Senior Lecturer and head of hospitality and hotel management (HTM) at the Tamale Technical University, Dr Alhassan Fatawu, has urged the government to use the hospitality and tourism sector to bridge the gender unemployment gap as many women have developed a keen interest in that area.
Judging from where he sits as a lecturer of hospitality and hotel management, Dr Fatawu says the number of women who enrol for the programme year in the northern region is phenomenal and this calls for more training for them so that sector, thereby discouraging them from migrating to the south to engage in all kinds of menial jobs which do not yield any good income for them.
He said about 99 per cent of the students admitted yearly at the department are females, hence, the need for government support in the sector to enable them to contribute to family needs and the socio-economic activities of the country.
“Hospitality is by far Ghana and the world. Globally, it is the industry that has the potential to employ more people so if we now have more women being majority trained in the hospitality industry to curb the unemployment rate, we need to take it seriously.
As a country, if we can identify the potentials of the sector and see the hospitality and tourism management programme as a strategic tool to empower women to prevent them from migrating to the southern sector, more investment would be injected into the sector to enhance the programme that will help to diffuse the notion that the place of the women is the kitchen.
These are people who have undertaken home economics from the senior high schools while others are also from technical and vocational institutions who lack the facilities needed to be given the necessary training before moving to the world “, he said in an interview with the B&FT.
Dr Fatawu further stressed the need for female education especially, in the northern part of the country as the young ladies in the region have a strong desire to be educated but are sometimes denied the right by their parents.
“In northern Ghana, generally, female education until recently was much challenged with the rights of girls curtailed as they were prevented from climbing up the higher educational ladder with only males allowed to pursue any course of their choice and this does not augur well for the nation in bridging the gender gap.
Now that we have the departmental admit more females and train them well to fit the society, we need to encourage the females to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and future career,” he said.
He added that some student had passed through the department has taken advantage of the covid-19 pandemic season to engage in some business and this has helped them to generate some revenue with selling of foods, beverages and animal products.
Dr. Fatawu further added that, if the department is supported with the necessary resources , it well expand its facilities to help admit more females to be trained to create job opportunities for themselves and also become a hub for the women empowerment and training as far as Northern Ghana is concerned.
Tourism-The Unbeatable International sacred cash-cow
TOURISM a broad and multi-sectoral holistic industry is founded on natural, man-made, cultural and heritage resources.
It is a peerless multi-sectoral, multi-purpose and multi-million-dollar competitive international industry. It has established and ranked as the biggest, fastest and largest growing modern industry in the world, since the turn of the millennium and has firmly consolidated its standing as an integral aspect of the overall global socio-economic frontier, it stands out to transform and repositioned many economies in some cases as the foremost contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) for a number of economies from both developed and developing divide across board in the world.
Tourism has emerged as a very resilient and modern competitive and important and strategic international fastest, biggest and largest industry which has turn around the fortunes of many challenged economies across the world.
It is an outstanding labour intensive industry inclusive industry which offers multiple job opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labour.
It also brings of rare and scare foreign exchange into many tourism-proactive economies.
Rapid & balance socio-economic transformation
The industry also an outstanding development catalyst which supports and promotes inclusive and holistic balance development and transformation of many a tourism proactive economy, since tourism resources and assets are fairly across destinations.
Political stability, relative national peace, safety and security, numerous historic slavery and slave trade landmarks including forts and castles, slave wells, markets and others are all intangible and soft national tourism selling-points (USPs) which give Ghana tourism competitive advantage over its peers.
National Tourism Legislation
The continues absence and lack of national tourism legislation (NTL) and its associated policy regime (PR), which accounts for the absence of comprehensive national tourism development strategy (NTDS) is a major obstacle that impedes Ghana’s rapid tourism development and evolution.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization is a Madrid, Spain based UN specialist agency which champions and promotes responsible and sustainable tourism development around the world.
