Ghana keep getting bigger and attracting people from around the world. Expectations are high for this year as global tourism continues to increase. “Today as we launch ‘December in GH’ 2022, we take pride in seeing Ghana continue to be the leading country of choice for travel during the holiday season in West Africa,” said the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal. “Tourism has become one of the most important sectors in Ghana’s economy and shows no sign of slowing down. We anticipate that ‘December in GH’ for 2022 will become record-breaking as more travellers take the journey to Ghana,” he said at the official launch event which took place at La Palm Royal Beach Resort on 4th August 2022.

‘December in GH’ was originally launched in 2019, during the Year of Return as a tourism activation and has since become an important part of marketing events that attract thousands to visit Ghana for the holiday season into the new year. “‘December in GH’ is one of the biggest activations in our tourism sector and one that touches on the three pillars of our ministry; tourism, arts and culture,” said Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). “Many of the events are also central to the pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative as we continue to engage with the historical diaspora community….Events in December have become flagships that attract people from around the world who plan their vacation in Ghana around event’s dates.” Despite the pandemic the last couple of years, people in the global diaspora community have continued to visit Ghana and have especially looked forward to some of the popular events that celebrate the country’s culture through music, fashion, live performances, food and culture.

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, was in attendance for the launch receiving a citation for the work he has done since 2019 in bridging the gap between the diaspora and Ghana. “Ghana is important to Africa, Ghana is important to the diaspora,” he said in his address. “Once we link as a diaspora we are stronger…it’s through the African diaspora that we can succeed.” The citation was presented to him by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return secretariat. “We look forward to the continued development of our relationship with the NAACP in encouraging the diaspora to make the trip to Ghana,” Agyeman said.

Some of the industry stakeholders present at the event included the Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Sackey, the Board for the Ghana Tourism Authority, Steering Committee Members for Beyond the Return, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant and the Director of the National Commission on Culture, Edna Nyame. Along with industry stakeholders, some event organizers were also in attendance at the launch. Some of the events returning for this year include Afrochella, Afro Nation, Akwaaba UK, Rhythms on da Runway, Kids in Tourism, GT Bank Concern, BHIM Concert, Joyful Way and A Taste of Ghana. There are some exciting new events also added to this year’s calendar of events, which will soon to be announced in the coming weeks.

By Ivy Prosper

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Sekondi-Takoradi prepares for December In GH

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The Western Regional Coordinating Council led by the Regional Minister , Hon Kobby Okyere Darko Mensah and the Ghana Tourism Authority have held a stakeholder engagement with Event Organisers, the Masqueraders Federation, Tour operators, Captains of media, hoteliers, food vendors and academia on the “Takoradi – city of Christmas project”.


The project in its third year also falls in line with the planned December in GH program being championed by the Ghana Tourism Authority as part of the Beyond the Return Project.
Welcoming the participants, the Regional Minister reiterated the committmenr of the RCC to make the Western Region the number one tourism destination in Ghana and called on all practitioners to team up with the Regional Adminstration to make this feasible. The Ghana Tourism Authority through its CEO also pledged its commitment to work in partnership with the Tourism Stakeholders to make the Takoradi Christsms city project, anchored on the masquareders parade a success.

The line up of activities starting from December 19 through to Jan 2, 2023 includes musical concerts, daily masquareders parades, trade exhibition, football matches amongst others.

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Ghana Tourism Authority & TOCO Ready For ‘Hands Across Africa’ Pre-Emancipation Day Festival

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Accra, Ghana: Tuesday 16th July 2022–

Ghana Tourism Authority and They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) has announced “The Pre-Emancipation Day Festival” dubbed Hands Across Africa scheduled to take place Saturday 23rd July 2022 at the National Theatre, Accra.

Hands Across Africa is an initiative by the Ghana registered foundation; They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) of H.E Taj Weekes, a Goodwill Ambassador of the Government of Saint Lucia and UNICEF Ambassador for children in the Eastern Caribbean, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Beyond the Return Secretariat, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Diaspora Affairs (Office of the President) and YOKS Investments.

