GHANA: VOLITILE ELECTION RHETORIC CALLS FOR TOURISM SECTOR TO SPEAK OUT!

Posted on April 2, 2012

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A little more than eight months from now Ghana will have held her parliamentary and presidential elections. After election day on December 7, let’s hope and pray that we are sitting waiting with bated breath for the results and not licking wounds incurred through election violence….

There have been many appeals for free and fair elections from the public sector, from the politicians themselves, church officials, media personages and traditional chiefs. Entertainment figures like gospel singer Diana Hamilton are embarking on peace tours.

Students are marching…
Even a little basic school student named Angela Mensah is worried and has started advocating for peace!

These appeals are justified given the fact that almost daily there are numerous blatant statements and innuendos from all sides of the political spectrum advocating the use of force to win. I won’t copy any of the numerous news items, but I will refer to one that said, at least our guns will be registered!

After all, the stakes have risen for obvious economic reasons….

Now is not the time for complacency. Yes, Ghana, often referred to as “the beacon of democracy”, is an unusual success story when it comes to holding elections. But it was close last time in 2008 …blessedly, the peace held…but the country dodged the proverbial bullet….

BUT WHY THE SILENCE FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR? It is time business leaders in the private sector speak out, especially those in the tourism/export services sector which would be one of the most devastated if election violence erupts.

This sector is highly developed organized. There is an umbrella organization called The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) along with over twenty member and affiliated associations listed below:

Ghana Association of Travel and Tour Agents (GATTA) 021239684
Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA) 021254772, email:toughaghana@yahoo.com

Ghana Hotels Association 0244785616
Ghana Restaurants and Nightclubs Association 021242532
Ghana Traditional Caterers Association (GTCA) 0243808323
Car Rentals Association of Ghana (CRAG) 0244406525
Tour Guides Assoc. of Ghana (TORGAG) 0208163469
Ghana Forex Bureau Association (GARFORB) 0208118203
Indigenous Traditional Caterers Association 021671292
National Drinking Bars Operators Association (NADBOA) 0244202663
Ghana Bar Operators Association (GHABOA) 0277737341
Institute of Hospitality formally (HCIMA) … 0208184630
Ghana Traditional Carterers Association

The affiliate organizations include:

Skal International Club of Accra 021233786
Ghana Tourism Society (GTS) 0208129329
Board of Airlines (BAR-GH) 0277489911
Ghana Chefs Association 0243080038

Travel Writers Association of Ghana 0277386371
Cook Art Ghana 0243511458

I can’t speak for the other associations, but as an active member of the Ghana Hotels Association for the past twelve years, one of largest and strongest associations listed above, I think this association should lead the way in championing the tourism sector’s plea to the politicians to TAKE IT EASY! The tourism sector would have so much to lose. NO, GHANA HAS THE MOST TO LOSE!

You know madinghana…I’ll be sending this post direct to the National President of the Ghana Hotels Association. And I’ll be bringing the issue up at this Thursday’s regular monthly meeting of the Ashanti branch of the Ghana Hotels Association.

Do you know any one in the above associations? Phone them. Encourage them to speak out for PEACE!

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