Afedzi Abdullah/Isaac Arkoh, GNA
Elmina (C/R) Sept. 15, GNA – President Nana
Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has performed the ceremony to mark the official start of
construction works on the Elmina Heritage Bay Tourism Project.
The project is designed to improve the
immediate surroundings of the Elmina Castle to enhance visitor experience.
It comes with a reception facility, a
reverential garden, improved parking space, event grounds and waterfront seats.
Busts iconic Ghanaians, Africans and
African-Americans together with arts and craft shops would also be erected.
It forms part of the government’s agenda of
improving tourism assets, especially Forts and Castles to increase tourist
arrivals and revenue.
President Akufo-Addo said tourism had a “huge
potential” for job creation in the country and expressed his eagerness to see
an increase in jobs in the sector beyond the current 307,000 direct and 682,100
He said he was confident that the project,
when completed would attract more tourists and upped revenue generated by the
There could be no doubt that this was going to
help stimulate business development and job creation in the area.
The tourism sector’s contribution to the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) currently, stands at three per cent.
President Akufo-Addo said United Nations
Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage status
would be the yardstick of the project, which would focus on environmental
preservation, sustainable tourism development and community participation to
create an enhanced visitor experience.
He called for effective collaboration among
all stakeholders, to make sure that any residual issues were resolved for the
project to become a benchmark for tourism development around the various Forts
Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku, Minister for
Tourism, Arts and Culture, announced that next year would mark 400 years of the
first documented enslaved African arriving in James Town, Virginia.
Her Ministry together with its implementing
agencies were therefore working to invite Ghanaians in the Diaspora to be part
of the event.
She said the project would harness tourism as
a tool for job creation, support the Elmina community and bring down poverty.
Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, Omanhen of Edina
Traditional Area, hailed the government for the project and called for all to
unite their effort to tackle sanitation problems, particularly along the
He said the filth that had engulfed most of
the country’s tourism sites was unhelpful to tourism development.
Nana Conduah commended the President
Akufo-Addo for suspending the implementation of the ban on fishing that was
supposed to have come into effect, last month.
He asked that the government put in place
measures to tackle activities of foreign trawlers and deal with the issue of illegal
transhipment on the sea.