The initiative focuses on changing the life chances of marginalized and under-privileged youth using engagement and mentorship through sports, creative arts and other educational enrichment and support programs.
It carries cultural exchange and a social agenda to raise funds to help close gaps of need in education, youth at risk and public health across the African continent.
This involves a group of international reggae and local artistes collaborating to stage a series of festivals – mass concerts and expos, to raise funds that will go directly to support non-profit programs for human empowerment, poverty alleviation and social support by vetted agencies of state, local government, and humanitarian missions to vulnerable communities.

A number of illustrious names from the Reggae industry – both internationally and from Africa are associated with this Festival. Therefore, a secondary objective of the initiative is foster collaboration between international and local artists and ultimately broaden the professional network of our African counterparts. This year’s grand festival and expo event promises to be super exciting as legendary artistes;

Taj Weekes : A singer and songwriter who heads a dynamic reggae band named, Adowa. He is also an unwavering, energetic humanitarian, who founded his children’s charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO). Taj Weeks personality is summarized as Musician, Poet, Humanitarian.

Eric Donaldson : Jamaican reggae singer and songwriter. He pursued a solo career, and submitted “Cherry Oh Baby” to the 1971 Jamaican Festival Song Competition, going on to win the competition and giving him a big Jamaican hit single. He has won the competition six times.

Okyeame Kwame : Ghanaian rap doctor, musician, songwriter, creative director and entrepreneur.

MzVee : Ghanaian singer, Afropop, dancehall and R&B artiste who has several notable awards to her credit.

Black Rasta : Ghanaian reggae/Kuchoko artiste, dub poet and a radio presenter of Zylofon FM.
As well as other notable artistes would be present.

Tickets Are Available
Kindly Dial *713*33*872# or visit https://egtks.com/e/34165
For More Enquiries, visit www.handsacrossafrica.com
Or Call 020 879 7141

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‘Hands Across Africa’ delegation Calls On Deputy Minister For Tourism Arts And Culture – Hon. Mark Okraku-Mantey

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The Hands Across Africa team paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Mark Okraku-Mantey on 28th June, 2022, at the Ministry.

The Goodwill Ambassador of St. Lucia, Taj Weekes who led the delegation stated that one of the major goals of this agenda is to look at the seven pillars of the Beyond The Return initiative, which is “Give Back to Ghana,” as well as donating to charity.

He also noted that the Hands Across Africa Musical Festival and Expo under the banner of THEY OFTEN CRY OUTREACH (TOCO) is in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Diaspora Affairs – Office of the President, Beyond The Return Secretariat (BTR) and Yoks Investment Ltd. is set to take place on July 23, 2022, at the Accra Sports Stadium under the theme, “Re-igniting the Spirit of Emancipation”.

He revealed that some of the Top International and Ghana’s finest artists who will be performing at the Hands Across Africa Music Festival and Expo are; MzVee, Brinsley Forde (Aswad), Eric Donaldson, Okyeame Kwame, DSP Kofi Sarpong, Blakk Rasta, Roc Riva, Taj Weekes and many more.

The Deputy Minister, Hon. Mark Okraku- Mantey, as part of his remarks, assured the team that the Ministry is ready to support TOCO FOUNDATION AND HANDS ACROSS AFRICA to achieve their stated objectives and vision in Ghana.

He noted that the Ministry is delighted to have Mr. Taj Weekes (Founder of TOCO Foundation) and his wife, Mrs Angela Serieux Weekes and that Ghana is ready to welcome diasporans into our communities because we, Ghanaians, want to give them a sense of belonging.

He added that Ghanaians recognize them as part of us and will be delighted to collaborate with them as one people because we are all Africans.

The Deputy Minister urged the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return Secretariat as well as the Private Sector, GHATOF and the Trade Associations to also give TOCO FOUNDATION and HANDS ACROSS AFRICA the necessary push to make the Musical Concert and Expo a success. He took the opportunity to invite Ghanaians to the 2022 Emancipation Day Celebrations under the theme, ” Our Heritage, Our Strength” and sub-themed, “Re-engaging to consolidate our developmental agenda”.

