The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture has entered into a partnership agreement with Fundación INCYDE, a Spanish entity, to train 150,000 people in Ghana’s tourism value chain.
The training will start in November 2021 and focus on skills development for staff of restaurants, hotels, travel and tour companies, tour guides and the creative arts industry, lecturers in tourism departments in tertiary institutions, among others.
Tourism Minister Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, who disclosed this during a ceremony to officially sign and endorse the agreement between the ministry and its Spanish counterparts said: “Ghana wants to build innovation-driven SME businesses in the tourism sector in order to propel the industry’s fortunes”.
Provisions of the agreement, which is valued at GH¢120 million according to Dr. Awal, will provide a smart tourism incubator to analyse big data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to make Ghana competitive in the global tourism industry.
He said the agreement is in line with making Ghana the preferred tourism destination in the West African sub-region after Senegal and Gambia.
“The project starts in November with seminars, trainings, incubator programmes and skills attachment of players in the tourism sector – particularly women and young people,” the minister emphasised.
Ghana wants to create one million jobs in the tourism sector by 2024 with an annual tourism revenue of US$5billion starting from 2022, and Dr. Awal believes initiatives such as this partnership with the Spanish authorities will further improve the country’s chances.
Director of International Affairs at Fundación INCYDE, Mar Casanova Llorens, said the agreement to train entrepreneurs in the tourism sector is to enable Ghana tap into Spain’s expertise in global tourism management. Spain has annual tourist visitations of 80 million people, the second highest in Europe after France.
Mar Casanova indicated that Fundación INCYDE, through the partnership, will share synergies and expertise to promote the local tourism sector while building a strong relationship with Ghana.
“We’ll create and host forums to identify new jobs and sources of employment in the tourism sector before end of year. We also seek to create a high-tech incubator in the sector, and to identify strategic areas which will bring onboard educational institutions and universities in the sector – as well as tourism-related startups and strategic companies to make Ghana tourism better,” she said.
Spanish Ambassador in Ghana, José Javier Guitérrez Blanco-Navarrete, said the partnership represents the priority that Spain’s government attaches to Ghana in terms of development – in economic development and trade, security, politics, democracy and human rights.
He said the Spanish government assured the president during presentation of his letter of credence that the government of Spain is ready to collaborate with Ghana in many areas, particularly tourism.
“It is our hope that Ghana and Spain will forge partnerships in many fields during the coming years,” he added.
Fundación INCYDE promotes entrepreneurship and the viability of new companies. It is dedicated to the promotion and training of entrepreneurship, improving the qualification of entrepreneurs, and the creation and consolidation of companies.