The World Bank has approved a grant of US $ 50 million to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture under the Ghana Tourism, Arts and Culture Sector Improvement Project.
The money will be used to strengthen the Ministry's institutions and stakeholders, empower women and youth in the creative arts and culture chain, and in job creation.
Specifically, the funds will be applied to supporting reforms in the Ghana Tourism Strategy and Sector Development Implementation Roadmap; fostering inter-sectoral stakeholder linkages and efforts co-ordination; build capacity to create skilled workforce in the hospitality, tourism and creative arts sector; facilitate beach sanitation and commercialization, and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) within the sector for job creation.
Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku, Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts, who made these known when the Ministry took its turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Monday, noted that it was the first time the World Bank had supported the industry.
Mrs Afeku disclosed that her Ministry, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Tema Golf Club and the Tema Community One Presbyterian Church were in a collaboration to market Ghana as the centre of the world.
"We believe that with good marketing, people could be attracted to have their weddings at the centre of the world, set up businesses and advertise that their goods were manufactured at the centre of world, she said, adding "Linking up with other countries on the Greenwich Meridian, there is so much we could benefit from that association. The Tema Golf Course could be accredited to host tournaments at the centre of the world, including the likes of PGA tournaments."
Mrs Afeku also said the Ministry was working with investors to re-develop the Muni Lagoon areas in Winneba as an Eco-Tourism enclave.
Furthermore, she said, the Ministry was embarking on a Rest Stop project, the first of which eco-friendly highway stops would be built soon at Gomoa Assin between Apam Junction and Mankessim.
She disclosed that the newly-inaugurated Board of the Ghana Museums and Monuments had set in motion an aggressive asset audit in all the ten regions, beginning with Greater Accra.
In addition, she said, the Ministry would launch an e-ticketing system to streamline revenue generation in the arts and theater sector.
Source: ISD (Solace Esi Amankwa)