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Ghana, USA to  collaborate to promote tourism, arts and culture



Ghana, USA tourism, Arts, Culture, collaboration, Newscenta, international tourists,
Dr Awal and Ambassador Palmer. Photo: Tourism Ministry

Ghana and the United State of America (USA) have agreed to collaborate to promote tourism, arts and culture among the two countries.

This was the outcome of a meeting held in Accra on Friday, September, 23 2022 between the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and the US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer.

Joint US-Ghana tourism fora

As part of the collaboration, the two Countries will hold joint tourism fora in Ghana and US to help promote tourism potentials in Ghana.

Africa Americans account for 60% tourists to Ghana


The US accounts for over 60% of international tourists to Ghana who are mainly Africa Americans.

Travel to Ghana specifically by U.S. citizens increased by 26% from January 2019 to September 2019 following the launch of the ‘Year of Return,

Some events that attract tourists

The tourists come to revel in many events like Afrochella, Afro nation, Essence, Taste of Ghana among many others.

Dr. Awal said, the US was an important market for Ghana in tourism and therefore urged the Ambassador to use her good office to help market Ghana as a potential tourism and investment destination.


He added that, the launch of the Beyond the Return by President Akufo-Addo in 2019 has made Ghana the centre of attraction for African Diasporans, therefore Ghana was taking measures not to only attract tourist but to repeat tourist arrivals.

“Revamping some tourist attraction sites such as the national museum after extensive renovation, renovating Nkrumah Memorial Park, renovation of both Cape Coast and Elmina Castle and the training of stakeholders in the tourism value chain to improve their customer care orientation,” Dr. Awal added.

On her part, Virginia E. Palmer was happy with the development of Tourism in the Country and said Ghana was a very peaceful Country which is the hub of tourism in the West African sub-region.

She expressed her country’s willingness to partner the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to promote the sector as a way of creating jobs and wealth for the people.

At the end of the meeting, the Minister and the Ambassador agreed to meet again in October to work on details of the collaboration.


150,000 tourists expected in December

About 150,000 tourists are expected to travel to Ghana this December to enjoy the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality and to have fun and leisure.

December is the month Ghana receives the highest number of visitors.

1.1 million visitors to Ghana in 2019

In 2019, 1.1 million visitors came to Ghana following the launch of the ‘Year of Return’ and available data indicate that the first half of 2022 has recorded over 400,000 international arrivals against the country’s target of welcoming one million for 2022.





Ghana to get $350m modern film studio and production house



Film studio, production house, Newscenta, Nana Dakrabo I, Asebu, Ghana,
Photo Credit: @Nana Dakrabo I Instagram

Nana Dakrabo I, Mpuntuhene (Development Chief) of Akonoma in the Asebu Kingdom of the Central Region, is building a state-of-the-art film studio and production house, dubbed “Dakrabo 1 Studios” in Ghana.

Dakrabo I, who is a Los Angeles-born entrepreneur, has partnered with WEG Studios in Washington D.C., musician and producer Koby Maxwell, actor Michael Blackson, and other notable people to help bring the project to life.

Film studio, production house, Newscenta, Nana Dakrabo I, Asebu, Ghana,

The production house will cost an estimated $350 million and will be on a 321-acre land in Ghana, making it the first of its kind in Africa, according to Ghanaian American Journal.

Upon completion, Dakrabo 1 Studios will showcase seven soundstages, a 240-acre backlot, a blue-screen water tank, a recording studio, pre/post-production facilities, screening theaters, a concert hall, office space, a hotel forecast and crews, and most importantly, a film & music school.

The production studio will garner a large number of productions from neighboring countries in an effort to capitalize on the African film market.


The studio will also be looking to attract productions from around the world.

Film studio, production house, Newscenta, Nana Dakrabo I, Asebu, Ghana,

In regards to the educational offers within the studio, Dakrabo I stated, “Our education and technology partners are working together to create an educational experience that allows industry-leading educators from Los Angeles to teach virtually in Ghana.

It’s critical that aspiring professionals are properly trained on best practices and techniques directly from the industry’s practitioners.

This will allow professionals to create content at a calibre that rivals a Hollywood blockbuster.” Furthermore, each building on the studio’s campus will be named after an influential African as a way of honoring and celebrating African unity in an effort to move the continent forward.

Currently outside of Ghana, Nigeria’s Nollywood has become the second-largest film industry in the world, producing over 2,500 films and employing over 300,000 people per year.


Dakrabo I and his partners have hopes to create a new Hollywood in Ghana.