Researches and studies by the UNWTO and other giant reputable international multilateral and bilateral institutions including the World Tourism and Travel Council, (WTTC ),the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UNESCO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, (WIPO), the World Environment Programme (WEP) among others has concluded firmly that tourism is a very dynamic, robust and flexible resilient industry , as such its impact on the global economy would be bigger and better so long as practitioners, investors, plants and destinations strictly adhere to UNWTO best industry practices, conventions, guidelines , protocols and regulations, as such Ghana cannot afford to miss-out on the tourism evolution, there is the urgent need for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to established UNWTO directorate to co-ordinate and deepen Ghana’s relationship with the UN Tourism specialist giant. National Tourism resource-mix outlook
Ghana has an outstanding very balance national potential and resources in all the four broad resource classifications of natural, man-made, cultural and heritage resources, which are fairly located across the length and breadth of the country.
Notable among national tourism heritage resources include all historic slavery and colonial forts and castles and other related slavery landmarks include Slave wells and markets in Salaga, Gwolu Slave Defense Walls, Assin Fosu Slave River, Memorial Gardens and Research Centre among others.
Among national natural tourism resources consist of the Afadjato at Amedzofe and Wli Waterfall, reputed as West Africa’s tallest waterfalls at Wli near Hohoe in the Afadjato South District Assembly (ASD) and the Hohoe Municipal Assembly (HM) respectively both in the Volta Region, the Equator and the Greenwich Meridian both in Tema in the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (Tema Metropolis), Greater Accra Region, there is also the historic Centre of Our Homeland and its associated landmarks at Kintampo in Kintampo North Municipal Assembly ( Kintampo North Municipal ) Bono East Region.
Kakum Forest Reserve and its Canopy Walkway at the Kakum National Park at Kakum , in the Central Region is another popular natural tourism attraction as well as West Africa’s Biggest Tree at Espan Forest Reserve near Oda in the Asene Manso-Akroso District Assembly (Asene Manso- Akroso District), in the Eastern Region.
Begro Waterfalls, Tinni Waterfalls and Ote Waterfalls are other outstanding national natural tourism assets, located at Begro in the Fanteakwa North District, Atiwa West District and Afadjato South Districts in the Eastern & Volta Regions respectively.
Cape Coast Castle a UNESCO World Heritage Property is a peerless national tourism cash-cow
Man-made national tourism resources on the other hand include the Volta Dam and Hydro-Electrical Works at Akosombo and Volta Hotel both in the Asogyaman District of the Eastern Region.
The rest are Tema and Takoradi harbours, the Osagyefuo Dr, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park, in Tema, Takoradi and Accra respectively.
Other remarkable and prominent man-made national tourism resources are the Independence and the Black Star Square, Accra, Kotoka International, Ho, Kumasi and Tamale Airports , Kempimski Gold Coast City Hotel , Royal Senchi Resort, La Palm Golden Beach Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel, Elmina Beach, Holiday Inn, Marriot International , Alisa, Maha Beach Resort, Sogakope Beach Resort,Peduase Valley Resorts, Bojo Beach Resort, Jofel Catering, Papaye,Tang Palace and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC),Alisa Hotels, Movempic Ambassador, Accra City Hotel, Tang Palace, Accra Sports Stadium ,Alhaji Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium, Tamale are other unique man-made national tourism facilities in the country which add colour and gliitz to the country’s evergreen infant tourism industry.
The Adomi Bridge, Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Cocoa Farms and Museum, Oku Abena Caves,Oboodor da Oboor So Rock, Oworobong, Atia Mframa Natural Stone , Pan-African Theatre and Arts Festival (PANAFEST), Aboakyer,Agbamevorzaa,Agbelizaa, Asafotufiam, Akwasidae, Bugum, Emancipation, Fetu Afakye,Hogbetsotozaa, Homowo,Teezaa,Kundum, Kplejo, Odirwa Cultural Festival are other prominent national cultural tourism unique selling points , (USPs).
National special tourism treasures and events
A numbers of creative and innovative events on the national tourism calendar which have repositioned the country as an emerging tourism destination include PANAFEST, Emancipation, National Chocolate Day, Wli Waterfalls Festival, National Hang-Paragliding Festivals are among raft of special events which make the country attractive and competitive touristically.
Let’s reengineer, reset & restart …
National Tourism Train Afresh…on strict, sound & holistic UNWTO best industry practice principles to transform & reposition country as UNWTO Centre of Excellence Model and sound management principles
EXPERIENCE is the best teacher is a popular African adage, we brought tourism to the front burner as sacred and strategic crucial national development catalyst in 1993 with the formal creation of the erstwhile Ministry of Tourism (MOT), whose creation effectively granted the sector autonomy which was until then clamped as a footnote to others including information, trade, education among others.
