The Ashanti Region has emerged as the country’s top region in terms of branding, a newly published study by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG), dubbed the Ghana Regional Brand Index (CIMG-RBI Report, 2022), has found.
Of the nine parameters used in the study, Ashanti Region registered its strongest performance in culture and heritage, local tourism, and its local people – in decreasing order. The region’s lowest score was on ‘local economic climate’ although it tops all other regions on this parameter.
It is followed by Greater Accra, Eastern and Central Regions, in decreasing order. Together, the four regions make up the top quartile of the ranking.
Although Greater Accra emerged second in the overall rankings, it obtained highest scores on culture and heritage, local tourism, investment climate, and its local people. The region’s performance registered strongly for business-owners, full-time workers who are not indigenes and permanent residents.
The lowest ranked region on the list is Ahafo, which obtained the least scores across all parameters evaluated. The four regions in the lowest quartile of the ranking: Oti, North-East, Savannah and Ahafo – in decreasing order – are all newly created regions.
The CIMG-RBI Report, 2022 is the culmination of a well-researched regional brand survey which was conducted last year, involving all 16 regions of Ghana, to unearth and highlight the economic and tourism potentials of each regional brand.
Speaking at the launch of the study in Accra, the National President of the CIMG, Dr. Daniel Kasser Tee, said the aim of the research was to, among other things, complement and reinvigorate government’s original ‘brand Ghana agenda’ and to contribute to giving meaning to Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ as well as ‘Beyond The Return’ programmes – a homecoming package that aimed at attracting Africans in the diaspora to keep patronising the country as a home and the ultimate tourism and investment destination.
“The CIMG aims at creating mass awareness about the existence of the 16 regional brands and, later, the 261 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly brands – all classified as sub-brands with distinct and unique potentials for attracting patronage to boost their local economies,” Dr Kasser Tee said.
He said the key pillars for the study, which formed the criteria for the assessment, were carefully selected after rigorous research and consultations with identified stakeholders, noting that these are measures that are of value to local and international visitors, such as tourists or business travellers.
Findings to be incorporated into development planning
The Director of Development Coordination Division at the National Development Planning Commission and Chairman for the occasion, Dr. Winfred Nelson, expressed the commission’s interest in CIMG’s research projects, indicating that: “By virtue of its functions in line with Articles 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution, the National Development Planning Commission works with all stakeholders from government, private sector, professional bodies, and so on. By doing this, we produce key national documents, such as a Medium Development Policy Framework, Medium 10 Development Plans, Long-Term Development Policy Frameworks, based on sound data and information”.
He applauded the CIMG for setting the pace and highlighting the strengths of the regional brands through this research. “The beginning may not be clear but at the end, it will be beautiful because we are going to use it in our national development planning efforts.”
Dr. Nelson further announced the commission’s readiness to partner CIMG in all its research projects.
Hannah Nyarko, Coordinating Director, Political and Economic at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, who delivered a message on behalf of the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, said the study would play a critical role in promoting and protecting the interest of the country.
“We promote Ghana as a preferred investment and tourism destination. We look for a market for Ghanaian products and in so doing, we mostly engage the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism, and other institutions. We are happy that with this study, we will have a source of reference to use in our work,” she said.
With the African Continental Free Trade Area now in effect and the secretariat established in Ghana, she said there is a new era of trade that has commenced; and as a result, the role of the CIMG in the activities of various actors has become even more imperative.
“This is because of the need to vigorously market products in Ghana that can be exported to other African countries since the objective of the African Continental Free Trade Area is to promote and enhance intra-African trade. With the plethora of products we have in Ghana, CIMG will play a very important role in devising strategies for the packaging and marketing of these products. So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs very much welcomes this report. And on behalf of the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, I would like to assure you of the support of the ministry to work with you in promoting the Regional Brand Index Report abroad and here in Ghana,” she said.
The report was launched by Prof. Kweku Appiah-Adu, Head of Delivery, Monitoring and Evaluation at the office of the Vice-President. Prof. Appiah-Adu expressed desire to have the vice’s office collaborate with CIMG in diverse ways, noting that the quality of data gathered is integral to the presidency’s agenda of digitalisation.
The CIMG-RBI Report, 2022 is expected to be highly beneficial to the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, and other government institutions as CIMG works with stakeholders to market the individual regions to promote internal trade and travels within Ghana.