The Ulla F. Muller Elementary School Bamboula Dancers accompanied by drummers danced in the Senate Chamber and brought comments on Facebook about how beautiful the performance was. So did the dance performance by Earth Mamas Pan African Dance Company. The third dance performance was by Empresses Addaliah and Atiyah Potter.
The program was tied together with a sober theme. It commemorated the men, the women and the children who were yanked from their West African homes and sold into slavery so a profit-crazed minority could make larger profits. A PBS video was played, “Why Did Europeans Enslave Africans?”
The video illustrated how slavery was about making a profit for slave owners and how slavery evolved into racism.
Jackson told some of the story of Virgin Islander’s ancestors.
“They fought, they were thrown overboard, they were eaten by sharks, they gave birth, they died,” he said. Most Virgin Islanders have the blood of the survivors “running in our veins,” he said.
The connection between Ghana and the Virgin Islands’ past and present families was emphasized
From Ghana, Alex Quaison-Sackey spoke about the connection. He is related to the first black African to serve as president of the United Nations General Assembly. Virgin Islander Myron Allick, representing the Sackey Family, spoke of that family’s connection to Ghana. He proposed an exchange program between Ghana and the Virgin Islands – 25 Virgin Islanders going to Ghana and 25 students from Ghana coming to the Virgin Islands. He suggested Carlsberg Brewery, which brews Elephant, a popular beer for Virgin Islanders, as a sponsor for the exchange.
Assata Afua, director of Black Power Theater, recounted her visit to Ghana and said when she returned, “I came back to St. Thomas my shoulders back a little further and my head a little higher.”
The first slave ship arrived in Jamestown in 1619. Jackson said that the settlers of Jamestown had stopped in the Virgin Islands on their way to settle Jamestown in 1607. He said. “The Virgin Islands are linked to this story, a world story.”
A Dutch ship named Desire delivered the 20 enslaved Africans to Jamestown. Some historians estimated that more than 7 million slaves were taken from Africa in the following century.
Jahwed David read a poem recalling the words of Maya Angelo “I am the hope and dream of slaves.”
Behind the speakers in the Senate Chambers was a large portrait of Edward Wilmot Blyden, widely known as the father of Pan-Africanism. He was born on Saint Thomas in 1832. He migrated back to Africa where he became a political figure.
Emancipation Day – July 3 – commemorates the day in 1848 when 9,000 enslaved Africans on St. Croix demanded their freedom, forcing Gov. Peter von Scholten to declare, “All unfree in the Danish West Indies are from today emancipated.”
You’ve booked your trip to Accra. Now the countdown begins. As you prepare to travel to Ghana there are a few things you will need to know for your arrival. If this is your first time coming to Ghana or even landing on the continent of Africa, you’re in for quite an experience.
The city of Accra if a vibrant, eclectic mix of people from diverse backgrounds. As the capital city of Ghana, it’s much like many other major metropolitan centres in that people from small towns and communities across the country move there in hopes of greener pastures. The result is the hustle and bustle of a big city that’s crowded and often choked with traffic at peak times of the day.
Because of the diversity in its people, there are various cultural practices people maintain from their communities even though they are in Accra. The city is historically the dwelling place for people of the Ga tribe. Their language, Ga, is spoken by many in Accra, especially in Accra Central and Jamestown. However because of the migration of many people from the Akan tribes (this includes Ashanti, Akuapem, Akwamu, Akyem, Fante) into Greater Accra, the Twi language, has become a dominant one spoken by many people in Greater Accra. In fact, that language has become so commonplace that it’s spoken by some even in regions where it’s not the native language.
Despite the many groups in Greater Accra, because English is the official language of Ghana, nearly everyone speaks it, so as a tourist you will be able to manage. Although you will frequently come across those who speak a local slang often called ‘Pidgeon English’. This is spoken widely in Ghana and you’ll also find it in Nigeria.
