All About African Beads

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The term African Beads is used to refer to both beads locally produced by indigenous people of the African continent and Trade Beads that have travelled from other parts of the world and now circulate or were recently sourced from Africa.

Together, these beads have played an enormous role in the culture, fashion, economy and artistic expression of the African people. Today, they are cherished by collectors, jewellery makers, and everyday people who just love wearing African beads! African tribal beads and glass beads also hold a special mythical significance as well.

Beads and Bead- making have a long history in Africa. Beads have been made by indigenous Africans for thousands of years. In ancient times, Egyptians, Greeks, and Indians established trading bases in East Africa and eventually the Arabs invaded in the eighth century and established trade routes with the wealthy kingdom of Ghana in modern-day Mauritania. The Arabs brought glass beads to the Niger Delta to trade for gold and slaves.

The modern production of beads is in some sense a family tradition, where tools and techniques are passed from one generation to the next. Bead-making is a labour-intensive process and since many beads are hand-made, there is variability in the appearance of individual beads even within a single strand.

African beads are made from a diverse array of materials. Some of the oldest beads were made from natural materials such as stones, clay, plant materials such as doum palm nuts and bamboo stems, animal materials such as ostrich eggshells, bones such as the Bank Batik Bone bead of Kenya, buffalo horn, and marine shells such as the Conus.

Due to its long history, beads continue to play a role in many traditional rites and ceremonies such as coming-of-age, circumcision, marriage, burial, and local festivals.

The number of different African and African Trade Bead varieties in existence today is enormous. Any attempt at classification is further complicated by the fact that many beads have been reworked and redecorated over time to conform to local tastes and preferences. Some of the most well-known varieties of African beads today are Krobo Beads, Kakamba Beads, Mali Clay Beads and Mali Wedding Beads, Chevrons, Millefiori, Vaseline Beads, White Heart Beads, Kiffa Beads, and Hebron Beads.

Africa’s fascinating bead history predates the African Trade Bead era by over 75,000 years; the first known examples found in the Blombos Cave, on the South African coast (near Cape Town) in 2004. Archaeologist Chris Henshilwood uncovered a wealth of ancient artifacts, including the first known beads for decorative purpose made from the shell of Ostrich eggs.

Similar beads thought to be over 12,000 years old have been found within Kenya, Libya and Sudan adding evidence to the history of the Turkana people who once recognised such beads for their value as currency. Egg-shell beads would be presented to women as part of their dowry prior to marriage. It is also thought such bead-strands were exchanged for cattle and goods in the region. Cowrie shell beads and Bone Beads are thought to be among the first types of beads used for trade purposes within Africa, until the 4th Century B.C when glass beads found their way into Africa from Egypt and Western Europe.

Evidence of the glass bead production which dominated the African economies for nearly 700 years has been found within both Egypt and South Africa, dating back to the 9th Century. These minuscule beads were woven into the opulent collars, head-dresses and robes worn by Royal family members, courtiers and those of nobility. Burial sites such as the Valley of The Kings have allowed us to uncover a significant wealth of jewellery and decorative artifacts which were made from glass. Glass beads also made their way into Africa from Portugal during the 4th Century, the unofficial beginning of Africa’s booming trade era.

It is not until the 12th Century that we see real evidence of glass bead production within the notable manufacturing areas of today, such as Ghana, in the Krobo land, Ethiopia and Nigeria. The methods used within this production are not dissimilar to those practised today for Recycled Glass Bead production; where ground particles are compacted prior to firing. The early method is referred to as wet-core powder glass bead production and was a painstakingly slow process. Such beads allowed tribesmen to ply trade with neighbouring regions, but were predominantly used for rituals, rites of passage ceremonies and holistic healing.

From the 14th Century, explorers began landing upon the shores of South Africa bringing with them colourful glass beads to trade for the safe passage through regions and eventually for the riches of this foreign land which included palm oil, fur and spices.