He assured Mr Taj weekes and his wife of the Ministry’s support and thanked them for their philanthropic work and concert they have put together to give back to the Ghanaian society.

Since Taj Weekes and his team were in Ghana for the Year of Return and now Beyond the Return, he assured them that the Ministry is currently working on the Homeland Return Bill that would allow diasporans to be fully integrated into the Ghanaian society to have a permanent abode in the country when finally passed by Parliament. This will give our fellow Diasporans the opportunity to have privileges that every Ghanaian enjoys thereby giving them an Identity.

The Founder and Executive Director of TOCO, Taj Weekes, a Goodwill Ambassador of the Government of Saint Lucia and UNICEF Ambassador for children in the Eastern Caribbean expressed appreciation to the Deputy Minister, Hon. Mark Okraku – Mantey for the opportunity to outline their vision and support from the Ministry in diverse ways.

He was emphatic that The Hands Across Africa Festival and Expo is conceptualized as a cross- continent initiative starting in Ghana and its aim and objective is to establish the youth and Sports Development Programs and also to support in providing funded international football scholarship programmes

He noted that both Local and International charitable organizations are collaborating to bring relief to the Ghanaian youth. The social outreach initiative called Hands Across Africa by They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) has it’s overarching philosophy that children are our collective heritage; ones we should safeguard with inclusion and affirmation strategies.

HANDS ACROSS AFRICA (Festival & Expo) leverages its platform to help the youth to expand their network and through this exposure, imagine new possibilities, which can create a shift in the trajectory of their lives. The premiere edition will take place in Ghana on 23rd July, 2022 (TOCO Foundation https://www.theyoftencryoutreach).

Taj Weekes confirmed that the charity has provided 76 football scholarships to children in the Caribbean, and that they are in Ghana to replicate the charitable work they have been doing there.

His Excellency Taj Weekes added that Hands Across Africa focuses on cultural exchange and social intervention programs to raise funds in supporting society to reduce socio – economic gaps related to needs such as Education,under privileged children, young persons with disabilities and Public health concerns in Ghana and across the African continent. Proceeds from the Concert however, will go to charity.

Present in the meeting were Goodwill Ambassador, Taj Weekes (Founder and Chairman of TOCO Foundation – Hands Across Africa), Mrs Angela Serieux Weekes (Co-Founder and Creative Director of TOCO Foundation – Hands Across Africa), Mr. Seth Ocran( President of Car Rentals Association, (YOKS Investments) and President, TOCO Foundation Ghana), Rev. Jones Aruna Nelson (Director, Corporate Affairs, Ghana Tourism Authority), Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi (Principal CA Officer, GTA), Mrs Constance Adomaa Takyi (PRO, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture ), Elorm Beenie, Creative Content Director of Hands Across Africa, and Duah Janet Princess , National Service Personal at the Ministry

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GTA Senior Staff Association embark on week celebration to promote domestic tourism

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The Ghana Tourism Authority’s Senior Staff Association begins its maiden edition of ‘SSA WEEK’ celebrations from 1st to 5th July, 2022.

The week-long programme which is in consonance with the Authority’s mandate in promoting domestic tourism in Ghana is under the theme, ‘DOMESTIC TOURISM – A PANACEA FOR GHANA’S TOURISM DEVELOPMENT’.

The ‘SSA WEEK’ celebration begins on the 1st July, 2022 with a clean-up exercise at the Shining and Labadi beaches and by a trip to the Volta Region from 2nd to 5th July, 2022. Some of the attraction sites to be visited include; Afadjato Mountain, Gemi Falls, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, Akortor Slave Market and many others.

The Senior Staff Association will also participate in the Public Private Partnership Forum (PPPF) – Under the Theme: “Leveraging African Continental Free Trade Area to Increase Tourism and Investment to Accelerate Socio-Economic Transformation” on Monday 4th July 2022.

