Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, is urging the business community to partner with the tourism, arts and culture sector for mutual benefit and growth.
Mr. Ussif made this call while highlighting the sector’s enormous potential, reiterating that if adequately harnessed it will contribute significantly to the country’s economy. He emphasised it is about time the sector is seen as an economic stimulator that aids socio-economic development.
“Tourism is an economic stimulator in several parts of the world, and contributes immensely to economic growth. Ghanaian businesses must embrace this holistically, form partnerships and create profit,” he said when delivering a keynote address in place of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at the recently-held 2023 Ghana Business Awards organised by Globe Productions.
He expressed government’s willingness to support, adding that the business community or corporate space’s role cannot be underestimated. He further urged business leaders to employ digitisation as a game-changer to expand and thrive, both locally and internationally.
Adding his voice to the call, Chief Executive Officer-Globe Productions, Latif Abubakar, noted that: “The sector lacks human and financial resources. The sector is mostly creative in their technical field of work; but when it comes to branding, selling and others, they do not have the requisite skills to do that. So, we need corporate Ghana and businesses to partner with and equip us in terms of skills, financial and material resources.
“If we are able to make the corporate world understand our needs and potential to the economy, which at the end of the day benefits them, I believe they will come on board.”
For her part, Swiss Ambassador to Ghana Simone Giger restated that the country’s potential with regard to tourism, arts and culture is undeniable and uncontested; and hence must be harnessed and leveraged.
However, the industry’s success, she said, relies heavily on government providing an enabling framework for the private sector to assume its role and drive tourism development to promote arts and culture. “Generally speaking, when we talk about arts and culture the private sector has a very important role to play. It has the entrepreneurial spirit, dynamism and ingenuity needed to develop these sectors,” she added.
Other speakers including Deputy Head-EU delegation to Ghana, Jonas Claes; Egyptian Ambassador to Ghana, Emad Hanna; and High Commissioner for Pakistan to Ghana, Farhat Ayesha – who all emphasised that the tourism, arts and culture industry goes beyond entertainment and must be seen as a business sector that can serve as a relevant source of employment and education if given the utmost attention.
The tourism ministry and Ghana Tourism Authority are anticipating an estimated tourism revenue of US$3.4billion in 2023 against the US$2billion realised in 2022. For instance, GTA has recorded 500,000 visitors in the first half (H1) of this year – of the 1.2 million tourists targetted by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. These strides demonstrate the sector’s potential in helping the country attain self-sufficiency.