Tourism, Arts, Aviation & Hospitality outlook diary: 17th Anniversary National Chocolate Day/Week

Tourism minister to provide US$400,000 ultra-modern ICT facility to alma mater
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dr. Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Awal

TOURISM defines a very broad multi-sectoral and competitive socio-economic industry that is founded on man-made, natural, cultural and heritage resources.  It is an incomparable multi-purpose and multi-million dollar modern developmental and pro-infrastructural promotional industry.

It stands out as an indispensable modern, universal and crucial cash cow, which has played strategic roles to reshape, reposition and transform many competitive economies around the world, across both the developed and developing divides over the years.

The Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey era & innovative factor

The tenure, rein and legacy of Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, as the former Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City (MOT&MOC), Tourism and Diasporan Relations (MOTDR) , from  2003 until 2007 when he resigned to pursued his failed presidential , brought reconstruction, revival , restoration , reengineering, vibrancy, innovation, activity, activation, dynamism, pragmatism to Ghana’s infant and agile tourism industry.

Mr. Obetsebi- Lamptey, the fallen statesman of blessed memory, the decorated branding, communication and marketing practitioner, consultant and strategist, of blessed memory, affectionately known and called JOOL among his circles and associates become Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations in 2003, together with the late  Mr. Ferdinand Ayim,  an outstanding journalist and political analyst, as his Special Assistant, with Mrs. Jubilee  Bridget Katrsiku, an experienced blue-chip technocrat goal-getter and results-oriented  administrator,  as Chief Director at the Ministry, became the team to beat in the Ghanaian public service, during duty tour and tenure.

JOOL as he was affectionately called brought   excellent teamwork and leadership skills to bear as the leader of a three (3)-member of himself, Mr. Ayim and Mrs. Katrsiku.


He did not disappoint both his admirers and critics, he quickly adjusted effortlessly and seamlessly settled into national tourism duty call very much like fish into water, whilst his background and expertise as Marketing and Communication Expert, Practitioner and Consultant readily gave him perfect understanding of the nuances modern and competitive tourism administration, development and management as well as Ghana’s isolated industry weaknesses and needs and perfectly feet-in as the leader Ghana tourism needed badly at the time ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor reassigned him as His then Chief of Staff, to tourism.


The fallen ex- minister of  MOT&MCC , later MOTDR, minister’s extra-ordinary and excellence human relation gave  him  an enviable team, consisting of  Mr. Ayim ,his Special Assistant, a work-alcoholic, dedicated  and excellent team mobilizer and mobilization guru and Mrs. Jubilee  Bridget Katrsiku, the principled, effective, firm and disciplined, as Chief Director at the Ministry, rose to the occasion.

The three-member  astute directing and motivational team proved an asset, which provided the crucial and motivational leadership to mobilize and rally ministry’s other directors,  staffers ,the frontline implementing agencies of the ministry and other strategic tourism sector stakeholders and players, across the public and private sectors, locally, nationally and internationally to develop the historic  2003-2007, 4-year Tourism Sector short-term Strategic Action Plan roadmap, to further segment the earlier 1996-2010,15-year National Tourism Development Blueprint, into short-term deliverable tasks and targets, to accelerate the pace of the overall National Tourism Development Strategy.

National Tourism Reconstruction & Renewal

Mr. Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey ,the fallen Statesman and ex-tourism minister, was a decorated towering  Marketing and Communication Strategist and Consultant did not only preached and advocated for excellence in product branding, marketing and communication, he was a practical, realist and hands-on practitioner, his tenure and reign as Minister of MOT&MC/ MOTDR, brought an unprecedented reconstruction, renewal , revival , vibrancy and fresh impetus into our national tourism development aspiration, with a raft of subtle, innovative and creative activations, he systematically reengineered and pragmatically repositioned and ushered Ghana’s infant tourism industry into a new era of  innovation, activation and vibrancy and above all ushered Ghana’s evergreen young tourism industry into an improved growth era with a number attractive and innovative subtle special national tourism events, among include;

Ghanaian Indigenous Food & Beverages strategic promotion

The fallen Statesman and ex-minster was a practical and results perfecto realist, who went the extra-mile to offer and make visiting a high powered public European Delegation, to demand for authentic Ghanaian Hausa Koose and Koko for breakfast instead of over spiced and fancy alien stuff, he rose to the occasion and satisfied the delegation’s curiosity and held the team spell bounded, the satisfied delegation later asked Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey for Hausa Koose and Koko as takeaway souvenirs.