Anytime you travel to a new country, there are a few things you need to know. Ghana isn’t much different. So here are some important things to note for your stay in Ghana.
Akwaaba – This means ‘Welcome’ in the Akan language. It’s commonly used across Ghana as a welcome greeting. As a visitor, you will often hear people say this to you when you visit places for the first time.
Thank You – Thank You in the Akan language is ‘Medaase’. This is one of Ghana’s most common words used to show appreciation.
The Use of Left Hand– In Ghanaian Culture, giving and receiving items is done only with the right hand. For example is you are making a purchase, you are expected to hand the money using your right hand to the individual. When using your left, you will hear an apology. “Sorry for left,” is commonly said when someone hands you something with a left hand.
The reason is that culturally it’s believed the left hand is unclean since it’s supposed to be used to clean up after visiting ‘nature’s call’. So using the left is considered disrespectful by many.
Please – The word “please” is used quite often in Ghana. It may come across as over-gratification when you hear it so often, but in Ghana it’s considered respectful to use ‘please’ in many scenarios. It’s often, “Yes, please” or “No, please” when answering questions.
Occasionally it’s used in conversation when addressing someone to show a sign of respect.
These are just a few things you’ll need in preparation for your trip to Accra, Ghana. Pay attention to cultural cues and if you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask. Ghanaians are quite friendly and open to conversation with travellers. Enjoy your stay!
Ahead of the Year of Return edition of PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebrations, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi on Monday, paid a courtesy call on traditional leaders in the Central Region, where most of the activities will be taking place.
She briefed the authorities on the activities marking the yearlong, Year of Return, stating that it is to enable people of African descent to come home and help contribute towards the advancement of Ghana and the African continent at large.
The Minister who was in the company of officials of the ministry, CEOs of Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ghana Tourism Development, called for support from the Chiefs and people of the region to support her Ministry to make the year of Return programme a memorable one.
The Minister said, Ghanaian trademark of hospitality, should be portrayed to the visiting tourists, both locals and internationals in order to turn around the economic fortunes of the country. She intimated that security scanners will be introduced at the slave Castles and would also increase the presence of security apparatus around Ghana’s attraction sites countrywide.
The CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, also said, the issue of sanitation has been given considerable attention, to help sanitise the Cape Coast environs in preparation towards the many activities that will be held there. He said his outfit has intensified publicity of activities marking the celebrations in order to attract more participants.
Omanhene of Edina Traditional area, Nana Kodwo Condua VI, charged the Ministry of Tourism to take sanitation and security-related issues seriously especially at this time when many foreigners and tourists will throng the area for the commemorations and appealed to the Minister to support the traditional council to clean up Cape Coast and its environs ahead of the celebrations.
He mentioned that the success of the events would also depend on the quality of service visitors and tourists received and therefore implored industry players in the tourism sector to step up their service delivery standards.
This year’s PANAFEST and Emancipation Day will be held from July 24 to August 2 at various locations in Accra, Cape Coast, Elmina, Assin Praso and Assin Manso.
It was a historic grand durbar on Saturday, July 6, climaxing the 2019 ‘Year of Return’ edition of the Edina Bakatue Festival at Elmina. The forecourt of the historic Eliminate Castle played host to this colourful kente-rich durbar graced by the Vice President H.E. Dr. Bawumia.
Omanhene of Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, and the people of Elmina celebrate Bakatue to symbolise the beginning of the fishing season.
Speaking at the Durbar, the Vice President assured Edinaman that Government will continue to initiate policies and roll out programmes that will make fishing less tedious and more profitable.
He added that the government was working hard to complete the first phase of the ongoing Elmina Heritage Bay project with a reverential garden under that will provide enhanced durbar grounds and promote tourism.
Dr. Bawumia intimated that as part of the broader government agenda to provide fish landing sites along coastal communities, funding for ten such fish landing sites has been secured and works shall begin soon.