The market for slaves is also thought to have developed during these early years, and would soon become fundamental in boosting Africa’s regional economies. The production of Africa’s currency began to increase within Venice during the 1500’s. Stripped Chevrons were the most common product of this era, although Millefiori Beads found particular favour with African tribal chiefs during the close of the century. The Millefiori boom would last a further 400 years.

Africa’s Golden Trade Era stretches from 1700 to 1920; a period that saw the highest levels of trade and economy in history. Venetian Trade Beads were often referred to by their pseudonym slave beads due to the high value they realised in exchange for slaves. Doughnut and Pineapple shaped Chevron Beads with colours range from 4-12 in number were among the most common. However, pale Venetian Ghosts, King Chevrons and Elbow Millefiori Beads were also among the most prized

Source: Graphic Online

GTA Issues Operational Guidelines For Hospitality Sector

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GUIDELINES FOR HOSPITALITY SECTOR – [MAY 11-31, 2020]

 

Following the President’s Address to the nation on Sunday 10th May, 2020, The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture issues the following guidelines for the hospitality industry.

 

  1. Hotels can operate subject to the specified elevated hygiene protocols and social distancing.

 

  1. Food chains and restaurants can operate pick-up and delivery services while observing appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols.

 

  1. All Night Clubs, Pubs, and Drinking Bars must be closed.

 

  1. In all situations, hospitality facilities should observe the staff management and workplace protocols and precautionary measures on public gatherings with the view of achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols as spelt out in the Imposition of Restrictions (Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic) Instrument, 2020 (E.I. 64).

COVID-19 OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR. VALID FROM MAY 11- 31 MAY, 2020

 

The Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture issues these guidelines for operators within the tourism and hospitality sector in compliance with the President’s directives on business operations and the need to adopt measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVI-19).

 

A. ALL TOURISM ENTERPRISES

All facilities are to observe and ensure the following:

  1. Observe social distancing
  2. Provision of hand-washing apparatus (soap and running water with tissue). Staff and guests must wash hands regularly as they may have cleaned or touched objects or surfaces such as door handles, hand rails etc. that may have been contaminated by staff or guests.
  3. Provision of alcohol based hand sanitisers (70%) at public areas
  4. Display of “No Mask No Entry” signage
  5. Wearing of nose mask and protective wear by staff
  6. Disinfect all surfaces e.g. Floors, tables, chairs, countertops, telephones, key card, computers etc. with bleach or alcohol-based sanitizers effective against bacteria and viruses.
  7. If a member of the staff reports symptoms associated with COVID 19 (respiratory, cough, fever, fatigue etc.), the worker must immediately stop work and seek medical assistance. The staff should stay isolated in a suitable room while the medical services are being notified.
  8. The symptomatic worker should be provided with disposable tissues and a mask that should be worn when other persons are present or when having to go out to public areas.
  9. Staff who report from home that they are ill should be advised to stay at home and seek medical attention.
  10. Ensure that suppliers of goods and services follow safe systems of work and also have hygiene protocols in place for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

 

B. ACCOMMODATION

  1. Accommodation establishments (Hotels, Guest Houses, Hostels and Serviced Apartments etc.) may operate with the following measures;

 

  • Observe social distancing including reception
  • Provision of soap and running water, hand sanitisers and paper towel at public areas
  • Dispose of used paper towel in a bin immediately
  • Reception desk staff, if possible, should not be older persons or persons with underlying health conditions.
  • The reception desk should have immediately available the telephone numbers of the health authorities, medical centres, public and private hospitals, and assistance centres for use.
  • Regular disinfection of surfaces. Where use of bleach is not suitable, e.g. telephone, remote control equipment, door handlings, buttons in the elevator, baggage etc. then alcohol-based sanitiser (70%) could be used. Gloves are recommended for all housekeepers and porters.
  • All rooms and public areas should be ventilated daily.
  • Housekeeping and cleaning staff should inform the management or the reception desk of any pertinent incidents, including possibly sick guests in their rooms. They must treat all this information with confidentiality.
  • If a guest or staff develops symptoms of acute respiratory infection, efforts should immediately be made to minimize contact of the ill person with all guests and staff of the establishment. Reception or other hotel staff should follow precautionary procedure when a guest develops signs and symptoms indicative of COVID-19.
  • Reduce the number of persons in elevators and service lifts at any particular time to ensure sufficient space between them when confined in lifts. Provide guidance on the suitable number of persons per lift (Maximum two persons per lift)

