NO POLITICAL WILL TOWARDS GHANAIAN TOURISM: shame with a twist

Posted on September 17, 2014

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Another post, another book!

Every Monday, Duncan Green, of From Poverty to Power blog fame posts his “I like” collation of articles from all over the web that have moved him. Great idea!

Well, I like a recent post by Nana Awere Damoah, author of I Speak of Ghana entitled “Don’t they feel ashamed”. A lot of people contributed to this article. Nana thanks them all at the end. Incidentally, a year ago, I mentioned Nana Awere Damoah and his book in a post dealing with youth and job creation and tourism support through scrapping short term tourist visas to Ghana.

Nana Awere’s article questions whether or not Ghanaian politicians experience any shame when they visit countries overseas where it seems everything is orderly, where everything works and then comparing it to back home in Ghana.

Here’s an example right near the beginning of the article and it relates to tourism:

When they visit museums abroad, don’t they feel ashamed knowing there is no proper museum in Ghana?

Now to answer the question. Yes, I think they feel shame because I am of the opinion that these feelings explain the lack of political will towards the development of tourism in Ghana. I’ve blogged a lot on the subject of no political will over the years. Here’s one post from November 2013 that begins a lot of theories why there has been no political will. Well, presented here is another theory that perhaps lies at the heart of the matter…

Imagine when Ghanaian politicians are guests of foreign governments…how they are wined, dined, accommodated and entertained! What thoughts would be going through their heads as they are exposed to the best of what their hosts have to offer? Are they thinking, “Oh my, what a contrast to back home! We will never be able to do this. Why would anybody want to visit Ghana, the chaos, the filth…No, no, no.”

And so, over the years, no political will results in a stagnated tourism industry characterized by low-budget allocations, partisan leadership appointments, crippling regulations, and a general lack of direction and vision.

Well, believe it or not, Ghana does have a lot to offer the tourist and Ghana can reap the benefits of an industry that has done so much for the economies of the world.

In my mind, there needs to be discussion on this subject in the tourism community in order to get over this psychological hurdle, especially at this time when another tragedy has befallen the West African sub region making it less appealing to visit!

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