GHANAIAN TOURISM, THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE CRISIS AND PAPA KWESI NDUOM

Posted on January 30, 2014

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I posted this comment on the SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA Face book page:

“Christopher Scott
The Ghanaian blogosphere is screaming about the Ghanaian cedi in “free fall”…the stats on the % losses to the world’s major currencies since the new year are staggering!

In such times, a country’s tourism industry usually flourishes as foreign visitors take advantage of great deals! Look at South Africa where the rand has hit a five-year low and foreign tourists are converging on that country, on that TOURIST VISA FREE COUNTRY!

Ghana can innovate! The timing is perfect! The number four earner of foreign exchange in Ghana is tourism. The government pays lip service to it becoming No. 1, but they have to enact proactive policy reform. SPREAD THE WORD.”

One person screaming about Ghana’s currency crisis is FB “public figure” Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom.
paa kwesi

“Dr.Papa Kwesi Nduom
11 hours ago
It has been reported that most banks in Ghana are facing a shortage of US dollars. The huge demand for US dollars is driving the value of the Cedi lower and lower. Careful research will show that the depreciation of the cedi did not begin this year or last year. Indeed, the cedi has consistency depreciated for the past twenty years. So short term solutions will not work today just as re-denomination did not provide a solution. If the fundamental problems facing the economy are not resolved, no short term solution or legislation as suggested by the Vice President will solve the problem. The government must put down pragmatic steps to halt the situation from going bad to worse. Government he recommended must be bold and use its purchasing power to help Ghanaian entrepreneurs produce what we need instead of importing everything we eat and use.

Papa Kwesi Nduom”

I believe Nduom’s analysis is valid. I’ve been here the last fifteen years and the cedi has continuously lost value. It actually reminds me of the 1970s when life went from bad to worse as Papa Kwesi writes. And his recommendation to increase local production to cut down on foreign spending is valid as well, But there is an irony in Dr. Nduom’s thinking, an ommission….and it has to do with another of Pa Kwesi’s real identities besides “public figure” and that is hotel chain owner. In his comment above, he has forgotten about the silent export…tourism. In fact, there’s never a peep about tourism from this guy, and you would think that at this time there would be. During times of foreign currency shortages and the subsequent, consequent loss in value of the local currency, tourism flourishes. Pa Kwesi recommends government getting “bold”. I think Ghana’s tourism industry could get a much-needed spark/incentive, if Ghana introduced a pilot program with a preferred tourist nation that has been generous over the years to Ghana by scrapping short term tourist visas…

But maybe Pa Kwesi’s voice has been compromised on tourism issues as any Nduom comment would be perceived as self-serving. But such advise could come from an advisory committee. I’ve always thought it is a grand oversight that Pa Kwesi, with all his years of experience and expertise in the hotel business, does not sit on any of the committees advising the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism , Culture and Creative Arts. But that’s a whole other topic…..

SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA

Note: This is my second attempt to get Papa Kwesi involved in the conversation…perhaps now in this time of crisis…

I write this out of great respect for Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom and the 3rd party movement all over the world.

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