Ghana’s Stand At The World Travel Market
Every time there is the world travel market in London, I see Ghana’s participation, but can close my eyes and be sure that the setting will be the same because it would lack creativity. If its not the usual white tables decorated with the famous Kente cloth, a pride of Ghana, It would perhaps be another color and a few tour companies buying stands and exhibiting their brochures and flyers on the little table they paid for. It looks like petty trading in Ghana and we all know what petty trading is, its petty.
How does a country expect people to be attracted to invest in its tourism industry if it isn’t projecting it right? So these are a few things that I think Ghana can do to be more attractive and visible.
There are amazing tourist attractions in the country with awesome history. Take for instance the Larabanga Mosque, the Kakum National Park, Cape Coast Castle and the Independence Arch to mention a few.
Ghana, Larabanga Mosque
I am sure that if the tourist board had a robust team, creative and innovative enough, it will be able to attract funding that would enable the country to have miniature outer models of these attractions to be modeled as space setup during exhibitions,use traditional furniture like the native stools to showcase our furniture. Starting a conversation playing a game of Oware during the exhibition, is a good ice breaker and can tell a lot of stories and give a lot of value to visitors.
If you must take a miss tourism Ghana to showcase the country, please make sure that they are in full kente regalia and not showcasing a contemporary style of the proper wearing of the cloth as this takes away the true value and appreciation of the cloth.
Paa Kwesi Inkumsah With Miss Ghana Tourism 2013 At World Travel Market
I had a very good impression of Kenya with how they sold the country each time, by bringing real Masai warriors who only don’t wear their clothes just for the exhibition but to showcase their pride and joy everywhere they went in London. That said a lot got people curious to know more. No wonder this country is a strong tourism haven on the coast of Africa.
My first experience with the Masai warrior was to request a photo opportunity to add to my collection of awesome traditional apparels and to show off that I met a real Masai warrior. During my photo moment with him, I held the spear of the warrior while the shot was taken. Note: The spear of the Masai is only held by him, so I was honored to have this privilege.
Masai Warrior at World Travel Market
My friend who wanted a photo moment too, wasn’t lucky as the warrior resisted and told him to visit Kenya and earn his stripes as a warrior. It would be the only way he would earn the right to hold a spear.
Holding the spear of the Masai is an honor as with that spear, he killed a lion.
I am happy to have had this opportunity.
Masai Warrior Spotted At London tube platform going for WTM
So the only way I had access to this information was first the attraction of the Masai in shape and form. Ghana’s Kente has a rich history that can be told to the world, our name “Gold Coast” has a lot of richness too and the display of gold ornaments as main accessories will go a long way to sell the rich resources of the land. Taking the very day plus size Ghanaian woman for these exhibitions depicts the true nature of our people as we are know by our curves and various contours.
Language is one thing we must learn to use and having Akwaaba Ghana will be an ideal introduction. Depending on which day of the week we are exhibiting, we can have various themes created to present a unique, awesome experience. If I am right, I think Ghana is one of the few countries in the world that names her people depending on the day of week and this I think is clever and something that can be sold to the rest of the world.
I would love to engage any department in tourism regarding the destination of the various areas in the country.
Greetings to the Chiefs and Custodians of Oguaa traditional Council,
Greetings to the great stalwarts of Ghana and Africa trying every day to improve upon the quality of life of our people,
Greetings to you my brothers and sisters!
The new age of Africa’s economic renaissance would be built on the shoulders and backs of young people. Young people would be the catalyst of this awakening. It would be sparked from the very depth of this generation, the millennial generation and our children. From this generation lies also hope, tenacity, vibrancy and enthusiasm.
The youth would be the hammers and spanners that would help mold our economic transformation through entrepreneurial development.
Young people in Africa are privileged because the terrain presents to us a unique opportunity to identify our challenges and device ways of meeting these challenges in a way that is also profitable.
I am hopeful and very excited to hear the President of Ghana, HE Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, a few days ago, commit $10million dollars as seed money towards entrepreneurship and innovation. This is great news for every young person with a great idea, who seeks to impact the world positively by providing solutions that improve the quality of life of our people.
Not too long ago, a good friend of mine in India, Aditya, after going through many frustrations of an address system that didn’t work at all in India, developed a software called Zippr that has since transformed and solved a major challenge and currently pivoted to providing this as a B2B solution for the government of India.
I know that some of you are wondering why I would give an example from India. This is because India like Africa has similar challenges and are using technology to improve the quality of life of her people.
But wait, before you conclude that I am using India as a standard, please allow me the opportunity to introduce Africa’s own and Ghana’s pride, Sesinam Dagadu who developed a similar software called Snoocode which solves the address challenge, same as my friend Aditya and its my hope, that this software is what the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana is considering as the solution to solve our address challenge. If this is so, it would be a major encouragement for the youth in development.
The future of Ghana and Africa lies in the hands of its present generation and this generation are the young, people scattered along the length and breath of our continent, hungry for change and active participants in their own developmental agenda. This means that there is a lot of responsibility on us to improve the quality of life on the continent with our mindset and skillset.