During the PPP Forum, there will also be a panel discussion on the following topics:

  • Opportunities in AFcFTA For Tourism and Hospitality Industry by Representative from AFcFTA
  • Exploring Investment Opportunities to Take Advantage of AFcFTAby the Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre – Mr. Yoofi Grant

The PANELISTS include: Mr. Yoofi Grant (CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre), Rep from AFcFTA, Mr. Ben Anane Nsiah (Director/Product Development & Investment, GTA), Kingsley Boateng Owusu (Ecobank Ghana Limited), Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike (President, Ghana Hotels Association)

This is part of the efforts to update GTA staff with what the Volta Region has to offer in the way of beautiful tourist sites, such as the ecotourism in our drive to promote domestic tourism across the length and breadth of the country.

The Senior Staff Association of the Ghana Tourism Authority is constituted of senior level staff within the Authority.

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Ghana and Malta deepen Diplomatic relations through Tourism

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Ghana and Malta have expressed their commitment to deepen relations in the fields of tourism and culture as well as trade and investment.

To this end, the two countries would establish special committees to work out the modalities for the attainment of this objective.

This was the outcome of a meeting between the President of Malta, Mr. George Vella and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal when they later paid a courtesy call on Mr. Vella at his office in Malta last Monday.

Dr Awal was in Malta to attend a Mediterranean Tourism Investment forum organized by the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation.

The President described the relationship between Malta and Ghana as very cordial and express the need for both countries to step up cooperation particularly in the areas of tourism, culture, trade and investment.

He disclosed that tourism accounted for over 40 % of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and said the two countries could share knowledge and experience on tourism development as window for trade and investment.

 

Mr. Vella said Malta could be the gateway for Ghana to attract tourists and investment from the over 23 Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Greece.

Dr. Awal told the Maltese President that the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo’s government was implementing a number of initiatives aimed at transforming the Ghanaian economy and improving upon the lives of the people.

He said in the area of tourism for instance, forts, castles and heritage sites were being renovated and modernized to attract more tourists to the country.

The Minister said the government was ensuring that tourism and the creative arts contribute significantly to the country’s GDP and job creation, adding that Ghana was ready to share experiences with Malta in these fields.

He said that since tourism was a global economic activity without borders, it is imperative that no country is left behind in efforts to achieve sustainable tourism that protects the environment and the people.

 

Dr. Awal urged businesses and investors from Malta and the Mediterranean in general to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) to deepen trade relations with Africa.

The Minister who was accompanied by Ghana’s Ambassador to Malta, Her Excellency Barbara Akuorkor Benisa also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Malta, Mr. Robert Abela as well as the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Clayton Bartolo and Minister of Justice, Culture and local government, Mr. Owen Bonnici.

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President Akufo Addo Re-Opens Renovated National Museum To Boost Tourism

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On Friday, 10th June, 2022 the renovated National Museum was re-opened by the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

This Museum which happens to be the oldest and largest in Ghana was intially opened in 1957, but closed to the public in 2015 for renovation.

The rehabilitated Museum now has additional exhibits and artefacts, and the inner road asphalted.

Curators of the National Museum have also added seven (7) of the vehicles used by former Heads of State, including three (3) E-450 Mercedes Benz vehicles, two (2) Nissan Patrols, a Limousine and a Toyota Land Cruiser to enhance visitor experience.

The renovation is part of ongoing government agenda to give the tourism industry the needed boost to serve as an effective tool for economic transformation.

The museum is open from 9am to 3pm each weekday.

Visit the National Museum to Experience Ghana and Share Ghana.
.
#ExperienceGhana #ShareGhana

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18th ‘Ghana Party in the Park’ launched by Akwaaba Group

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The eighteenth edition of Ghana Party in the Park was officially launched by the Akwaaba Group on 7th June at the British High Commissioner Residence in Accra. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday 16th July in London.

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The eighteenth edition of Ghana Party in the Park was officially launched by the Akwaaba Group on 7th June at the British High Commissioner Residence in Accra. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday 16th July in London.  The CEO of Akwaaba Group, Dennis Tawiah said they anticipate a successful event especially with the support they’ve received from both the private and public sector this year.  Partners for the upcoming festival include Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), EXIM Bank, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), and KGL Foundation, among others.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey commented on the impact Tawiah has made in the entertainment industry when it comes to selling Ghana to the world for over two decades. His contribution to putting Ghana on the map has been recognized by many over the years and his work has also contributed to encouraging people to travel to Ghana every year.

