The Ghanaian Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture says it has secure a $50 million from the World Bank for the improvement of projects in the sector.
Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Hon. Catherine Ablema Afeku made the disclosure during the Meet the Press Series held in Accra.
She said the grant was to support the ministry and its agencies to strengthen its institutions and stakeholders, improve sector productivity for job creation, empowering women and youth across all sectors along the creative and culture value chain as well as to enhance overall domestic/foreign tourist experience.
The minister noted that it is the first time in the history of Ghana that the industry has been supported by the World Bank after interventions by the Minister of Arts and Culture and the Minister of Finance.
Catherine Ablema Afeku further stated that the grant will be used support reforms in the Ghana Tourism Strategy and Sector Development Implementation Roadmap.
She added that the grant will also be used for capacity building to create skilled workforce in the hospitality,tourism and creative arts sector, facilitate beach sanitation and commercialization, and support Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) within the sector for job creation.
She disclosed that the ministry through the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has secured investor’s interest in the redevelopment of the Muni Lagoon area in Winneba as an Eco-Tourism enclave.
She stated that feasibility has been done, stakeholder engagement is ongoing and an MOU will soon be signed with the Wildlife division of Forestry Commission to kick-start construction.
She said: “Ghana is the centre of the world. It is not what we say: it was determined by the authorities and powers of this world, at a meeting which took place almost a century before Ghana became a nation.
“The Ministry, in collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Tema Golf Club and the Tema Community One Presbyterian Church intends to market this phenomenon. We know that religiously, this is a seller. Already, people are finding their way to the Presbyterian Church at Tema to pray at the centre of the world.
Our first “President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, used to embark on pilgrimages to that part of Tema once a year for a spiritual retreat. We believe that with good marketing, people could be attracted to have their weddings at the centre of the world, set up businesses and advertise that their goods were manufactured at the centre of the world. Linking up with other countries on the Greenwich Meridian, there is so much we could benefit from that association. The Tema Golf Course could be accredited to host tournaments at the centre of the world, including the likes of PGA tournaments.
“We are therefore going to transform Tema Country Golf Club into a first class golf resort, the Presbyterian church into a religious tourism site, develop a passenger and cruise ship terminal within the port and construct an iconic tower representing the center of the world.”