 

  1. Hostels may operate but may only admit one person per room

 

  1. Home Stays / Home Lodges are to remain closed to the public.

 

 

C. FOOD AND BEVERAGE (RESTAURANTS, CHOP BARS, SNACK BARS)

1. Food and Beverage establishments (Restaurants, Highway Rest Stops, Fast Foods, Coffee/Tea Shops, Snack Bars, may operate pick-up or delivery service with the following measures;

 

  • Limit the number of guests to maintain social distancing of at least 1 metre
  • Regular disinfection of surfaces. Where use of bleach is not suitable, e.g. telephone, remote control equipment, door handlings, buttons in the elevator, etc. then alcohol-based sanitiser (70%) could be used.
  • Provision of soap and running water and hand sanitisers with paper towel at public areas
  • Display of “No Mask No Entry” signage
  • Buffet style of service is not recommended.
  • Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving the restaurant, breakfast, or dining room to disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.
  • All dishes, silverware, glassware, crockery and cutlery should be washed and disinfected in a dishwashing machine, including items that have not been used, as they might have been in contact with the hands of guests or staff. In a manual process (wash, disinfect, rinse), taking the maximum level of precautions as well as drying using disposable paper towels.
  • Wearing of mask and protective wear by staff
  • Kitchen staff must wash hands with soap and running water frequently (maximum every 20mins.) Dispose of used paper towel in a bin immediately

 

2. Night Clubs are to remain closed.

3. Drinking Bars and Pubs to remain closed.

 

 

D. EVENT / ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES

  1. All Movie Houses are to remain closed.
  2. All Event/Entertainment Centres are to remain closed
  3. All Conference Centres are to remain closed.
  4. All Public Swimming Pools are to remain closed.

 

E. TOURIST SITES AND ATTRACTIONS

  1. All Tourist Sites and Attractions are to remain closed. They may apply to the Tourism Authority to be allowed to open after they have put in place precautionary measures. The Tourism Authority will inspect such measures before allowing them to operate.

 

  1. All beaches are to remain closed.

 

F. TRAVEL TRADE BUSINESS

i. Travel Agencies:

All Travel Agencies dealing with ticketing of domestic airlines should strictly observe all the enhanced hygiene measures and protocols including the

  1. Provision of handwashing apparatus (soap and running water with tissue)
  2. Provision of Hand sanitizers
  3. Adequate spacing of minimum of 1 metre for guests
  4. Wearing of masks

 

ii. Car Rentals

Car rentals operators should strictly observe enhanced hygiene measures and protocols including:

    1. Provision of hand sanitizers in each vehicle
    2. Provision of handwashing apparatus (soap and running water with tissue) at offices of operators
    3. Vehicles must be disinfected regularly including handles, seats and dashboards.
    4. Drivers and passengers must wear masks
    5. Operators must observe physical contact protocols by ensuring adequate space for passengers

