The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) is seeking a return to profitability after a 10-member board of directors was inaugurated to administratively manage the country’s monuments and increase patronage by local and international tourists.
The board, as part of key responsibilities, was tasked with devising measures that attract tourists to patrol the 32 forts and castles, designated by the United Nation as World Heritage Sites, as well as all national and regional museums.
Inaugurating the Board, Tourism Minister Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said the president’s approval of members to serve, and the calibre of expertise on the board, is a testament of the importance government attaches to developing the country’s tourism resources.
“The GMMB even before COVID-19 had been a big sleeping giant in the past – despite the huge potentials we can derive in monetary terms by harnessing prospects in the forts and castles as well as museums. However, the post-COVID situation has offered renewed hope of returning these monuments to profitability,” Dr. Awal said.
Indeed, almost 70 percent of forts and castles across Africa is situated in Ghana – signifying the country’s position as the epicentre of European activities in the periods of slave trading and colonial rule.
These, Dr. Awal said, call for worry – as Ghana has not been able to fully monetise these potentials to position itself as a cultural, heritage and historical tourism destination for Black people in the diaspora.
“We want a shift in paradigm to make revenue out of these monuments. The ministry this year has begun plans to undertake renovation of some castles. Our unique selling proposition as a country, henceforth, must be our forts and castles,” Dr. Awal urged the new board.
The minister tasked the board to present a proposal within six weeks, by mid-May, 2022, on how it intends to modernise and monetise all monuments in the country – including all museums – to attract tourists.
He also announced that the National Museum, which has been closed for the last eight years, will be opened to tourists by June this year.
The 10-member board – which the minister describes as full of expertise to turn the fortunes of Ghana’s monuments in terms of profit generation – include Dr. Edith Dankwa (Board Chair and President’s Nominee); Executive Director of GMMB – Kingsley Ofosu Ntiamoah; Mr. Hudu Issah (President’s Nominee); Nana Kodwo Eduakwa V (President’s Nominee); Nana Ofusuaa Ofori-Atta Ayim (President’s Nominee); Mr. Umar Abdul Hamid Esq (President’s Nominee); Dr. Samuel Adu Gyamfi (President’s Nominee); Prof. Wazi Apoh (President’s Nominee); Dr. Edwin Bodjawah (President’s Nominee); and Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo (President’s Nominee).
Board Chairs’ response
The Board Chair, Dr Edith Dankwa, expressed gratitude to the president and Tourism Ministry for the confidence reposed in members of the board to contribute in the growth of Ghana’s monuments and museum resources.
“It’s a great honour for me, and I am positive – just like all members – to do our best to serve the nation in this capacity. This role is to help tell a story about Ghana – and we have so much to tell globally for others to understand who we are as a people,” Dr. Edith Dankwa said.
“On the back of this, there is so much potential to monetise the country’s museums and castles and turn things around,” she said.