The Ghana Tourism Authority has launched, as part of activities for the celebration of the ‘Year of Return’, the maiden edition of Miss Heritage Global, a beauty pageant, that seeks to promote the world’s tangible and intangible heritage by celebrating the integrity of women.
Scheduled for August 20, the event is expected to bring 55 women from various countries across the world to compete for the prestigious crown.
At the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwesi Agyemang said: “When we talk about commemorating 400 years of the first arrival of an enslaved African in Virginia, it feels like a sad story, but it is about the celebration of the African spirit. That people can go through such hardship and survive to produce so many iconic figures.”
According to him, the rate at which the GTA is receiving programmes to be enlisted on the ‘Year of Return’ project indicated how people were genuinely interested in the project and what it signified for the global African family.
He noted that the GTA is excited to be part of the Miss Heritage Global event to showcase what Ghana has and what Africa has to offer as well as promote trade among each other’s country.
He said several people would be coming to Ghana and it his belief that this would be the time for Ghanaians to show the Ghanaian hospitality they are noted for.
On her part, the Business Development Manager for Global Heritage, Madam Mudzithe Phiri said the Miss Heritage Global event started in 2013 by the Zimbabwean tourism, and for three consecutive years it had been hosted in South Africa.
She said the organisers, during its inception, wanted something that would invite the world to come and experience Zimbabwe and develop their culture.
Citing some reasons for hosting the event in Ghana this year, Madam Phiri noted that the ‘Year of Return’ offered them the opportunity to host the event in Ghana this year. Also, she said that Ghana is one of the countries on the continent that has managed to maintain her local culture and taken it along with her as development migrates into a more modern global society.
Madam Phiri said: “When we opened for application, we got over 70 interested countries, because Ghana had been marked as the country everyone should visit this year. This indicates how people are really interested in visiting Ghana, so we narrowed the number of participating countries to 55, 20 from Africa and the rest from across the world.”
She said that the 55 women will be coming as ambassadors to experience the local culture of Ghana and be able to share that experience with their various countries.
Launching the event, Mr. Kwadwo Antwi, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Development Company said: “We had resorted to marketing Ghana on the international market, and it was not just about the ‘Year of Return’, but also to let people know that Ghana was the place to be, a good holiday destination for sports and anything touristic.”
Mr. Antwi, congratulated the Ghanaian contestant for her nomination and wished her the very best in the pageant, saying “the whole of Ghana would support you to be victorious”.