Federation Of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP), an arts-based pressure group of experts has expressed disappointment over politicisation the National Tourism Ambassadorial position.
This comes after The Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture outdoored thirty Tourism Ambassadors for Ghana.
The FOCAP group with the aim of revamping the Ghanaian creative arts industry is dissatisfied with a statement by the sector Minister which clearly stated that Abeiku Santana was appointed as Tourism Ambassador by former Minister Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare in May 2016 so had his designation come to an end after a new list of ambassadors was drafted.
According to the group, Tourism industry needs all stakeholders regardless of their political affiliation to help market Ghana at the International level.
Abeiku Santana has a vast experience with regards to Tourism and has impacted positively on the travel and tourism sector across the West African sub-region.
At a ceremony held at Tamale in the Northern Region on September, 27 to mark World Tourism Day saw the unveiling of 30 celebrities who cut across several Creative Arts sectors including Musicians, Actors, Radio Presenters, DJ’s, Bloggers, etc.
Amongst the celebrities unveiled were Agya Koo, Evangelist Diana Asamoah, Nana Kwame Ampadu, Okyeame Kwame, Praye, Sarkodie, Dblack, Fuse ODG, Fancy Gadam, Reggie N Bollie, Van Vicker, Bibi Bright, Dada KD, Daddy Lumba, Lucky Mensah, Kaakyire Kwame Appiah, Nana kwame Ampadu, Cyndy Thompson, Sam Okyere, Wiyaala, Stephen Appiah, Andy Dosty, Sena Dagadu, Yvonne Nelson, Sherifa Gunu, Paa John Dadson, Leo Mensah, Asabea Kropa, Abedi Ayew Pele and Kwame Afrifa Mensah.
According to a statement from the Ghana Tourism Authority, the aim of the Tourism Ambassadors program is to partner key influencers to help drive Tourism growth (domestic and international) for Ghana.
FOCAP believes the ministry should rather look at the benefit, the energy, achievement and ongoing promotion/work of Abeiku Santana and the tourism industry as a whole and the benefits Ghana is gaining.
READ FULL PRESS STATEMENT BELOW.
Federation Of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP), wishes to express disappointment over a press statement from the office of the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture and signed by media liaison officer of the Ministry, Samuel Bryan Buabeng.
The release seeks to draw the attention of Mr. Gilbert Aggrey, also known as Abeiku Santana to cease naming himself as National Tourism Ambassador.
The statement clearly stated that Abeiku Santana was appointed as by former Minister Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare in May 2016, our question is, has his designation come to an end after a new list of ambassadors was unveiled?
FOCAP finds this worrying for the industry to experience such unpatriotic decisions. FOCAP believes it will serve a good purpose if the sector Ministry avoids politicising such roles in the creative industry.
The Tourism industry needs all stakeholders regardless of their political affiliation to help market Ghana at the International level.
FOCAP can categorically state that Mr. Abeiku Aggrey Santana since his appointment as a National Tourism Ambassador has proven beyond doubt his ability to really achieve his task. He has chalked several significant feats for Ghanaian tourism and his brand as a strong proponent of tourism in the sub-region.
He was recently listed in the Tourism Top 100 Personalities in West Africa by Balafon Awards West Africa Committee of Experts in partnership with the Board of ATQNews which FOCAP perceives to be a great honour to Ghana.
The award FOCAP understands is set up to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves and through their efforts, have impacted positively on the travel and tourism sector across the West African sub-region.
As part of his efforts to elevate domestic tourism, Abeiku Santana and Kaya Tours, in partnership with STC Ghana have organised ‘Njoy Ghana Tours’ – an experiential fun trip to many tourist sites in Ghana.
FOCAP would want to draw the attention of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture that Tourism Ambassadorial role is not just a lip service but a responsibility. FOCAP wishes to advise that Tourism Ambassadorial role should not be considered as a political position but a National call to incorporate individuals who have distinguished themselves in the area of Tourism and ready to work.
We believe the ministry is creating enmity and division within the Creative Arts industry by specifically mentioning Abeiku Santana. FOCAP believes the ministry should rather look at the benefit, the energy, achievement and ongoing promotion/work of Abeiku Santana and the tourism industry as a whole and the benefits Ghana is gaining.
FOCAP therefore wants to know;
- What are the criteria for choosing National Tourism Ambassadors?
- Do the ambassadors have a term of office or it is a permanent position? If they do, how long is each term?
- Which stakeholders were consulted in choosing these Ambassadors?
- Are the Ambassadors on a salary or monthly allowance package?
- What are the Key Performance Indicators of these ambassadors?
Per the Minister’s statement that under her watch Tourism and culture will be effectively used to promote unity and National cohesion, we hope to see that this statement would be given the necessary attention!
Kojo Preko Dankwa – 0575655656
Mel Kwesi Davis – 0246550298
Edward Acquah – 0541159191