Tourism Ministry outlines plans for US$ 50 million World Bank grant
By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Jan. 29, GNA – The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, on Monday, outlined various programmes and activities, which the US $50 million World Bank grant would be used for.
Addressing the media at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra, Madam Catherine Ablema Afeku, the Sector Minister, said the grant was given under the Ghana Tourist, Arts and Culture Sector Improvement Project.
She said the grant would support the Ministry and its agencies to improve sector productivity, create jobs and wealth creation.
Madam Afeku said it was the first time the Ministry has receive such a colossal financial support from the World Bank and that it would go into empowering women and youth in the creative arts value chain, and ultimately, to enhance the tourism experience in the country.
Madam Afeku commended the Finance Ministry for facilitating the process, saying it was upon incessant pressure from their outfit that secured the grant.
She said the World Bank and the Finance Ministry would supervise the utilisation of the funds to ensure the judicious application of the funds on targeted projects.
Other projects which the funds would be applied include; supporting reforms in the Ghana Tourism Strategy and Sector Development Implementation Roadmap and ensure the creative industry is involved and engulfed in the development plan of the Ministry.
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It would foster inter-sectoral stakeholder linkages, efforts coordination and capacity building to create skilled workforce in the hospitality, tourism and creative arts sector, as well as facilitating beach sanitation and commercialization and support macro and small scale enterprises within the sector for job creation.
More so, the Minister revealed that, the funds would support the Centre of the World project at Tema under the auspices of the Ghana Development Tourism Company.
Madam Afeku said the project would be marketed locally and globally to attract people to have their weddings and engagements there as well as advertise goods manufactured locally, as well as linking the Centre to the rest of the world so as to rake-in more revenue for the state.
“For instance, the Tema Golf Club could be accredited to host golf tournaments at the Centre of the World through a Memorandum of Understanding and transform the Golf Club into a first-class golf resort, transform the Presbyterian Church at the Centre into a religious tourism site and develop passenger and cruise ship terminal and construct an iconic tower there,” she said.
The Minister said the Government’s vision was to make Ghana a tourism destination hub, therefore, all efforts are geared towards investing in projects that would help achieve that feat.
She said the Accra Tourist Information Centre had been renovated and would soon be commissioned as a convention and business bureau with the aim of attracting major events to Ghana.
Madam Afeku said the Centre has three major restaurants to promote the Eat-Ghana initiative and a Customer-Call Centre where both domestic and foreign tourists could make enquires on various tourist destinations in the country.