I was born in Los Angeles and raised around celebrities and executives. Essentially, I was raised around Hollywood and now I will bring Hollywood to Ghana,” Nana Dakrabo I, who goes by Michael B. Pratt in his private life, said about his plans.

“Beyond the film studio, I want to see professionals in all creative industries realize their ‘Hollywood’ dreams without leaving the continent and to see a thriving entertainment industry that attracts talent and attention from all over the world,” he added.

Film studio, production house, Newscenta, Nana Dakrabo I, Asebu, Ghana,

One of Dakrabo I’s partners on the project Nollywood producer Koby Maxwell commented “a film studio in Ghana will tremendously improve the industry with high-quality productions and it will unearth potential and opportunities for the whole world.”

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GH₵350m being spent to modernise tourist sites in Ghana



December in GH, Newscenta, 113 events, December 2022, Beyond the return,

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has announced the government’s commitment to spend GH₵350 million to modernise various tourist attractions across the country with support from the World Bank.

He said this commitment is in line with the government’s strategy to position the tourism sector to act as a veritable tool for economic transformation, which will culminate in job and wealth creation for people.

Dr Awal announced this yesterday while addressing journalists at the Minister’s Press Briefing a platform instituted by the Ministry of Information for various state agencies to update the public actions, programmes and projects.

Product development 

He said the GH₵350 million is being used to develop products that will inure to the growth of the sector.


Some of these products include Pikworo Heritage and Slave Camp Project (1st Phase Done –Receptive Facility) in the Upper East Region and Bonwire Kente museum in Ashanti Region.

Other products include the rehabilitation of the Yaa Asantewaa museum at Ejisu also in the Ashanti Region is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

National Museum Rehabilitated 

The Minister said the National museum rehabilitated and reopened to the public is making many gains as it is seeing massive visits more than its initial status.

He noted that from June 13, when it was reopened, to October 15, 2022, the museum had 29,363 visitors against 12,000 for the whole of 2015 before its closure for innovation.


He added that these visits earn the country some GH₵400,000 for the past four months.

Dr Awal noted that the rehabilitation of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park is ongoing and that it will be reopened by March 2023 before the celebration of the country’s Independence Day on March 6.

Five Amphitheatres 

He also reiterated the government’s commitment to building five multipurpose domes or amphitheatres for performances within the creative arts space.

Other products


Some of the products to be rehabilitated under the World Bank Tourism Development Programme includes Cape Coast, Elmina Castle, Kakum National Park all in the Central, Shai Hills Resource Reserve, W.E. B Du Bois Centre both in the Greater Accra Region, Mole Park National Park in the Northern Region,

Number one contributor to GDP

Dr Awal said the tourism, arts and culture sector currently is the third major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), coming after gold and cocoa but stated the Ministry is working hard to ensure that the sector takes first place and becomes the number one contributor by 2025.

On achieving the target of becoming the number contributor to GDP, Dr Awal said the sector currently employs 680,000 people and plans to add some 150,000 annually.

He said the ministry is also undertaking several initiatives aimed at becoming the number contributor to the GDP including capacity building and customer care, domestic and international tourism drive.


Capacity building and customer care 

For capacity building, the Minister said so far, more than 3,000 players in the tourism sector have been trained out of the targeted 20,000 to be trained by the end of 2025.

He noted that it is important to build the capacity of all sector players to equip them with both technical and customer service delivery skills to serve tourists that come to Ghana, saying, “A satisfied customer will not come back but will bring a lot of people”.

Domestic tourism drive

For domestic tourism, the Minister said Ghana has many people moving to other parts of the country, which has its benefits such as learning about other people’s cultures, spending money and helping build national unity and cohesion.


Dr Awal noted that from January to September 2022, some 534,711 domestic tourism visits were recorded out of the projected one million for the entire year.

Comparing this to 2021, which was 334,921 visitations in the same period, 2022 visits increased by more than 60% over 2021.

International tourism drive

The Minister said becoming a number contributor to GDP is achievable because “We are targeting one million visitors this year. Each visitor spends about $2,400 in one week to 10 days. We are hoping and working towards it that by 2024/25, we should have 1.5 million visitors.”

He said the Ministry has recorded 645,047 international arrivals from January 2022 to September 2022 representing 57% growth over the same period in 2021.


The target, when achieved is expected to create 150,000 direct and indirect jobs.

December in GH

The Minister said the remaining target will be achieved in December with the numerous activities approved for celebration.

Dr Awal said so far, the Ghana Tourism Authority has approved 50 events for December in GH, some of which includes; Afrochella, Afro Nation, Akwaaba UK, Rhythms on da Runway, Kids in Tourism, BHIM Concert, Joyful Way and A Taste of Ghana.

