Founder of African University College of Communication (AUCC), Kojo Yankah has described as unsuccessful efforts by successive governments to brand Ghana through tourism.
Kojo Yankah pointed to the low returns gotten from the investments in the sector as evidence of the underperformance of the sector in Ghana’s development.
The over-reliance on tourist sites to attract people from across the world Kojo Yankah suggested was not enough to grow the industry as other countries have similar attractions and in some cases do well with branding and attracting tourists.
To change the impression created that Ghana is an expensive tourist destination, the AUCC Founder charged the government to address the issues resulting in such thoughts.
“What we have done in the past is to use tourism as a driver in our branding effort which is a good selling point, but how successful have we being? Taxi and commercial drivers who drive visitors around Ghana have not been schooled about our tourism attractions. Some of our tour guides don’t wear anything one can call Ghanaian. The sluggish attitudes of receptionists at our destinations put some people off and courtesy remains a luxury in some restaurants” he enumerated in buttressing his argument.
Kojo Yankah also expressed his disappointment at the failure of the State to honour individuals whose talents have lifted the name of the country high and given the country a good brand.
He explained that the works and intellectual properties of such people could be preserved and passed on from generations to generations and not just limit it to awards.
Delivering his speech as the guest speaker at the maiden launch of the World Folklore Day Celebrations in Accra at the W. E. B. Dubois Centre, Kojo Yankah emphasised “Ghana should name streets, roads, edifices and public spaces after original creative and indigenous persons to immortalise their names and pass on their heritage to the youth. Equally, we have not adorned our towns, cities, streets buildings and public places with unique artistic works of our own people. We may have succeeded in erecting skyrise buildings but I’m afraid majority of them don’t have cultural relevance.”
Launch of World Folklore Day
The maiden World Folklore Day celebrations in Ghana will take place over three days from the 20th to the 22nd of August 2018.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Acting Director, National Folklore Board Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for the attention and assistance dedicated to them especially in organising the maiden event.
She, however, appealed for more support to ensure that the values of the Ghanaian society are upheld and safeguarded for generations unborn.
The event began today 20th August with a launch and a symposium on the “Role of Folklore and Intellectual Property in Branding Ghana” and an “Eat Ghana Brunch”. This is to be followed by a Children’s Fun Folklore Games Day at the St Kizito Catholic School in Nima.
The celebrations for this year’s event will culminate with a World Folklore Day – Global Village Edtion at the National Theatre on Wednesday, 22nd August.
The launch of the celebrations was graced by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Afeku and other dignitaries within the industry.