He listed the ten (10) sites as including: Teshie in the Greater Accra Region, Axim and Dixcove in the Western Region, Elmina, Winneba, Mumford, Senya-Bereku, Fetteh-Gomoah and Moree in the Central Region and Keta in the Volta Region.
He concluded that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will continue to work hard to bring developments to the doorsteps of the people of Elmina.
The Omanhene Nana Kodwo Conduah VI on his part encouraged his people to keep clean environments and use made in Ghana goods to help create jobs.
Present at the Durbar was the MP Hon. Samuel Atta Mills, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority.
It’s no surprise that people are excited about the 2ndAnnual Ghana-Centre of the World Golf Tournament on 13th July at the Tema Country Golf Course. This year’s tournament is dubbed the ‘Year of Return Edition” because 2019 marks the 400 years since the arrival of the first documented ship of enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. Ghana declared this year as one where we welcome the global African family to return home to the motherland, Ghana. Throughout 2019, ‘Year of Return’ events are honouring the resilience of people of African descent.
The Ghana Centre of the World Tournament is organized by the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC) in partnership with Tema Country Golf Club. Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture with an endorsement by ‘Year of Return’, under Ghana Tourism Authority, this year promises to be even bigger than the last. The increased number of people travelling to Ghana because of ‘year of return’, means potential engagement with avid golfers from the diaspora.
On the high table for the official press launch was Akofa Dokosi, Deputy CEO, Ghana Tourism Development Company, Teye Lartey Gberbie, Competition Secretary, Linda Osei Bonsu, Japan Motors, Nana Dr. Ani Agyei III, Twafohene of Tutu-Akwapim, Eastern Region, Lieutenant Commander Stephen Manu, Commanding Officer of Ghana Navy Ship EHWOR and Annabelle McKenzie, Manager Year of Return.
Nana Dr. Ani Agyei III, Captain of Tema Country Golf Club, recently enstooled as Twafohene of Tutu-Akwapim, Eastern Region, gave opening remarks, “We seem to take the ‘centre of the world’ lightly, but it is an important line or mark geographically, in the whole world and we are lucky, especially members of Tema Country Golf Club, to have the Meridian passing through our course and even making it almost the centre of the world.” He went on to say that this mark can go a long way towards motivating investors to develop the area positioning it to attract tourists.
Akofa Dokosi, Deputy CEO of Ghana Tourism Development Company, said “We seek to position Ghana as a desired and most preferred destination for people, with the caption ‘Ghana Centre of the world’ we are able to confidently use that caption because of the attributes that have identified Ghana as the nearest habitable land to the interjectional point of the latitude and longitude in the Atlantic ocean. The primary focus of the tournament is to market the project that will transform the Tema Country Golf Club into a World Class Leisure Resort. Dokosi said that they have plans to develop the course to international PGA standards. The four (4) projects to brand Ghana as the Centre of the World include:
The construction of a Passenger & Cruise Ship Terminal at the Port to attract Cruises.
The erection of a World Time Iconic Structure at the precincts of the Tema Harbour.
The redevelopment of the Greenwich Meridian Religious Tourism Facilities
The transformation of the Tema Country Golf Club into a World Class Leisure Resort with the capacity to host PGA certified tournaments.
The tournament is expected to attract prominent people in the community including Ministers of State, diplomatic corps, Heads of State-Owned Enterprises and those from the African diaspora. As the Manager for Year of Return, Annabelle McKenzie, was there to support the launch. “We are excited to be here we want to thank the Tema Golf Club for having us.”
Dokosi and McKenzie unveiled the official attire for the golf tournament and declared the Ghana Centre of the World Golf Tournament, formally launched. Everyone walked through the golf course with Lieutenant Commander Stephen Manu, Commanding Officer of Ghana’s Navy Ship EHWOR. He spoke about the actual location of the centre of the earth. We were informed that the 0° Latitude line also passes through Tema Harbour and The Presbyterian Church at Tema Community 1.
The tournament takes place on 13th July 2019 at Tema Country Golf Club. Registration is 100 GHS per person but free for golfers of sponsor entities. Anyone interested in participating should send an email to [email protected] Registrations need to be completed by 8th July at 3 pm to be considered.
Ghana continues to be a leader in Africa when it comes to its relationship with the diaspora community. It’s the first country to have a Diaspora Affairs Office in the Presidency designed to focus on the needs of its people living outside the country. The biennial Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit, which runs from 3rd – 6th July 2019, had a successful opening day at the Accra International Conference Centre. Many dignitaries and government officials were there to be part the opening day including, Mustapha Hamid, Minister of Information, Barabara Oteng Gyasi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Jessica Ayivor, Vice President of the African American Association of Ghana and H.E. Dr. Erieka Bennet, Head of Mission, Diaspora African Forum. A special Keynote address from President Nana Akufo-Addo was a highlight that served to put a stamp on the importance of this conference.
Akufo-Addo said some key things in his address that gave everyone the confidence that he takes this event and the work of the Diaspora Affairs office seriously. “When I’ve visited countries outside our shores, I’ve engaged with members of the Ghanaian community not only to tell them about the progress we made in our country but also to listen to their concerns.” He continued his address saying, “When I was informed the remittances from Ghanaians in the diaspora has increased by nearly 50% from $2.2 Billion USD in 2017, to $3 Billion USD in 2018, it reinforced my decision to continue to engage in this important constituency that continues to support the growth and the progress of our economy.”
Mr. Akwasi Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, has done a great job of engaging with the diaspora. Known for taking the time out of his busy schedule to meet with people from the diaspora, Mr. Ababio is perhaps one of the most accessible people in government. During his address on the first day of events, he said, that the summit was working towards enhancing the quality of life for Ghanaians both at home and in the diaspora. “We also recognize the strategic role those in the diaspora play in Ghana’s development,” he said. “The [upcoming] sessions will highlight the past and present actions of the diaspora and the future opportunities working together to build Ghana.”
Event registrants came from all corners of the globe including, Kenya, Turkey, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Australia, Belgium, the U.K., United States, and Canada. Each expecting to network and build connections with others who have a strong interest in Ghana. Adjoa Agyeman, a diasporan from Canada said she decided to come to the event because she has returned to Ghana and faced some obstacles. “I wanted to come and see if anyone else is having the same challenges that I am having and also to see if there are any remedies that are being brought up. So far I haven’t gotten a lot of answers, I’m still waiting. There are some issues that came up, like getting the Ghana card, and I thought it wasn’t resolved. So I am looking forward to the next few days and hoping all of my questions will be answered.”
A man from the U.K, who wished to remain nameless, said he was excited about all the things happening in Ghana so he decided to attend the event in hopes of networking and meeting new people. While Karl-Buah Obed, who travelled from Hong Kong spoke about how impressed he is with the Diaspora Affairs Office. He said that he was happy at how quick Mr. Ababio and his team are to respond to the needs of people like himself from the diaspora. Obed said it’s important to have someone in an office like that who cares about the needs and concerns of people who are transitioning to Ghana.
Over the next few days, the conference will feature other keynote speakers and panel discussions tackling some of the concerns of the diaspora. “The critical role of those living in the diaspora cannot be overstated,” the president said in wrapping up his Keynote address. He stressed that he will continue to have all diaspora matters centralized in the Diaspora Affairs Office where it currently resides.
The conference runs until 6th July so it’s not too late to attend if you’re already in Ghana and looking to participate in the activities. Visit the website at www.myghanadiaspora.com for more details on registration and to download the event program. For more info on the Diaspora Affairs office visit the website, www.ghanaiandiaspora.com orwww.yearofreturn.com.
The Ghana Tourism Authority’s Ladies Club has begun activities to create awareness for the ongoing Year of Return, Ghana 2019 celebrations by cleaning up Jamestown in readiness for the Jamestown to Jamestown event.