Prudential Bank Donate PPEs To Players In The Tourism Industry

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Prudential Bank Limited donates Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) to Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) for the benefit of its member Associations i.e. Ghana Traditional Caterers Association, Indigenous Caterers Association, Ghana Drinking Bar Operators Association(GHABOA) and the National Drinking Bar Association ( NADBOA).
The President of GHATOF Mad. Bella Ahu and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman received the items.
Madam Bella Ahu thanked the officials from Prudential Bank for their nice gesture.
Mr. Agyeman on his part reiterated the fact that the tourism industry has been hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic and therefore as a regulator, GTA feels the pain for players in the tourism industry especially those in the informal sector like chop bars and fast food joints. He called on other organisations to also support the tourism industry in these challenging times.
Executive Head of Operations for Prudential Bank, Mr. Thomas Broni said they are a truly indigenous bank and while observing the interventions that GTA was making to support tourism operators, they deem it fit to also do the same, especially for the informal sector.
The items donated by the Bank include nose masks, liquid soaps tissue papers and veronica buckets.
Mr. Agyeman on his part reiterated the fact that the tourism industry has been hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic and therefore as a regulator, GTA feels the pain for players in the tourism industry especially those in the informal sector like chop bars and fast food joints. He called on other organisations to also support the tourism industry in these challenging times.

Government considering intervention for hospitality industry – Akufo-Addo

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The president, Nana Akufo-Addo says government is in the process of designing a unique model of intervention to be applied to the hospitality industry following the outbreak of COVID 19.

According to the President, government’s intervention is more crucial in these times especially in the wake of challenges such as the low patronage of hotels and tourism sites.

Speaking at a meeting with players in the hospitality industry at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure the survival of the hospitality industry in the face of the difficulties presented by the COVID-19.

“I think it is well understood that the hospitality sectors has been one of the hardest hit. Everybody has been very badly hit by this pandemic. We as a government have to have a clearer understanding of where we have and then, of course, to see to what extent our intervention can help redress the situation,” he said.

In April, the Ghana Hotels Association urged the government to support the payment of staff of its members who have been asked to stay home due to low patronage of their facilities.

Give us support

The President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike said hotel managers may be compelled to lay off workers and stop paying salaries due to challenges associated with COVID-19 including the lockdown.

The stimulus package we are talking about is more or less about how to maintain our staff. A lot of the hotels have been able to pay salaries for the month of March but the challenge is going to be one of April. Quite a number of them have shut down and the big question is what happened to the staff. So we are hoping that, if possible the government could support paying some of the staff members and keep them on the payroll so that when things get better. We don’t want to lay off workers after all the investment in training and then when things change we have to go and recruit again which will be far more expensive. We are not asking for full salary support but something that can sustain them,” he said.

Some major hotels in Accra have already shut down their operations due to low patronage.

Prior to this, some laid-off casual workers, and were preparing to cut down on permanent staff to be able to sustain their operations.

Source: Citinewsroom

Tourism Minister announces a raft of measures to support hospitality industry

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The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) will from May begin the disbursement of some GH¢600 million to micro, small and medium enterprises in the hospitality industry.

Minister for Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, revealed on Thursday evening that initial engagements between NBSSI and industry players have been fruitful.

Speaking on the business edition of Joy News’ PM Express, the Minister explained that the relief package will be advanced as a flexible loan to industry players who are members of identifiable trade associations.

“It is for companies which have employees from one to a maximum of 100. That is the target of this fund so it is going to be given out as loans depending on the applications submitted by the companies.  It will have a moratorium period of one year to be repaid over a two-year period,” she said.

Tourism Minister announces a raft of measures to support hospitality industry
Tourism Minister announces a raft of measures to support the hospitality industry

During the discussion on the disruption caused by the pandemic on the industry, three players in the sector shared details of the specific challenges they have had to deal with.

General Manager of the Movenpick Hotel, Adnan Yucel; Manager of Jamrock Restaurant and Bar, Elizabeth Olympio-Emanuel and CEO of Twist Group, Kwame Goka took turns to recount devastation triggered by the pandemic on their bottomline and how they have been dealing with the challenges.

The Tourism Minister said government was well aware of the challenges and assured them there is commitment by her outfit to ease the pressure caused by the pandemic.

Apart from the loan facility, the Minister said that a grant component from a World Bank project dubbed Tourism Development Project will further cushion players within the hospitality sector.

