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Ghana eyes increased int’l tourists as 2022 December in Gh launches

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  • By: Kojo Bentum Williams
  • August 5, 2022

Ghana has launched this year’s edition of its flagship tourism product, ‘December in Gh’ – an initiative which has seen the country become the leisure and merrymaking epicenter of the world since its inception.

Introduced in 2019, the programme has come to promote Ghana as a December holiday season destination, not only for the Ghanaian diaspora, but for the global diaspora family. December in Gh features a series of concerts, fashion shows, traditional cultural festivals, private parties and a lot more across multiple regions of Ghana which are endorsed by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) through the Beyond the Return Secretariat.

December has helped shore up international arrivals, tourist expenditures and stimulating the economy.

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GTA CEO, Akwasi Agyeman at the launch at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel yesterday, August 4, said “the success of December in Gh is unprecedented and has been an important part of not only boosting the economy, but also branding Ghana as the go-to destination in December and subsequently, the rest of the year. With our engagement with our hotels and tour operators, we know that many have booked groups far in advance.”

The Ghanaian authorities are looking for increased numbers from this year’s December in Gh.

“We anticipate that December in Gh for 2022 will become a record-breaking year as more travelers take the journey to Ghana,” Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said.

He expressed optimism that the draw of December in Gh will help the country achieve its target of one million international arrivals for 2022.

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“…available data indicate that the first half of the year has recorded over 400,000 international arrivals against a target of one million for the whole of 2022. Considering the fact that the second half of each year is the peak period for international arrivals, the target of one million tourists would be achieved. Events such as AfroNation, Afrochella, Esssence among others would help drive tourists to Ghana,” Dr. Awal emphasized.

The launch drew participation from the diaspora community, public officials, event organizers, students, traditional authorities and the media.

Also present were over 80 members of the National Association for Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) led by its President Derrick Johnson who was presented with a citation honouring his effort at helping members reconnect with their ancestral roots.

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There was a food fair with an assortment of indigenous foods from all over the country on display for consumption and a cook-off competition involving some local celebrities.

The full list of activities and events for this year’s December in Gh is expected to be announced in the coming weeks by the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return Secretariat.

By: Samuel Obeng Appah

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Ghana Tourism Authority set to celebrate 50 years with impressive growth in the sector

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has officially launched its 50th-anniversary celebrations with remarkable impact and growth in the tourism space commencing this week across the country.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman during the launch recognized the efforts and sacrifices of people who have contributed in diverse ways to improve the authority as he discussed the performance of Ghana’s tourism sector.

Mr. Agyeman announced significant growth in the country’s tourism sector during the launch. According to him, Ghana experienced a 47% increase in international arrivals from 623,523 in 2021 to 914,892 in 2022, outperforming most African countries which were doing 65% of pre-pandemic levels, while Ghana did 81%.

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He reiterated that this achievement was only plausible courtesy of the “Legacy initiatives” of the Akufo-Addo-led administration.

“This is a testament to the success of the many strategies we put in place such as the Destination Ghana campaign launched by H.E the President and our continuing effort through the Beyond the Return Project to be the Mecca of the African diaspora,” he said.

Mr. Agyeman also reported that the domestic tourism sector also recorded an impressive growth of 55% increase in domestic tourism from 588,946 in 2021, to 937,087 in 2022. He believes that “Ghanaians are discovering the beauty of our country and are choosing to explore their own backyard, which is great news for the local economy. Tourist sites such as Aburi Botanical Gardens, the Kumasi Zoo and the Kakum National Park all showed strong performance.”

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He also highlighted GTA’s commitment as he promised continual and significant efforts to improve the tourism industry, including infrastructure improvements that will enhance the visitor experience and make it easier for tourists to access the many attractions that Ghana has to offer. The GTA boss intimated that, work has started on several projects, including the Aburi Botanical Garden, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the Yaa Asantewaa Museum and the Pikworo Slave camp among others.

“MOUs were signed with some 13 communities for project upgrades. This is in line with the new Legislative Instrument LI 2393 on Tourist sites and attractions. In the year, we undertook sensitisation of all players in the industry,” he added.

Mr. Agyeman further commended the private sector for investing in the tourism industry and expressed the commitment of the Ghana Tourism Authority to promoting Ghana as a top tourist destination.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal who graced the occasion congratulated GTA and its CEO for pushing beyond the limit. He, however, tasked the authority to attract a total of 1.2 million visitors by the end of the year.

Activities for the GTA @50 anniversary are set to include industry games, awards and dinner night, a presidential summit on rethinking Ghana’s tourism and familiarization trips among other exciting activities. The authority called on all stakeholders and Ghanaians to join them in the celebration.

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Domestic tourism registers 47% growth in the last two years- CEO

  • September 6, 2023
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Mr Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority ( GTA ) says domestic tourism has grown by 47 percent over the last two to three years.

