The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has said Ghana’s traditional festivals are important drivers to grow the country’s tourism sector and reiterated government’s efforts in achieving that.
According to her, it was crucial for communities and assemblies to team up with the Ministry and its agencies to identify potentials to boost the economy through tourism.
The Minister said tourism was the fourth biggest foreign exchange earner in the country, and with hard work and exploration of more avenues in the tourism sector, more could be achieved.
She was speaking at a durbar held by the chiefs and people of Kwabre East in the Kwabre East Municipality of the Ashanti Region, to mark the end of this year’s Kwabre Anwenee Kente festival on the theme: “The Year of Return, exploiting our creativity for unity and development”.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi urged Ghanaians to visit the tourist sites and emphasized the ‘See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana’ initiative which would help create jobs for people as they purchased and patronize products locally made to push tourism upfront.
Speaking at the event, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, commended the people of Kwabre for their efforts in preserving the designs of Kente and the rich culture of the Ashanti Region, adding that, the government had awarded contracts for the construction of roads to improve productivity in the Municipality.
He said the government intended to train Kente Weavers in the community and in neighboring communities.
The Kwabre East Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Osei Asibbey Bonsu, instituted the Kwabre Anwenee festival two years ago to enable the people in the area, mainly weavers and woodcarvers, to showcase their products to the world.
The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, was initiated as a Queen mother of Kwabre.
She commended the chiefs and people of Kwabre and emphasized the strong ties between Ghana and Denmark.
Two thousand (2000) Kente designs were unveiled at the ceremony.
Also in attendance was the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation, Eugene Antwi, Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Francisca Oteng Mensah, Member of Parliament for Kwabre East, Assembly members and a number of chiefs among others.