“We have had an engagement with the World Bank. There is a grant component within that which we are also looking at disbursing to support the operators within this sector

“Then the government has also requested that we submit to it an impact study on our sector. Government is going to look at this impact study, along with the recommendations which industry has made to us and regarding how they want the government to support them,” she said.

Barbara Oteng Gyasi said relief packages to big firms within the industry may come in the form a waiver in levies and charges or even taxes.

“So we have compiled this and we are going to submit it to government,” she assured.

Source: MyJoyOnline

100% Of Global Destinations Now Have Covid-19 Travel Restrictions – UNWTO Report

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The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted all destinations worldwide to introduce restrictions on travel, research by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has found. This represents the most severe restriction on international travel in history and no country has so far lifted restrictions introduced in response to the crisis.

 

Following up on previous research, the latest data from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism shows that 100% of destinations now have restrictions in place. Of these, 83% have had COVID-19-related restrictions in place already for four or more weeks and, as of 20 April, so far no destination has lifted them.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism has shown its commitment to putting people first. Our sector can also lead the way in driving recovery. This research on global travel restrictions will help support the timely and responsible implementation of exit strategies, allowing destinations to ease or lift travel restrictions when it is safe to do so. This way, the social and economic benefits that tourism offers can return, providing a path to sustainable recovery for both individuals and whole countries.”

Tracking Restrictions by Time and Severity

The social and economic benefits that tourism offers can return, providing a path to sustainable recovery for both individuals and whole countries.

As well as a general overview, the UNWTO research breaks down the type of travel restrictions that have been introduced by destinations in all of the global regions, while also plotting the evolution of these restrictions since 30 January – when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The latest analysis shows that, of 217 destinations worldwide:

  • 45% have totally or partially closed their borders for tourists – “Passengers are not allowed to enter”
  • 30% have suspended totally or partially international flights – “all flights are suspended”
  • 18% are banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin or passengers who have transited through specific destinations
  • 7% are applying different measures, such as quarantine or self-isolation for 14 days and visa measures.

Against this backdrop, UNWTO has been leading calls for governments worldwide to commit to supporting tourism through this unprecedented challenge. According to Secretary-General Pololikashvili, the sudden and unexpected fall in tourism demand caused by COVID-19 places millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk while at the same time jeopardising the advances made in sustainable development and equality over recent years.

 

Click to view full report

 

Source: UNWTO

Tourism Joint Committee On COVID-19 Presents Report To Minister Of Tourism

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A joint committee of GTA and GHATOF that was set up by the CEO of GTA , Mr. Akwasi Agyeman to look at the impact of COVID-19 on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry and also recommend ways to improve the industry post COVID- 19 have submiited their report to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

This Committee was Chaired by the Deputy CEO in charge of Operations, Mr Ekow Sampson with the following as members:

Madam Bella Ahu, President of GHATOF
Mrs Stella Appenteng, Managing Director, ApstarsTours
Mrs Roberta Dawson-Amoah, GTA
Mrs Betty Kobi,GTA
Mr Ben Anane Nsiah,GTA
Mr Spencer Doku, GTA
Dr. Edward Ackah- Nyamike Jnr., President of Ghana Hotels Association(GHA)
Mr. Kwesi Eyison, President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA)
Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong, Executive Secretary, GHATOF.

Tourism Ministry and Ghana Tourism Authority Donate PPE’s to Industry Players

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The Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Hon. Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi today, 23rd April 2020 on behalf of the government of Ghana has made its 4th donation of essential equipment to fight against COVID-19 to the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and tourism industry players.

 

Today’s donation was made to Travel Trade Associations under GHATOF being Traditional Caterers Association, Indigenous Caterers Association, Ghana National Association of Drinking Bars (GHABOA), and the National Drinking Bar Association (NADBOA).

Items donated include 2000 pieces of Veronica buckets, 2000 plastic handwashing bowls, 24 boxes of hand sanitizers, 80 boxes of nose masks, 10,000 pieces of hand gloves, 32 boxes of liquid soaps, 160 packs of tissue paper.

