Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has urged Ghanaian residents in the United States of America (USA) to champion the drive to increase international tourism by promoting tourist attractions in Ghana.
He said tourism assets such as forts and castles, rich and diversified culture, highlife music and ecotourism sites are some of Ghana’s unique attractions which should be promoted and marketed to the international community.
Dr. Awal made the call when he addressed a gathering of Ghanaians at this year’s GhanaFest held in Chicago over the weekend.
The two-day festival, which was organised by the Ghana National Council (GNC) of Chicago, aims at celebrating and promoting Ghana’s cultural heritage through music, dance, food and clothing.
It also aims at forging unity among the various Ghanaian ethnic groups in Chicago and the USA in general.
Dr. Awal stated that President Akufo-Addo’s government had prioritise the development of tourism, arts and culture as tools for economic transformation and wealth creation, and he entreated the people to continue to live in peace and harmony.
He said tourists from the USA accounted for over 60 percent of all international arrivals to Ghana, and stressed the need for all stakeholders to champion efforts at increasing tourism traffic to Ghana.
The minister mentioned that some major tourist sites including the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park were being rehabilitated and modernised to make them attractive.
Dr. Awal added that as Ghanaian citizens resident in the USA strive for excellence outside Ghana, it was relevant for them to remain resolute in their support for government efforts to build a strong and equitable socio-economic environment.
He said it behooves on all Ghanaians in the diaspora to make a deliberate effort to visit Ghana, explore the numerous investment opportunities available, and establish themselves to enable them create jobs for the teeming youth.
Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA, Hajia Alima Mahama, said the Ghana mission will soon engage the services of an Honorary Consul for Chicago and that this will assist a great deal to enhance consular services in the Chicago area.
She commended Ghanaian residents for being law-abiding, and urged them to continue to promote the interest of Ghana in their daily activities.
Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong advised the people to take advantage of the numerous business opportunities in Ghana to establish businesses which will help develop the Ghanaian economy and create jobs for the youth.
He entreated entrepreneurs not to be deterred by the challenges associated with establishing new businesses, adding that perseverance was a vital ingredient for the success of any business enterprise.
The President of the Ghana National Council, Mr. Paa Kwasi Sam, said one of the successes achieved by the council is the free monthly healthcare services for its members, and lauded the healthcare providers for their spirit of volunteerism.
He praised the pioneers of the GhanaFest event, adding that the festival, which began 34 years ago, is the most outstanding African cultural exposition in the diaspora.