He said the Authority was, however, hopeful that with efforts, initiative, dedication, and collaborations as well as the partnership model they were beginning to build, and with more people coming into the country, by the close of the year the number would increase.

“This year in December we are trying to get more of the events outside Accra so that we can get people who come into the country to travel around. The travel around Ghana is what is really impacting the sector because they would stay in hotels, eat local foods, buy clothes and all other things.”

Speaking with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Agyeman said for 2018, they had about 600,000 people traveling within Ghana and last year that went to 937, 000, representing about 47 percent growth, saying “domestic tourism is growing but the issue is that because we normally announce the international arrivals first and people think that that is the focus.”

“But our focus is rather on the domestic tourism because COVID taught us that when the airlines cannot come and the borders are shut, we need the people to go round, and that is why we instituted all those campaigns like the “Experience Ghana Share Ghana, See, Eat, Wear and Feel Ghana.”

With regard to the events in December, Mr Agyeman said the Authority was currently targeting the Northern region, as the region to extend most of the events to.

“This is because we have some decent cultural activities and festivals coming on there, then Takoradi and Ashanti. We have engaged with them to improve some of the events and festivals that happen there. So that other peripheral events can be brought on board for more people to patronize it.

“The numbers for December are growing and we are hoping that the target of two million people coming in would be achieved. Currently, for the first half of the year, we have about 500,000 people coming in and it means that we are lagging behind our target. But we know that when it comes to the last quarter, which is usually the travel time for lots of people who come to Ghana, we will achieve that.”

Source: GNA

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Access Bank commits to growing Ghana’s tourism sector  

Accra, Dec 13, GNA – Madam Pearl Nkrumah, the Executive Director for Retail and Digital Banking at Access Bank (Ghana) Plc, has called on financial institutions to support the advancement of Ghana’s tourism and creative arts industries.  

She noted that the growth and revenue potential of the tourism sector hinged on their ability to support it and make it a fertile area for investment. 

Madam Nkrumah made the call at the just ended Tourism Investment Summit held in Accra, a statement issued by the Bank, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said on Tuesday. 

She highlighted the need for financial institutions to be proactive in providing tailor-made products and services to individuals and institutions earnestly growing the tourism and creative industry in Ghana. 

“Financial institutions are armed with tools and skills to play a vital role in promoting tourism in the country,” she said. 

“And this can be effectively carried out by the provision of investment structures, loans for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), credit facilities for tourism projects, foreign exchange services, risk management, and insurance.”  

“I believe by utilising these tools, financial institutions can significantly increase the country’s tourism contribution to GDP from 4 – 5 per cent to over 20 per cent.”   

Shedding light on strategic investments made by Access Bank in the sector, Madam Nkrumah said financial support to the hospitality and aviation sector amounted to $30 million. 

It also deployed a digital banking solutions for payment for premier events such as Afrochella, Accra Beer Festival, and Waakye Summit, and investing substantially in entertainment and arts. 

The Bank’s award-winning TV series ‘All Walks of Life’ had showcased African talent and ingenuity to the world while contributing to the growth of the industry and promoting financial inclusion.   

She reiterated the bank’s unwavering commitment to supporting the growth of Ghana’s tourism industry through governmental collaborations and a continuous support for SMEs and investment in digital technologies. 

“Moving forward, Access Bank plans to continue investing in specialized financial products for businesses in the tourism sector, collaborate more with the Government to align financial support with national tourism goals, provide funding for the development and improvement of tourism infrastructure, continue to commit to SMEs, and invest in digital technologies,” Madam Nkrumah said. 

The Tourism Investment Summit was organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture through the Ghana Tourism Development Project, in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority and other agencies, on the theme: “Tourism Investment, A Catalyst for National Development”.  

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Meet Olamide Olowe, The Founder And CEO Who Raised Over $14M In Funding Before Age 26 For Her Viral Topicals Brand

If you’re active on social media, you’ve more than likely come across one of Topicals’ products.

For one of its latest popular social marketing campaigns, the skincare company partnered with Black influencers for a brand trip to Ghana for “Detty December,” a time when people travel to Nigeria and/or Ghana to celebrate the holiday season.

The mastermind behind the inclusive beauty brand founded in 2020 is Olamide Olowe. As previously reported by AFROTECH, the Nigerian-American founder and CEO raised $2.6 million in venture capital that first year.

By 2022, Olowe made history by becoming the youngest Black woman to raise $10 million in funding, according to Forbes. Led by CAVU Consumer Partners, the Series A round also included investments from Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, Kelly Rowland, Gabrielle Union, Yvonne Orji, Bozoma Saint John, and Hannah Bronfman, per a press release. What’s more, Topicals became Sephora’s fastest-growing skincare brand as it sold one product per minute in 2022.

In total, Olowe raised $14.8 million for Topicals before age 26, according to her LinkedIn page.

Following her own challenges dealing with acne, Olowe’s aim in founding Topicals was to support people who struggle with skin conditions such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots. According to a report shared by Skin of Color Society, over 65% of African Americans experience symptoms of hyperpigmentation.

“A couple of stats that encouraged me to address the market gap for skin conditions is: one in four Americans lives with a chronic skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, or acne,” Olowe told Vogue. “Around 50% of dermatologists and residents said their medical school training didn’t prepare them to treat skin of color. In addition, 75% of clinical trial participants are white, which means the vast majority of products on the market haven’t been tested for safety or efficacy on darker skin tones.”

Along with providing products that combat skin conditions, Topicals is big on advocating for mental health. In 2023, the company partnered with Change, a leading donation platform, to launch its mental health fund, per a press release. With the fund, Topicals partnered with Sad Girls Club, Hike Clerb,  A Safe Space Mentor, NOLA Black Mental Health Matters, and WalkGood LA to provide access to free therapy and create a safe community that fights mental health stigma.

“I know the toll skin conditions can take on our self-image,” Olowe shared in a statement. That’s why Topicals is investing in organizations creating community-centric spaces via our Mental Health Fund. It’s important to us that we help those struggling with mental and skin health feel less alone and more supported in their journey towards healing.”

According to Topicals’ 2023 community impact report, it donated $50,000 to the mental health fund’s five featured organizations.

Meet Olamide Olowe, The Founder And CEO Who Raised Over $14M In Funding Before Age 26 For Her Viral Topicals Brand

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Dr Bawumia launches project to create 250,000 jobs

23h ago    |    source: graphic online.

Pic

Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (middle), interacting with Kosi Yankey Ayeh (left), Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Enterprise Agency, at the launch of the project. With them is Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched a project to empower 250,000 young people to access dignified and fulfilling jobs over the next four years.

With an investment of some GH¢660 million, about $55 million, the Business in a Box (BizBox) project is expected to provide young entrepreneurs with essential tools, knowledge and support to start and expand their own businesses.

The project, which is being implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and Mastercard Foundation, is scheduled to run till April 2027.

It would offer training in life skills, technical expertise, entrepreneurship and business development to promote growth and scalability.

Others are mentorship, access to markets, regulatory support, appropriate start-up kits and support across various sectors, including agriculture, agri-adjacent industries, tourism, the creative industry, building and construction, among other sectors.

In attendance were the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; the Board Chairman of GEA, Selvester Tetteh; the Chief of Defence Staff, Ghana Armed Forces, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Elizabeth Naa Tawiah Sackey; the CEO, Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Nana Osei Bonsu, and a Mastercard Representative, Gottfred Odamtten-Sowah, and other dignitaries.

Collaboration

Launching the project after a campaign in Accra yesterday, Dr Bawumia said that the project was a collaborative effort between the two implementing partners built on the success of a “Young Africa Works” initiative.

He said the Young Africa Works that was implemented between 2020 and 2022, made a substantial impact by opening doors and employment opportunities for approximately 94,000 young people in the country.

Dr Bawumia, therefore, said that the BizBox was to scale up and empower 250,000 individuals.

He said the project would support 125,000 youth with start-up kits, provide market access to 50,000 businesses and offer regulatory support to 40,000 businesses.

“The BizBox is more than a project, it symbolises hope and opportunities which encompass tools, knowledge and support to develop and grow successful businesses,” the Vice-President added.

He said the project would target the youth between 15 and 35 years, persons with disability (PWDs), vulnerable females, women business owners and female youth-led businesses.

Entrepreneurship

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, also said that the project would address some of the soft barriers that confronted women, the youth and PWDs from venturing into high growth-oriented business activities.

It would also tackle mindset change, provide essential start-up tools and kits for sustainable business development and support start-ups to expand and build resilience.

“We also hope that in the course of the project a strong entrepreneurial culture will be imbued in the beneficiaries to aspire to higher heights,” he said.

For her part, the CEO of GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the initiative marked a significant milestone in the commitment of the two partners to empower the youth and foster entrepreneurship in the country.

“The heart of the BizBox project lies in its commitment to foster an entrepreneurial mindset shift that will enable our youth to succeed in a variety of settings.

We recognise that this shift is not merely about starting businesses, but about cultivating a mindset that sees challenges as opportunities, failure as a stepping stone to success, and innovation as the driving force behind progress,” she added.

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    Dr Bawumia launches project to create 250,000 jobs 1h ago | Source: Graphic Online Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia (middle), interacting with Kosi Yankey Ayeh (left), Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Enterprise Agency, at the launch of the project. With them is Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade and Industry.