GTA launches ‘Stay Home, Know Ghana’ Campaign to engage public

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Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has launched a new campaign dubbed #StayHomeKnowGhana to engage and educate Ghanaians during this period of COVID-19.

The campaign themed: ‘Stay Home, Know Ghana’, seeks to educate, engage and entertain Ghanaians on Ghana’s tourism products during their stay home. The campaign is also aimed at providing education on  COVID-19 preventive and precautionary measures to keep people informed.

Speaking at radio launches on six (6) FM station across the country, officers of the organisation namely Head of Public Relations, Jones Nelson, Ben Anane Nsiah (Head of Product Development) and Collins Ackwerh (Principal Marketing Officer/Head of Digital Marketing) all said the main objective of the campaign is to encourage Ghanaians to not only stay home but to kill their boredom by getting to know more about Ghana, engage in fun games and trivia question so they can acquire knowledge and look forward to visiting these sites after the pandemic.

“This campaign is to engage, educate and entertain Ghanaians as they stay home, as directed by His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19. We don’t want Ghanaians to be bored at home, so we introduced this campaign to promote the stay home agenda whiles entertaining and educating Ghanaians,” they said.

The Ghana Tourism Authority is thus appealing to Ghanaians to obey the orders to stay at home and abide by the safety and precautionary measures as directed to help stop the spread of the COVID-19. They outlined some of the measures as ‘wash hands regularly with soap under running water and sanitize as well with an alcohol-based sanitizer’.

Read also: Ghana Tourism Authority to educate Ghanaians with StayHomeKnowGhana initiative

The Ghana Tourism Authority has over the years introduced innovative ways of engaging and promoting tourism in Ghana. The #StayHomeKnowGhana campaign is one of such efforts to showcase and promote the Culture, Warmth, and Rhythm of the country.

To participate, the general public is urged to visit visitghana.com as we follow the GTA social media handle @VisitGhanaNow across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to participate in the various activities.

Activities for the ‘Stay Home, Know Ghana’ campaign include: Social Media Contests (Pictionary contest, Know Ghana & Eat Ghana contest, Stay Home, Wear Ghana contest), Radio contests, social media challenges among others. Participants of the campaign will be rewarded with gifts, souvenirs, cash prizes, etc.

The campaign is expected to run until the end of May.

Chefs Association launch project ‘Cooking to save lives’ to feed frontlines fighting COVID-19

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The Chefs Association has launched a project to feed frontlines fighting against COVID-19. this was made known at a presentation at the Accra Tourist Information Centre. Chefs Association has set up four (4) industrial kitchens to cook for front-line staff fighting COVID-19.

Chefs Association has pledged to provide 1,000 packs of food for the next 2 weeks. Chef Issac, President of the Association said that the project “Cooking to Save lives” seeks to cook 1,000 packs of food for the security agencies and another 1000 for Medical personnel. They are ready, and with the needed resources can feed up to 10,000 people daily. Presented 400 packed meals ahead of providing 1000 packs daily beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

In her remark, Madam Bella Ahu, Mad. Bella Ahu called for support for the Association who she says has the capability to cook for the vulnerable across the country.

The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi appreciated the gesture of Chefs Association and on behalf of the Ministry and it’s agencies, represented by Ghana Tourism Authority presented food items such as rice and oil saying the Ministry was going to support the initiative with cash and items worth GHS 100,000.00. The Deputy Minister of Tourism thanked the Association for their initiative and remarked that they have become the shining star in times of need.

Mr. Freeman Tettey of the Ghana Police service and member of the COVID-19 operation team received the items on behalf of the Frontliners expressing appreciation for the thought and gesture.

The Minister in her closing remarks said she was going to seek further support of the private sector urged the Association to consider the vulnerable in society in these times. #stayhome #COVID_19 #covid #CoronavirusUpdate #SeeGhana #FeelGhana #LockdownGhana #StayAtHome #COVID19 #TheLockdown #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocal