First International Coconut Festival to take place from September 24-26 at AICC

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The maiden International Coconut Festival will be on 24th to 26th September 2019. It’s organized by the African Coconut Group together with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.  The theme for the event is ‘Promoting Export Diversification through a Robust Ghanaian Coconut Industry” and is set to take place at the Accra International Conference Centre. The festival aims at exploring the untapped potential of the coconut plant.

Coconuts are an untapped resource in Ghana and the festival puts attention on this crop as a new driver of Ghana’s agricultural economy. The industry has the potential to reduce unemployment numbers significantly.  Coconuts are more than food, it’s also used in decorating, planting and biofuels.


All Set For UNWTO World Tourism Day & “Fun And Fly” Paragliding Festival

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is set to hold this year’s United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Tourism Day from 25th – 27th September 2019 in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.

This year’s UNWTO World Tourism Day is under the Theme, “Tourism and Jobs, A Better Future For All”. The celebration is a special one as we commemorate the slave trade movement and celebrate African resilience in “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.

As part of the UNWTO World Tourism Day, the next edition of the corporate Paragliding Festival dubbed “Fun and Fly” will also be held from 27th to 29th September 2019 on Mount Odweanoma at Atibie – Kwahu in the Eastern Region.

Fun And Fly Paragliding 2019

Ghana joins the UNWTO member countries each year to celebrate World Tourism Day on 27th September. UNWTO began the celebration of World Tourism Day in the year 1980. India has been chosen to host this year’s UNWTO World Tourism Day. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals. Ghana hosted the global community for the international celebration for the first time in 2009.

The Corporate Paragliding Festival which started in 2015 is the fourth in the series dubbed ”FUN and FLY”. It is organized for corporate entities and other organizations to make time off their busy schedules at their respective workplaces, network with each other and create bonds of relationships. It is an opportunity for passengers who could not fly during the Kwahu Easter paragliding to do so at this year’s Corporate Fun and Fly paragliding.

5 professional tandem Pilots from the United States of America and Switzerland and a Ghanian Solo Pilot have been invited for the festival.

The rate for a flight is Three Hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedis (GH 350). Provisions have been made for group tickets in respect of corporate organisations.

GTA launches Tourism Month

The month of September has also been designated by the GTA as the Tourism Month with several events including festivals to help the general public feel a part of the ongoing domestic tourism campaign of “SeeGhana, EatGhana, WearGhana and FeelGhana” aimed at boosting domestic tourism.

Activities outlined for the World Tourism Day includes;

  • Exhibition of Local Products: Wednesday, 25th – Friday, 27th September 2019,  Centre for National Culture (CNC) – Ashanti Region, Kumasi at 10 am each day.
  • Float: Thursday, 26th September 2019 ( from CNC – Central Business District and Back to CNC) at 9 am.
  • Symposium: Thursday, 26th September 2019, Centre for National Culture (CNC) – Ashanti Region, Kumasi at 5:30 pm
  • World Tourism Day Grand Durbar: 27th September 2019 Centre for National Culture (CNC) – Ashanti Region, Kumasi at 10 am.
  • Corporate “Fun and Fly” Paragliding Festival: 27th – 29th September 2019 – Kwahu, Atibie, Eastern Region.

         Side attractions include – (King of the Mountain Cycling Competition – 28th September 2019 – Kwahu, Atibie

         Display of assorted local foods and drinks

Join the Tourism Month to #SeeGhana #EatGhana #WearGhana #FeelGhana

World Tourism Day 2019: “Tourism and Jobs: A better Future for All”

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As the day earmarked to celebrate tourism in the world draw closer, we share with you the official message of the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ambassador Zurab Pololikashvili. This year’s celebrations will be held in New Delhi-India.

World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 September, with celebrations led by UNWTO. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, in line with UNWTO’s overarching focus on skills, education and jobs throughout the year, World Tourism Day will be a celebration on the topic ‘Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all’.

Below is the full text of the Secretary General’s Message on the occasion of the World Tourism Day

Secretary-General of UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili

Tourism can help us build a better future for everyone. Around the world, the tourism sector is the leading source of employment, supporting many millions of jobs and driving economies forward, both at the local and the national level.

At the same time, it is a catalyst for equality and inclusivity. In many places, tourism employment gives women, young people and those living in rural communities the chance to support themselves and their families and to integrate more fully into wider society.

The true potential of tourism, both as a creator of jobs and as a driver of equality and sustainable development, is only just being realized. Providing decent work opportunities and contributing to developing professional skills are at the heart of this. Well managed, the continued growth of our sector will encompass countless opportunities and allow tourism to live up to its global social responsibility to leave no one behind.

Not one single economic, social or human activity prospers in isolation. For this reason, governments and stakeholders from the public and private sectors are increasingly working together to manage tourism in a responsible and sustainable manner and to ensure its enormous potential is properly realized.

Just as new technology is changing the way we travel, so too is it changing the way we work. Tourism is leading the way in providing workers with the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of tomorrow. Embracing this creative spirit, including through effective collaboration with partners in the technology sector and in academia, will drive the creation of more and better jobs.

As we celebrate World Tourism Day, let us recognize the transformative power of tourism. Together, we can realize tourism’s potential to build a better, more equal future.

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture, Government of India

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture, Government of India

India is pleased to host the official celebrations of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Day in New Delhi. The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better Future for All’ is highly appropriate as tourism is extremely labour intensive and significant source of employment for many global economies. Tourism is one such activity which extends to various other sectors and thus is responsible for creating direct and indirect employment requiring varying degrees of skills and allows for quick entry into the workforce for youth, women and poor. The tourism sector, therefore, is not only an engine for economic growth but also an effective tool for poverty alleviation among the marginalised segments of the society.

We believe that the development of tourism is directly linked with community development. We want the local population to benefit from the development of tourism in their region and for this, we should focus on the development of soft skills among the locals.

In the process of job creation, let us ensure that our strategies for the development of tourism are not in conflict with the environment and have a minimal negative impact. When we talk about sustainability we should not only talk about conservation of resources but also our culture and heritage, which we have adopted in India through our Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, I would like to express my gratitude to UNWTO for choosing India as the host for this year’s World Tourism Day I am hopeful that together with the experts from tourism field, we will be able to highlight the challenges and opportunities of employment in Tourism sector and find solutions to the issues of employment in Tourism.

I look forward to receiving you in New Delhi!

Source: Voyages Afriq

Highlights from 62nd UNWTO CAF Meeting

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The 62nd UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa (CAF) held within the context of the 23rd session of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, from 9 to 13 September 2019,attracted a high number of key tourism stakeholders from both the public and private sector from the region and globally. A total of around 35 member states including 22 Ministers of Tourism, Ambassadors, Charge d’Affairs and other high ranking contributors in the tourism sector joined for this very important gathering.

Africa has continued to show her resilience in tourism development over the last decade. Against this backdrop, 2018 closed with a robust up growth of 7% which translates to 67 million international tourist arrivals thanks to lesser travel advisories, improved security and more air connectivity. While reiterating this factor, the UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili noted that Africa still faces important challenges in data coverage and collection, and thus he encourages countries to put more focus in this area.

“Our core priority is to create more jobs, educate the youth and make tourism more futuristic and smarter” he added. “Tourism growth should be anchored on innovation, entrepreneurship and education. The urgency of finding innovative approaches to diversifying tourism systems in the region as a channel of job creation and poverty alleviation is a reality”. The ten-point Agenda for Africa– Tourism for inclusive growth is the catalyst blueprint to achieve this reality through development and stimulation of joint activities and new partnerships. The Secretary-General in his remarks highlighted that digitalization, new business models, more affordable travel and societal changes are expected to continue shaping the sector, and thus both destination and companies need to adapt if they want to remain competitive.

The agenda of the 62nd CAF meeting also included nominations and elections to statutory organs of the organisation and their subsidiary bodies as well as events. These elections and nominations are critical roles that member states are entrusted with to represent the region when their respective meetings are called.

A positive drive has been seen whereby member states are keenly seeking these roles and also ensuring that representation to the statutory organs and the subsidiary bodies reflect a fair distribution and representation of all regions within Africa. Two major decisions included members agreeing to the candidature of Cote D´Ivoire to be the next host of the World Tourism Day activities in 2021 and Seychelles to host the 63rd CAF meeting in 2020. Another important decision taken at the 23rd General Assembly was for the hosting of the 24th General Assembly which will take place in Africa in the beautiful city of Marrakech, Morocco in 2021.

Source: Voyages Afriq

Year of Return: The Du Bois-Padmore-Nkrumah lecture series held in Accra

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By Hafsa Obeng, GNA

Accra, Sept. 20, GNA – The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Du Bois Centre in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority has held the Du Bois-Padmore-Nkrumah lecture series in commemoration of the “Year of Return”.

The annual event, which was also in collaboration with the George Padmore Library and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, was to mark the achievement of political heroes who helped in the struggle against colonisation.

The lecture on the theme “Pan Africanism, reflections on resistance; dignity in the face of atrocity”, is also to commemorate the death as well as celebrate the achievements of political activists across the African continent.

Dr Ziblim Bari Iddi, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the Ministry considered this year’s lecture as special because it coincided with the “Year of Return”, which was a flagship programme of the Ministry.

He said over the years the lecture had created an international platform for intellectual discourse on insightful selected topics to advance the promotion of Pan-African independence.

Dr Bari Iddi said the broad base Pan African ideology and movement could be considered as one of the universally organised sustained forms of black resistance that was established to counteract the European control, dominance and exploitation of black people.

He said the movement begun originally as a reaction of the Negro world against centuries of domination and humiliation by the white race. It was also an intellectual and political movement to liberate Africa from colonialism, establish a cultural union between Africa and their counterparts in the diaspora.

The Deputy Minister said Pan Africanism as described by researchers was a concept that stressed spiritual unity of black people upholding their right to self-determination and the need to be treated with dignity as the equals of the other races in all parts of the world.

He noted that human dignity was considered as sacrosanct because it was the main philosophical foundation of human rights as expressed in the charter of the United Nations, the united declaration of human rights and many other documents.

“The concept of human dignity is meant to distinguish human beings from other related species, animals and underlines the uniqueness of human beings among all creatures. We have free will, individual autonomy and capability of independent decision making, based on reasoning and free moral choice.”

He mentioned that “it is rather unfortunate that after we have fought for our freedom from colonial rule, Africans are still engaging in practices that violate human dignity, which includes torture, rape, social exclusion, labour exploitation, bonded labour, kidnapping among others.”

Dr Bari Iddi however assured of government’s commitment in ensuring that those who engage in such practices were severely punished, expressing the hope that participants after the lecture would be well informed and enlightened to contribute their individual and collective effort to bring positive change in their societies.

Mr Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, said on the tripod of Dubois, Padmore and Nkrumah sat the fundamental belief in the whole concept of Pan Africanism as well as the responsibility owed the nation towards the African community as a whole in making sure that Pan Africanism lived to give us the dignity that we search for.

“It is a recognisable fact that we have recognised the need to give ourselves that dignity that we really deserve, but we have to do all the things that we have to do, and invite all lost ancestors, lost through slavery and civilization.”

Reverend Reuben Kwasi Kwadzofio, Director, W. E. B Du Bois Centre, said Pan Africanism emerged at the end of the 19th century as an idea and later served as a tool of resistance to slavery, imperialism, colonialism, and racism.

He said it was important to note that pan Africanism was not just a mere idea of onset of philosophy or ideology, but a formidable force and indomitable spirit that united and gave people of African descent, identity, fortitude and vision.


Spanish Gov’t to renovate Forts and Castles in Ghana’s Western Region

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The Spanish Government has promised to renovate all forts and castles in the Western Region of Ghana as part of its agenda to boost tourism and enrich the cultural values of the Western Region and Ghana at large.

Through the leadership of the Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah in a request put forward to the Spanish Government at a two-day Spain-Ghana Tourism and Trade Forum 2019 currently underway in Las Palmas, Spain has promised to rehabilitate all forts and castles in the region to promote tourism in Ghana.

According to Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the rich history towards the independence of Ghana and the current economic strives made in the country can never be told without the mention of the Western Region, therefore, it’s important that “we persevere our heritage well and pass it on to generations unborn.”

He added that “As the regional minister, I will ensure that such historic monuments that have a great link to our ancestral lineage are properly kept in other to tell our stories better and also make the western region Ghana’s tourism haven.”

The Western Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr George Nkrumah Ansere who was part of the delegation that travelled with the minister for the Forum told reporters that out of the eight forts in the Western Region, only two have recently been renovated to meet standard requirements. He said the rest when renovated will attract both indigenous and foreign tourists people to these forts and castles to acquire some form of knowledge.

Meanwhile, the two countries we learn will also be considering the air connectivity through Spanish airline, Binter.

The maiden Spain-Ghana Tourism and Trade Forum was attended by the President of Las Palmas, Ghana Ambassador to Spain, H.E Elizabeth Adjei, Spanish Ambassador to Ghana H.E Alicia Rico, General Secretary of Spanish Chamber of Commerce Luis Padron among other delegates and business executives from Ghana.

According to the convener of the two-day event, Steven Blessing Ackah, the forum opens to promote trade and tourism with a back to back sessions high on the agenda to promote trade partnerships between the two countries.

Source: 233Times

Congressional leaders and Black Caucus mark 400th anniversary of slavery in Kente

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Members of Congress observed the 400th anniversary Tuesday of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in America at a time of renewed interest over the history of slavery and its continued impact on contemporary society.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer arrive for a Congressional Black Caucus ceremony commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies.


Questions about income inequality, reparations for slavery and other issues from the nation’s history of enslaving people are spilling into politics and culture with a reckoning not seen since the Civil Rights era.

The Republican leader of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, said slavery in America led to “many shameful moments” in the country, including in Congress.

Congressional Black Caucus Visit Ghana

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not attend the ceremony but said as he opened the Senate that slavery was in many ways the country’s “original sin.”

McConnell’s own family history came under question earlier this year after it was revealed his ancestors reportedly owned slaves generations ago. On Tuesday, he said, while progress has been made, “change has come too slow.”

Speaker Pelosi and CBC delegation tour historic sites in Ghana

Pelosi called for passage of the Voting Rights Act, legislation that is part of a package of House Democratic priorities for Congress, ahead of the 2020 election.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Ca., the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called on colleagues to examine and embrace all parts of the nation’s history.

Congressional Black Caucus delegation lay wreath at Nkrumah park to mark 400th anniversary

“We are so fortunate to live in this amazing country with our incredible history,” Bass said.

“All of our history is what makes this country a great country,” she said, and encourages all Americans to contribute to the “fight to build a more perfect union.”

Source: Myjoyonline

GTA Trains Informal (Chop Bar and Drinking Bar) Operators in Kumasi

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Ghana Tourism Authority takes nationwide training for informal sector operators to Kumasi, Ashanti region.

Ninety-two operators from within the Kumasi vicinity participated in today’s sensitisation which covered areas such as food hygiene, food safety laws, tourism Levy payment via partner banks Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), Agricultural Development Bank and telco MTN Ghana

On the day also, CBG in partnership with MTN Ghana outdoored the Mobile Money platform has been for remittance of Tourism Levy into the Tourism Development Fund. All our informal sector operators should kindly follow the instructions on the photos.

For the Ghana Tourism Authority regards the informal sector comprising the chop bar, drinking bar operators, food vendors and snack bar operators as key players in our quest to develop the sector. The program was held at the Public Service Workers Union Centre.

The training and Sensitisation is expected to continue in Sunyani and on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

Chale Wote: From local festival to boundary-pushing global platform

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Accra’s Chale Wote Art Festival is West Africa’s largest annual street art and performance art festival. For the past 8 years, it has grown from a small local event to a global platform attracting an audience of about 50,000 people.

Founded in 2011, the festival began as a one-day event in the streets of Jamestown, the city’s oldest district. It was founded by artists who wanted to give new meaning to some colonial-era buildings that define the area — particularly, the 17th century British James Fort and the Dutch Ussher Fort.

“Echo-Chamber” – by-Brenda-Bokomora-Credit-Abdul-Haqq-Mahama

This year marks the fair’s largest edition to date, with over 160 Ghana-based and international artists exhibiting their work across 10 sites, during an 11-day program.


A platform for change

Performance art has always played an important role in the festival, and this year more than ever before, with a dedicated week-long programme.

For this edition, performances at Chale Wote were curated in collaboration with Ghanaian artist Va-Bene Elikem K. Fiatsi, also knows as crazinisTartisT, a self-described gender-nonconforming multidisciplinary artist and director of the perforcraZe International Artists Residency (piAR) in Kumasi.

“It is really hard, especially in Ghana, for unconventional art practitioners like my kind to display some provocative works in public or use certain spaces for their works,” explained Fiatsi in an interview at Chale Wote. According to Fiatsi, being included in an art festival setting creates an opportunity: “It gives the freedom to express, explore, exploit and discover their own limitations and possibilities.”

“Table-of-Negotiations” by-Va-Bene-Elikem-Fiatsi-and-John-Herman-Credit-Abdul-Haqq-Mahama


Fiatsi’s collaboration with John Herman, titled “Table of Negotiation” was one of the most popular performances this year and, at four hours’ running time, also the longest performance in the festival lineup.

In the piece, both artists were bound in chains and suspended above the audience in a monumental replication of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man drawing. Exploring notions of masculinity — Herman’s body is labeled as disabled due to an amputated leg, and Fiatsi is gender non-conforming — they pushed their bodies to their limits in a tug-of-war of sorts.

Individual forms of activism and artistic demonstrations for social change are not unusual during the festival. As Fafa MacAuley, Digital Publicity Coordinator for Chale Wote Art Festival explained in an interview at the festival, “Chale Wote was founded in 2011 by Accra[dot]Alt’s as an experimental platform for bringing art, music, dance and performance out of the galleries and into the local Ghanian community.” She continued: “It has always been a space for artists to freely express ideas that challenge the status quo, as well as offer a variety of art forms to push boundaries and connect to a wide-ranging audience.”


Other themes, such as violence against women, pain and marginalized bodies were also explored in performances that were both deeply moving and hard to watch.

In an entranced state punctuated by wails and screams, Cameroonian artist Kayifa began her performance “The memories of the body” outside of Ussher Fort on Cleland Road.

“The-Memories-of-the-Body” – by-Ange-Kayifa-Credit-Abdul-Haqq-Mahama


Kayifa’s work is autobiographical. During her piece, the audience followed her into a purpose-built healing circle for a two-hour long performance exploring domestic violence, rape and other forms of oppression directed toward female bodies. It culminated in a deeply moving scene, with the artist, exhausted and wearing her underwear on her face, inviting audience members into an embrace.

“My performances deal with domestic violence, rape, child trafficking, and other forms of female oppression,” said Kayifa. “Chale Wote provides an audience across ages and social class, and its important to use this as a platform for my fight and others.”


Growth of a festival


Once a small artist-led festival with experimental beginnings, Chale Wote is now an established tourist attraction. The festival relies on volunteers and offers no funding to participating artists, but it now attracts thousands of visitors each year. At the same time, the nature of the performances on display has also firmed up its position as a transgressive platform.

“Catharsis” -by-Stacey-Okparavero-Credit-Abdul-Haqq-Mahama


Fiatsi defines Chale Wote as “One of the most important spaces and platforms that merge art, locals, natives and internationals.”

Since its inception, Chale Wote has conquered much attention outside of its country of origin, which makes this year’s theme, “Pidgin Imaginarium,” as relevant as ever. It was described in the festival’s brochure as a response to “A continent on the precipice of a major shift, that will completely reset how Africans engage the rest of the world.”

Source: CNN

Ghana Tourism Authority embarks on review of beaches

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Friday inspected the Titanic Beach in Sakumono and the La Pleasure Beach Resort all in the Greater Accra Region to evaluate the progress of their sanitation work and existing layout facilities.

The exercise was also to check on the security measures put in place by management of the beaches to secure the lives and health of users and check permits of individual structures built on the beaches.

The team was led by Mr Akwasi Agyemang, the GTA Chief Executive Officer and his two deputies as well as some staff members.

Mr Akwasi Agyemang said the Sakumono beach was one of the developing beaches used by many people in the Tema West Municipality and beyond, hence the need to ensure that it was clean and safe for people to use.

Mr Agyemang in the company of his team and Mr Kwasi Poku, the Presiding member Tema West Municipal Assembly, Mr Mujeeb Kutia, Works Sub Committee Chairman and Mr Vincent Blah Quarshie, Municipal Works Engineer, also said there had been lot of progress with the sanitation and layout since the team last visited in August 2018.

The Authority would engage the necessary stakeholders to come out with a master plan to give demarcations and situate some structures properly, he said.

At the La Pleasure Beach, the CEO gave a 10-day ultimatum to the management to meet certain requirements that were unavailable such as Fire Service Certificate, Environmental Protection Agency permit and Police clearance.

He said the failure to meet these requirements within the stipulated time would leave the authority with no option than to close down the facility.

Mr Agyemang said the time could be extended if the management of the La Pleasure Beach makes progress with providing documents that have been demanded.

He said the Authority is unhappy to take such measures as many people work within the facility and depended on that for their livelihood adding that the right thing should be done to create a serene environment for all.

Mr Vincent Blag Quarshie, Works Engineer Tema West Municipal Assembly, applauded the GTA for the exercise and assured them of much better and demarcated structures with the proper layout on their next routine check. He said some illegal structures along the access way would be demolished to allow free exit.

Source: GNA