The exercise, led by the Vice President of the GTA Ladies Club, Mrs. Roberta Okine Fumador had the Accra Metropolitan Assembly workers participating. The clean-up exercise was done along the major streets of Jamestown and the market centres.
The Jamestown to Jamestown event is one of the activities of the ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019′ calendar. The event will afford members of the African-American community to honour both their African ancestors and the struggle for Black liberation in America with a groundbreaking trek from Jamestown, Virginia to Jamestown, Accra in August.
The sensitization exercise is, therefore, a huge opportunity to promote Ghana, Africa and Africa-American cultural understandings, and also to ensure that we operate in a clean environment.
Mrs. Okine Fumador, who spoke to the media, pleaded with the residents to change their attitudes towards sanitation and actively participate in keeping their environment clean.
She also appealed to the media to embark on an educational campaign on good sanitation practices to curb the menace of indiscriminate disposal of waste.
The Ghana Tourism Authority ladies club has the aim of improving the image of the organization and the welfare of the ladies within GTA. As part of their objective to assist management to achieve the organisation’s goals, the Club organised the clean-up and sensitization exercise to support the ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’, a spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.
The Club hopes to take on other sensitisation programs in the months ahead.
As part of souvenirs for the Year of Return, Ghana 2019 celebrations which commemorate 400year’s since the first enslaved African arrived in Jamestown Virginia, USA, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture presented a peice of the ‘Year of Return’ cloth to the President, H.E. Nana Akufo Addo as she launched the cloth for the celebration at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The Year of Return forms part of the President’s aim of creating the enabling environments for all Africans in the diaspora to return home #Brafie not only to experience culture, warmth and rhythm but also for business.
The launch of the cloth was part of activities at the opening ceremony at the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming celebrations which is being held at the Conference Centre, under the theme: “Recognising Diaspora contributions towards nation building ” from July 3-6, 2019.
The ‘Year of Return’ cloth which comes in two colours, Black and White were showcased to participants of the summit by Miss Tourism beauty Queens and other models who donned the cloth in different styles including Kaba and slit, shirts, skirts and the traditional “Colar”.
Performing the launch, the Minister of Tourism urged all our African brothers and sister to take a piece with them. Present at the summit was, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, Minister for Information, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyeman and Director of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President who is the Chairman of the Year Of Return Steering Committee and several Ghanaians from the diaspora partaking in the Homecoming Summit. At the forecourt of the Conference Centre was an ongoing exhibition where people showcased various wares.
Women have been challenged to work together for the common good of dealing with the difficulties they face in their fields of endeavour. Especially for women in tourism, working in tandem with one another is very crucial in maximizing the opportunities that exist within the vast sector.
These have been some of the outcomes today at the 2nd Women in Tourism Summit Ghana which was held under the theme, “Empowering Women in Ghana’s Tourism Industry” at the Accra Tourist Information Centre.
In his welcome address CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman said the increased contributions of the women in the tourism sector in recent years have positively impacted the tourism industry.
Despite their impact, he observed, “women continue to be underrepresented in management and leadership. The goal of this event amongst others is to discuss how we can provide the enabling environment to empower and encourage more women to reach the upper echelons of tourism practice.”
To this end, Agyeman stressed the need for women to come together and avoid tendencies that beset their collective empowerment. He mentioned that tourism as a sector is big enough to accommodate everybody. “There is space for everyone,” he insisted.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi in her keynote address said there is real potential for women to precipitate the global sustainable tourism agenda if they worked closely together.
“Women can adequately drive goals in tourism to accomplishments, at different levels of endeavour to ensure sustainable tourism. Tourism provides great opportunities for women participation in the workforce, women’s entrepreneurship and women’s leadership than any other sector of the economy,” she said.
Quoting figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Hon. Oteng-Gyasi said the tourism sector continues to create avenues for women empowerment through job creation and entrepreneurship.