First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo Addo is face of Ghana Chocolate

February 14th, Saint Valentine Day  

14th February is universally known as Saint Valentine’s Day, in honour St. Valentine, a Christian-faith generous martyr, the day is an outstanding and prominent date on the international calendar universally, which is known and annually celebrated as Saint Valentine’s Day internationally, a special day that expects and obliges people and institutions to emulate St. Valentine’s generosity , to show care, concern and affection to others  loved ones, especially the vulnerable and the less-privileged.


Val Day is supposed to be a dignified day and marked by generosity, to especially the less privileged and the needy in society however, St. Valentine’s Day in recent times has been misconstrued and abused especially among and by teenagers, the youth and the morally undisciplined elderly   as the day for to engage in indiscriminate and other immoral sexual misconduct and escapades, which defied and defeats the origin and objective of Val’s Day.

JOOL National Chocolate Day Novelty innovation, Circa 2005 Master Stroke

Our Homeland Ghana was once the world’s largest producer of Cocoa before sliding into second position currently Chocolate is a cocoa bye-product with multiple uses including healthy food, gift item and others, strangely Ghana consumes a paltry of cocoa products.

Armed  with the above disturbing data and statistics on low chocolate consumption among Ghanaian in spite of its health benefits, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, the finesse, outstanding and decorated Branding, Communication and  Marketing Practitioner, Expert , Consultant , Strategist and public-friendly Communicator, in 2005 swung into action with support from Ambassador Isaac Osei, then Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, Cocoa Processing Company Ltd, Tema, Nestle Ghana Ltd, Cadbury Ghana, to apply branding expertise and marketing and communication finesse to reengineer, transform and rebranded Valentine’s Day (VD) into an instantly embraced and accepted Ghanaian authentic homegrown National Chocolate Day (NCD) and formally launched on 14th February ,2005. The initiative was instant successful and excellent master stroke by Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, the peerless and flawless marketer and communicator and his team, which resonates highly and infectiously like explosive wild fire across the country, in that, the very first anniversary of National Chocolate Day in 2005, Chocolate dealers across the country run out of stock and the rest became history. It resonated across the length and breadth of the country with an overwhelming patronage of Ghanaian Chocolate and other cocoa-based products by Ghanaians.

The decorated Communication and Marketing Strategist signed off   the first National Chocolate Day anniversary with donation of boxes of assorted chocolates and other cocoa- based products to the inmates of Osu Children Home and also challenged operators and players in the Ghanaian hospitality and gastronomy industries to innovate and offer cocoa biased food and beverages as an authentic Ghanaian delicacy and strategic hospitality tourism unique selling-point.    

Socio-economic industry
Nana Agyenim Boateng 1, MD, CPC

Managing Director Cocoa Processing Company

According to Nana Agyenim Boateng 1, the Managing Director of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), there is emphatical scientific evidence that chocolate and cocoa-based products when consumed in appropriate amounts and quantities address chronic health challenges among people.


Tourism is not an event but dynamic work in progress, it is therefore very gratifying and high  commendable that collaborating institutions and their succeeding leaders including Dr. Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed AWAL, Minister of Tourism , Arts and Culture and the Ministry, Mr. Akwesi Agyeman , Chief Executive Officer , Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana COC BOD and COCOBOD  as well as Nana Agyenim Boateng 1, Osabarima  Kwame Out Dartey 111, Chief Akuapim Mampong , Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Museum Cocoa Farm and other stakeholders have kept faith with the cocoa tourism dream nurtured and sustained  the National Chocolate Day seed momentum that was sown  by the dynamic strategist, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and his team on 14th February 2005, which has now grown in both stature and patronage, from being one day National Chocolate Day  into National Chocolate Week (NCWk) , whilst the 2022 NCWk , which was on the theme , “Eat Chocolate Stay Healthy Grow Ghana- Our Chocolate , Our Heath , Our Earth “,with varying and diverse activities and programmes that include health walks, floats, donation of assorted chocolate and cocoa bye-products to identified institutions and individuals, public education and awareness on the health benefits of chocolate consumption   and  other cocoa-based products.

Way Forward

There is need for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the GTA, COCOBOD, CPC and their partners to keep the National Chocolate Week celebration momentum, consolidate and expand the gains with additional information and communication education to make Ghanaian to make chocolate and other cocoa-based products common and popular on individual and national menu as familiar delicacies and a national past time to patronize and grown our own.

Belated happy National Chocolate Week to us all.

The Writer is Tourism, Brands & Branding, Communication & Marketing Consultant, Practitioner, Analyst, Advocate & Activist


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