“We’re here today to launch the forthcoming ‘Party in the Park’ in London. It is the opportunity to sell Ghana. Our food, our fashion, our music, film…our artwork,” Hon. Okraku-Mantey said. The deputy minister also mentioned the significance of the recent presidential launch of the Destination Ghana campaign encouraging continued engagement with Ghana through tourism. “Please be ambassadors and tell the whole world that you come from the centre of the world…Which is Ghana, more precisely, Tema.”

Ghana Party in the Park is celebrated as one of the biggest annual outdoor festivals for the Ghanaian community in the diaspora.  The event is organised by the Akwaaba Group UK and this year has received great support.  It’s expected to attract at least 10,000 attendees to celebrate Ghana through culture, food, fashion and music.

“The Ghana Party in the Park event is an important social fixture for the Ghanaian community in the UK, also mainland Europe and globally,” said the Deputy CEO of GIPC Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, who said he has participated in the event on many occasions. “It showcases the best of Ghanaian culture, arts, and food.”  He noted that it’s become such an important event that has enjoyed many years of successful engagement and the bringing together of the Ghanaian community.

In past years major artists have performed at the event including Sarkodie, Fuse ODG, Mr. Eazi, Stonebwoy and more.  This year’s lineup is yet to be announced. Tickets for the event can be purchased online through the Ghana Party in the Park website www.gpitp.com/tickets.

By: Ivy Prosper

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GTA Calls For Event Proposals for ‘December-In-GH’ 2022

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Call For Event Proposals for ‘December in GH’ 2022

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has announced a call for entries for event organisers and promoters to submit their proposals for inclusion in the calendar of events for the much anticipated ‘December in GH’ campaign for December 2022.

This announcement comes at a time when the Authority  prepares an anticipated increase in international arrivals with the easing of travel restrictions worldwide.

The project being cordinated by the Beyond the Return (BTR) Secretariat invites all event organisers interested in having their event endorsed as an official ‘Beyond the Return’ program, to submit formal proposals. The team is accepting proposals for events taking place from November 1, 2022 to January 10, 2023. The team encourages all interested in holding events to consider activities that can engage the global African diaspora, continental Africans and Ghanaians .

According to the CEO of the Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, “The vision is to have events that can bring together the global African community to celebrate the holiday season in Ghana. For the past 3 years since we launched the December in GH program, Ghana has become the place to be during Christmas” .

“We all know that every December, Accra becomes the cultural hotspot of Africa with so many events happening and thousands from the diaspora spending their holidays here,” said Annabelle McKenzie, Manager of the Beyond the Return Secretariat. “Ghana is a diverse and beautiful country with so many places to explore.  That’s why we encourage all event organisers to consider planning their events, festivals, concerts, and activities in other regions outside Greater Accra. We want the ‘December in GH’ vibe to be experienced not only in the capital city, but across the country.”

An official calendar of events will be released once event organisers have submitted proposals and they have been reviewed by GTA for endorsement.  Proposals can be submitted using this link: https://forms.gle/vRj6ZE6hBZozQ4uu9 or completing the form below.

 

 

‘Beyond the Return’ is a ten-year initiative with a theme of ‘A Decade of African Renaissance.’  with seven pillars as its foundation.  Each of the pillars are significant to the mission of continued engagement with the diaspora community as well as continental Africans.  The seven pillars are Experince Ghana, Celebrate Ghana, Give Back Ghana, Invest in Ghana, Brand Ghana, Diaspora Pathways to Ghana and Promote Pan African Heritage and Innovation. It’s important that potential event organizers consider how their event connects with the pillars when planning.

More information about Beyond the Return can be found on the website www.beyondthereturngh.com.

Information from Ghana Tourism Authority can be found at www.visitghana.com.

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