“According to the UNWTO in certain countries, tourism has almost twice as many women employers. While in other countries, more that 70% are business owners are women compared to just about 20% in other sectors in the economy, so we are leading in tourism” She mentioned.
The 2019 edition of the Women in Tourism Summit Ghana brought women and men from across the length and breadth of Ghana, Africa and beyond to deliberate on the critical issues of women empowerment, gender equality and explored the opportunities that exist within the tourism sector for business linkages.
Highlights included presentations by leading tourism experts on different themes. They comprised, a presentation on “Brand Building for Your Tourism” by Kwakye Donkor, CEO, Africa Tourism Partners, “Building a Digital Business Strategy” by Elizabeth Tay, Team Lead, Genie Intel Ltd., “Raising Funding for Tourism Enterprises” by Habiba Sumani, Director, National Board for Small Scale Industries, and many others.
Director of International Operations at Dubai Tourism, Stella Fubara Obinwa shared insights on “Surviving in the World of Tourism,” with an Executives’ Dialogue presenting views from industry captains; Stella Appenteng, Managing Director, Apstar Tours, Adoma Peprah, Country Manager, Visa Ghana and Thenjiwe Morule, Head, Sales and Marketing BCD – Travel, South Africa.
The Women in Tourism Summit Ghana is organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority in partnership with Africa Tourism Partners, South Africa.
The ‘Women in Tourism Summit‘ is an annual gathering that brings together leading Tourism practitioners from around the globe to Accra to discuss the role of Women in Tourism Development.
From discussions around leadership, funding options, entrepreneurial challenges, career choices in tourism, digital trends in tourism and many more, the event is usually a packed day of learning and networking. Speakers for last year were Hon. Catherine Afeku -( Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture), Elcia Grandcourt- ( Regional Director,UNWTO Africa), Stella Fubara- Obinwa, (Director, International Operations, Dubai Tourism, Africa Market), Bella Ahu (President, Ghana Tourism Federation), Thembi Kunene-Msimang (COO, Retosa), Kwakye Donkor ( Africa Tourism Partners) Akwasi Agyeman (Ghana Tourism Authority), Assia Riccio (Founder-Evolvin’ Women, Dubai), Ambassador Nancy Sam (CEO, Staples Travel) and many more.
The Ghana Tourism Authority in partnership with the Women in Tourism Secretariat and the African Tourism Partners is organizing the 2nd annual Women in Tourism Summit and Masterclass at the Accra Tourist Information Centre (ATIC) on Thursday, 27th June 2019 under the theme: “EMPOWERING WOMEN IN GHANA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY”.
Globally, tourism is being leveraged in Ghana to mitigate gender inequality, and the Ghana Tourism Authority aims to drive women empowerment in Ghana especially in tourism development through the Women in Tourism Summit.
The summit is an opportunity for women operating across the entire tourism value chain to meet their counterparts, share knowledge and learn from each other. It also seeks to transform the tourism economy to become a fundamental pillar in advancing the role of women tourism entrepreneurs, professionals and leaders.
Speakers for the main event include the Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture; Mr. Akwasi Agyeman; CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority; Stella Fubara-Obinwa, Africa Regional Manager- Dubai Tourism; Assia Riccio-Smith, Founder-Evolvin’ Women Dubai; Mr. Kwakye Donkor, CEO Africa Tourism Partners, DR. Eric Ntiamoah Mensah, President CPF Medical Unit; Stella Apenteng, Managing Director, APSTAR Tours; Adoma Peprah, Country Manager, Visa Ghana; Thenjiwe Morule, Head Sales and Marketing IBCD- Travel, South Africa; Elizabeth Tay, Team Lead , Genie Intel LTD.
The Women in Tourism Summit will bring together women game-changers, mission-driven companies and individuals, professionals, and leaders in tourism to network and learn more about issues relating to funding, branding, networking, running of businesses and leadership across the entire tourism value chain.