On Sunday September 21, Ghana celebrated Founder’s Day marking the birthday of her first president Kwame Nkrumah 105 years ago. To mark the day the Deputy Minister of Tourism was in his hometown, Nkroful in the Western Region of Ghana. Here is the press release reporting on the event entitled ‘Residents Of Nkrumah’s Birthplace Must Make It Attractive To Tourists’.
This situation reminds me of Besease, Ashanti where the Asante Traditional Building, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Most recently, an article appeared on the Modern Ghana news site entitled Setting The Priorities Right—A Step Towards Nation Building I posted the article on the Ghana Tourism Authority Facebook page along with the comment:
“Christopher Scott Ghana Tourism Authority
September 7 at 3:14pm ·
The article below recently appeared on the Modern Ghana site. Here’s the part I’d like to bring to your attention: ‘In my opinion, government should post young graduates at some of the important tourist sites as part of their
national service. Aburi gardens, Boti falls, Elmina Castle, Page crocodile pond, and the likes are potential income generators.’
In my opinion, one attraction site that desperately needs a young articulate national service person (maybe a Ghanaian history major who would have to come from there I understand) is the UNESCO Asante traditional building at Besease near Ejisu. The old illiterate caretaker there who receives tourists is sad, so sad. Often he is not there, sometimes he’s drunk. Please, at least get proactive on this one if you can’t act on the macro issues impacting Ghana Tourism…Thank you. Justica Anima and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ghana (tagged)”
But this isn’t the main point! Is it sound to argue that communities should alone develop their tourist sites since they are the ones that benefit?? Here’s my take which I posted under ‘Residents Of Nkrumah’s Birthplace Must Make It Attractive To Tourists’.
“Christopher Scott The people don’t have a clue..oh they can clean up and maintain the building, but to create a tourist experience..they wouldn’t know where to start…You have to go in there with plans for Nkrumah’s home…tourists just won’t buy walking through an empty shell….Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ghana and Ghana Tourism Authority Soon it’s world tourism day September 27 and the theme is Tourism and Community Development. Well here is a test case…you have some money through the tourism levy…in one year we’ll all go and see what you have done! tagged to Ghana Tourism Federation – Ghatof and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)”
I believe in partnership and this sure does not smack of a collaborative effort between government providing the expertise, the community providing the labour and both sharing the funding. No, this typical of government relinquishing all responsibility and participation in projects…let alone necessary funding.
Now you would think that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts would post the article about their Deputy Minister out in the regions, in a particular community of interest…. No! I did! Along with the comment just above. I wonder if I’ll get a response. I wonder if anybody reads the comments. Still there has been no response to the September 7 post on the Ghana Tourism Facebook page tagged to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts on Besease and the need for National Service personnel at the UNESCO site….