Our quest to improve the continent must not be of parochial interest, it must churn from a selfless desire and hunger as well as thirst to improve the entrepreneurial space.
This generation, would expedite our growth and development from learning from the people of old, our elders, their highs shall be our motivation and inspiration, their pitfalls our inspiration and learning curves, and their most challenging moments, our strength.
Let me take this opportunity to share with you great wisdom from an old man in the thick of the Asesewa township.
In this township, I revisited civility, nobility and experienced the highest form of cultural diplomacy. In a nutshell he said, everything we need, the creator has given. Food for our stomach from my backyard, shelter from the earth, fish, from the waters and good people, for our comfort.
In essence, what he said in summary was that, every good thing in this life we already have, what needs to be done is to think of ways to enhance and improve and use the resources available to us to improve the quality of life of humanity. This is also what entrepreneurship is about.
From this generation, the young will learn, observe and develop their own sound so they can dance to their own drum beat and perfect its tune to benefit many.
Let’s continue each day to realize that our own development is in our hands and it is up to us what we do with it.
I remember the inspirational efforts of Benin state native in Nigeria, Osaji and the impact he is making single handedly with his Godsent foundation to solve the challenge of every day people. Helping pregnant women get off the streets, paying for the fees of brilliant students to go to school, setting up hard working people on the streets to be more self sustaining and many others. His actions inspire me and his efforts and his use of social media to get help is even awesome.
My heart missed a beat when I was shown images of the Dixcove Methodist Basic School in the Western region of Ghana that is currently a death trap and serves as shelter for many children who are the next generation of Ghana.
So while this is a concern that government should really consider and have it fixed immediately, it as equally a concern of the natives. Today, I want us to look outside of government and see how we can rally support to save this school.
Chances are that, there are many natives of Dixcove living abroad or in the city centers with enough connections to raise an appreciable amount of money to restore the school and champion many other development in the area.
I see that there is enough earth there and I know a company called Hive Earth that can transform that school and build an eco friendly habitat that would be a great learning environment for these kids. The cost of construction is far cheaper than everyday materials, but much sustainable and would serve the purpose.
So let’s not go to the government, let me challenge each of you reading this today to call a friend to call another friend, let’s rally efforts and save those children. Let’s not wait until its too late. When Samuel Kojo Brace did the needful and brought this to the worlds attention, I expected observers from his wall who read the post to all start asking the most fundamental question.
So how do we help fix this challenge, how can we rally resources to fix this. Talk is cheap and if we must speak, at least let’s make it count for something. Talking constructively about it and finding ways to fix the challenge is a sure way of addressing the matter. Now wait, stop, pause and let’s take action. Its all within our reach, we can fix this. Join the #mifridixcove campaign and let’s drive change and development into this area.
Child spotted on the beach at Kokrobite in Accra. Photo credits by Paa Kwesi Inkumsah
Every where in the world, beaches have being a great point of escape for a great holiday to relax, de stress and be in tune with nature.
For me, some of the most amazing experiences have been on the beach. Spending time there and getting up early with my camera to walk a few stretch of sea sand with the coolness of the water massaging my feet and caressing them gently as if knowing what I need is just so refreshing. Capturing the early morning sun rise and again the sun set is an amazing and breath taking experience.
While I have had the best moments of my life on the beach, they have being clean and without the thought of the inhabitants putting filth into the ocean because they respect her. Its very shocking and difficult for people I know outside of Ghana to comprehend that some of the beaches in Ghana are dirty, with a few clean ones. They can’t understand it because it still doesn’t make sense even to me. But I have a perspective of it, same reason why the city center is dirty, the lack of maintenance of our parks and the very poor culture of maintenance generally.
Sitting at the Koral Resort in grand Bassam in Ivory Coast is always full of fond memories, because the most amazing experience I had was having breakfast at the beach and enjoying the view of a clean beach. I enjoy having breakfast in a few favorite places in Ghana, key to which is Big Milly’s backyard, awesome place, great people, nice vibe but still work in progress regarding the coast line. It doesn’t matter how many times you cleaned the coast, every other day, it appears that it found it self with many more trash.
If nature every day teaches man the fundamental lessons of cleanliness by rejecting the filth that we put in our water bodies, I wonder when humanity can understand this principle.
Yes, quite ridiculous that people empty trash in the sea and openly defecate there. While I have struggled many years understanding this, I realized that it was attitudinal. How else can I explain this. So first of all, we must deal with cleaning up the mindset and our beaches will be clean. This doesn’t only refer to the beaches but the surroundings. So frankly, the issue of sanitation is not solely the responsibility of the government. 50% of the effort must come from its citizens and I think that Ghanaians can do a much better job maintaining the coast line.
Ghana is a great country, its people very friendly and accommodating but have attitude that stink just as the stench we create. Let’s clean up the mess and maintain some sanctity.