Leader in the sub-region


The sector Minister noted that the World Economic Forum Report 2021 on Tourism and Travel Development Index has ranked Ghana as the number one Tourism Destination in West Africa from its previous number three position.

He said what this means is that the whole world’s attention will be on Ghana, translating to many tourists coming to the country.

Dr Awal said the government’s target is to rank as the first tourism destination in Africa by 2025.

He said Ghana has a comparative advantage in tourism and hospitality in West Africa, noting that about 65% of all edifices used during the slave trade are located in Ghana, which can be used to boost heritage tourism.

AfCFTA secretariat 


Ghana also hosts the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and Dr Awal stated that this would enable the country to enhance its position as a venue for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE).

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Ghana to build $10m tourism and hospitality training school



Hospitality, tourism, $10m school, Newscenta, Alisa hotel, Tema,
Alisa Hotel in Tema opened. Photo: Presidency

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government, since coming into office in 2017, has put in place measures and initiatives which have resulted in the construction of a thriving tourism economy in the country.

According to him, “we want to use tourism as an effective tool for economic transformation, which will help to create jobs and prosperity for the people.

“That is why Government, with the support of international partners, is investing heavily in key tourism attractions, which will, in turn, boost tourist arrivals this year and beyond.”

Speaking at the formal opening of the Tema Branch of Alisa Hotel, the President indicated that the hospitality sector is the third largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), after cocoa and oil and gas, accounting for two out of every ten jobs in the country.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Government has put in place plans to build a state-of-the-art tourism and hospitality training school in Accra.


According to him, the $10 million facility will serve West Africa, and provide customer care training to operators in the tourism and hospitality value chain.

“When customers are happy and delighted, they do not only stay longer in hotels, but also spend more, and likely to return in the future with family and friends.

“Building the capacity of tourism players is, therefore, important in our quest to be the tourism destination of West Africa,” he said.

“When customers are happy and delighted they do not only stay longer in hotels but also spend more and likely to return in future with family and friends,” added.

President noted that Government’s focus, over the 18 months, is to exploit Ghana’s culture, heritage, history, hospitality and beautiful natural scenery to attract tourists, fun-lovers and leisure seekers hoping to find a unique experience in Africa.


In addition to the abundance of natural resources, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that government has embarked on a product improvement plan, where several tourist sites in the country are currently undergoing renovations.

These he said includes the Aburi Botanical Gardens, the Yaa Asantewaa Memorial Museum and the Kente Museum, both in Kumasi.

“This year alone, it is expected that some $25 million will be expended to upgrade some of our iconic sites, including the famous Elmina and Cape Coast Castles, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, the Mole and Kakum Parks, and cultural Museums in Yendi in the Northern Region, Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, Akropong in the Eastern Region, and Ho in the Volta Region, under the Ghana Tourism Development Project, supported by the World Bank,” he said.

The President added that “this Project, with a value of $40 million, is expected to position the tourism and hospitality sectors as key drivers of social and economic development.

He enumerated some of the benefits that the project is expected to bring as enriched access to Ghana’s tourism market, better provision of tourism products and services, and the upgrading of skills in the labour force in the tourism, arts, and culture sectors.”


He noted that the advent of the COVID – 19 pandemic has meant that the hospitality sector has been the sector most adversely affected evidenced in the 75% decline in international tourism arrivals in 2020 and a 45% reduction in 2021.

That notwithstanding, he said the sector is rebounding after government took some bold and decisive measures which saved lives, livelihoods and businesses as well as through the global easing of restrictions.

He said government with the support of international partners is investing heavily in key tourism attractions and creating the needed environment for the private sector to thrive and support the economic growth of the country.

“Despite the current difficulties facing our nation we will continue to build a business-friendly environment that will enhance entrepreneurship-a vital component of economic growth and development,”  he added.

Mr. Mark Okraku-Mantey, the Deputy Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, in his address said the prime concern of the ministry in promoting tourism is the aggressive improvement of tourist sites to bring surety of returns and ensuring that standards of hotels across the country are improved he commended the group chair of Alisa Hotels for his contributions in advancing the growth of the hospitality industry in the country.


He noted that the commitment of the ministry to ensuring quality of service delivery in the sector has resulted in Ghana topping the world economic tourism ranking in west Africa .

Kwame Ofosu Banfo, group chair of Alisa Hotels said the imposing Tema edifice has come about by dint of hard work as the actual work was done during the COVID-9 pandemic era.

He said the new addition to the brand would go a long way to advance the course of the growth of the hospitality industry and well as impact the sustainability of the group.

He appealed to government to offer the industry some respite and access to credit to help create jobs.


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