MOT then set national tourism potential harnessing, development and evolution trajectory in motion.
MOT and national tourism development as a whole, has since undergone several transitional phases and changes including the historic 1996-2010 15-year long term comprehensive national tourism development roadmap document, realigning and rebranding of MOT at one time or another , variously designated and labeled including Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City (MOT&MCC), tourism and diasporan relations (MOTDR),tourism (MOT), tourism, creative arts and arts (MOTCAA) and currently at tourism, arts and culture and counting.
Recent National Tourism Development Narrative
Ghana is an emerging next and promising African and international tourism, this is support by relative national political stability, safety and security, which is reflected in the consist and improved annual increase in tourism receipts and visitor numbers, especially from 1991, until 2019, when the unexpected debilitating and devastating corona virus (covid-19) pandemic, came to scuttle an otherwise burgeoning and promising infant industry.
Ghana has before the pandemic firmly proven its readiness to a very grand take-off of an African and international giant tourism development and evolution.
Tourism arrivals and receipts from 1991 to 2001
Golden Tourism Development Trajectory
The immediate period preceding the Fourth (4th) Republic, especially from 1991 through 1993, when the Ministry of Tourism was formerly created to date can appropriately labelled as the golden era in our national tourism development trajectory.
The sector ministry was administered by a number of political appointees over the years at one period or the other as Minister of State (MOS) over the years including fallen decorated public servants as Mrs. Vida Amaadi Yeboah, Madam Hawa Ogede Yakubu and Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, the fallen celebrated and ubiquitous Communication and Marketing Strategist.
Whilst surviving ex-tourism ministers of state (tourism) include Mr. Mike Afedi Gizo ( now Nene M , Mr. Kwamena Bartels,Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Madam Oboshie Sai Coffie, Mrs. Juliana Azuma Mensah, Mama Zita, Ambassador Mrs. Akua Sena Dansua, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare,Mrs. Cathrine Abelema Afeku, Mrs. Barbra Oteng Gyasi and Dr. Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed AWAL presiding. Tourism Act
Legislation and legal regime is one huge herculean challenge which has impeded and stalled Ghana’s tourism forward progress over the years, industry laws, legislations and regulations are relegated to the back burner and are irregularly reviewed and amended.
The sector is therefore beset with obsolete laws and regulations, duplicative and fragmented pieces of laws, for instance the Ghana Tourist Control Board (GTCB), the founding body corporate of the industry was established by the National Redemption Council Decree (NRCD) 1973, NRCD224, which was amended by Supreme Military Council Decree (SMCD) 1977, SMCD 80, which realigned then Ghana Tourist Control Board (GTCB) into Ghana Tourist Board (GTB).
GTB to GTA
SMCD 80 did not see any amendment until 2011, when the Tourism, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), the tourism development levy/fund (TDL/F) and the tourism public-private partnership (T-PPP) Act 2011 was enacted which realigned then GTB into the current Ghana Tourism Authority and for the creation of the tourism development levy/fund as a statutory fund for accelerated national tourism development.
The National Cultural and Culture Trust Fund Policy Document 2004 was formulated during the period also saw. Other historic tourism sector enactment which birthed over the period included was the passage of the Tourism, (T), the Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA), tourism development levy/fund, (TDL/F), tourism public-private partnership, (TP-PP) as well as the Ghana Tourism Authority District Office (GTADO) Act 2011, Act 817, which process commenced during the reign of Mr.Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, as minister of tourism and diasporan relations (MOTDR) and travel all the way to Ambassador Akua Sena Dansua’s tenure .
Creative Act 2020
Other tourism related laws passed over the period were the Film Classification and Development (FC&D), the National Film Authority (NFA) and the Film Development Fund (FDF) Act 2016, Act 935 as well as the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and the Creative Arts Industry Fund (CAIF) 2020, Art 1048.
Despite the absence and the lack of national tourism number of tourism subsector pieces of enactments exist on our statues which give the burgeoning infant industry the needed energy to gel, notable among them include Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMBB) Act 1969 NLCD 387, the National Commission on Culture (NCC) Law 1990, PNDCL 238 as well as the Tourism, Ghana Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development Levy/Fund Act 2011, Act 817. A number of pieces of decrees, enactments and legislation instruments (LI), which are currently relevant and applicable to our tourism sector include the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Tourism Development Fund Act 2011, Act 817, the National Commission on Culture (NCC) Law 1990, PNDCL 238 and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMBB) Law 1969,NLCD387.
