Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, has supported calls by colleague tourism ministers on the continent on the need for the African Union (AU) to establish a Commission on Tourism.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare made gave her support at the 21st session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Medellin, Colombia, where she is leading Ghana’s delegation to the to the conference.
The General Assembly is the supreme organ of the UNWTO. Their ordinary session are held every two years and is attended by delegates from UNWTO members, as well as representatives from UNWTO affiliate members.
It is considered the most important global meeting of senior tourism officials and high-level representatives of the private sector.
Importance of Tourism Commission
She said the development of tourism, to a large extent, could be accelerated with the establishment of a desk on tourism within the African Union structure.
???She said the political would of the sector’s development will be enhanced with a structure like that.
“In Ghana’s case, the government, under the leadership of his Excellency President John Mahama, in realising the enormous potential of tourism improving economies, creating jobs, and alleviating poverty, is personally spearheading the development and promotion of tourism in the country,” she added.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare explained that the establishment of the commission would help provide a platform to discuss and find solutions to similar problems facing the development of tourism in the continent.
“Just like the Foreign Affairs and Security Desk within the African Union structure, Tourism will even help improve the lives of its people,” she added.
Tourism is the leading pro-poor industry in the world and holds the trump card in changing the economies of most countries in the world, especially the developing economies.
In a related development, the UNWTO has commended Ghana for successfully hosting the UNWTO Regional Conference on BrandAfrica, which ended in August.
In a letter addressed to the minister, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Dr Taleb Rifai, said Ghana had once again shown the world how Africa could deliver, when given the opportunity.
“I would like to sincerely thank you for providing the tourism leaders of African countries and the world with a platform to come together and engage in interactive discussions on advancing tourism growth through a positive brand in Africa and also for accepting our invitation,’’ the statement read.
“Ghana has hosted the world and shown leadership on the African continent,” the statement added.
Ghana recently hosted the world when the first ever UNWTO Regional Conference on Branding of Africa, where issues regarding the image of the continent were discussed in detailed.
The conference brought together over 40 nations from around the world to discuss how Africa can own its narratives.
Credit: Graphic Business