Other suitable, relevant and applicable sub-tourism industry laws on our statues are the Chieftaincy Act 2008, Act 759, the National Culture Policy 2004, the National Film Authority (NFA), the Film Development Fund (FDF) Act 2016, Act 935 as well as the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) Act 2020, Act 1048.
Duplication, fragmentation & obsolesces
Common features synonymous with all above tourism related laws are duplications, fragmentations and obsolesces there is therefore the need to revise, amend and harmonized these pieces of tourism related enactments into a single modified tourism sector regulatory document.
Tourism as an international competitive cash-cow which industry which is very much crucial and important to our current national development and socio-economic transformation aspirations that we cannot afford to lose on the global tourism development evolution.
UNWTO best practice compliant tourism development strategy fundamentals
It is very incumbent that we adopt very pragmatic strategies to and usage of cutting edge with modern and comprehensive national tourism legislation (NTL), legal and policy regime (LPR), basically ensuring that get and use approved and right strategies and fundamentals (ARS&Fs), which are very compatible and consistent with the United National World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) best industry practice principles, protocols, conventions, rules, regulations and guidelines in national tourism potential harnessing and development, to ensure responsible and sustainable development and evolution of the country’s burgeoning infant tourism industry, to ultimately transform and reposition Ghana our Homeland into an international UNWTO model destination, the centre of excellence and an attractive and competitive international tourism hub.
National Tourism & Hospitality Legislation
The urgently needed national tourism legislation (NTL) must also go hand in hand with national hospitality legislation (NHL), which must consider designating traditional authorities and rulers (TARs), metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) as statutory and strategic (S&S) frontline tourism custodians (FTC) and attractive tourism facility location tax rebates and incentives (TFLTR&Is), to diversify and promote inclusive and holistic balance national tourism development across the country.
Review, amend & harmonized subsector laws
Another important area which needs urgent attention is the need to revise, review, amend all tourism subsector laws on our statues, these laws are very obsolete, fragmented and duplicated, there is need to harmonize these pieces of tourism subsector laws into a single industry regulatory guideline document.
Merge & restructure GTA, GMMB & NCC nomenclature
Another crucial important area needing attention on the tourism sector restructuring and overhaul call for the need to merge the three most outstanding tourism frontline implementing agencies namely the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMBB) and the National Commission on Culture (NCC), body corporates, products and creations of the Tourism 2011, Act 817, GMBB Law 1969, NLCD 387 and the NCC Law 1990, PNDCL 238 respectively.
The three merged body corporates need to restructured and split as two new modern, well-resourced and staffed body corporates as the national tourism regulator (NTR) and brand Ghana destination manager (DM) respectively.
Eco-Heritage & Hospitality-Three most Unexplored USPs
TOURISM as an international competitive cash-cow evolves and gets keener and keener and projected to continue unabated for a very long period for as long as frontline industry practitioners, players, stakeholders and collaborators adhere strictly to all UNWTO Best industry practice protocols and other related rules and regulations.
Countries, destinations, facilities and practitioners have resorted to identifying their competitive strengths which they prioritize and harnessed to transform into competitive niche destination for the desired industry market share.
Ghana is yet to identify its competitive tourism strengths and develop to become an outstanding and competitive niche hub.
However Eco, heritage and hospitality, especially the numerous national parks, their wildlife and flora and fauna species, the infamous slavery, slave and colonization landmarks including the forts and castles, slave markets, wells, rivers, routes.
National Eco-tourism strength is reinforced by the outstanding results in both visitor numbers and receipts from national Eco-tourism pilot projects promoted in 2001-2003, whilst national heritage strength on the other hand was brought to the fore in 2019 during the 400th slavery anniversary year of return (YOR) celebration.
Ghana’s outstanding hospitality is also reflected in Ghana’s acknowledged and aclaimed world rated warm hospitality, and attractive diversified national gastronomy outlook subsectors stands out as Ghana’s strategic and unique tourism-points (USPs), when prioritized and harnessed can rapidly and dramatically turn Ghana’s socio-economic fortunes around.