Ghana has begun earnest preparations to host the maiden World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional congress on women empowerment in the Tourism, Arts and Culture sectors in Accra.
The congress received endorsement from the recently concluded 23rd General Assembly held in Saint Petersburg, Russia when the Secretary General presented it as part of the activities to be held in Africa.
The congress aims to analyse the current challenges and opportunities for women’s empowerment in the tourism sector, create synergies among African countries and key stakeholders for greater cooperation in the promotion of women’s empowerment in the tourism sector.
As part of the preparatory mission to the host country, the UNWTO visited the country to engage with the Tourism Ministry and other stakeholders to ensure that the event goes as planned.
Receiving the UNWTO Delegation led by Senior Programme Officer Lydia Bebe Kum and Senior Expert for Communications for Africa Kojo Bentum-Williams, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said, Ghana was happy to host this important event and was ready to welcome the world. She said, the Government of Ghana is committed to gender issues and the President as the co-chair of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) group has given his endorsement for the program.
“I am confident the conference has come at an opportune time and will afford Ghana, Africa and the world an opportunity to discuss and have inclusive approach towards women in the tourism sector. We look forward to engaging stakeholders to support and increase the participation of women in education, entrepreneurship and leadership’’ the Minister added.
Lydia Bebe Kum, expressed appreciation for the warm welcome and reiterated UNWTO’s support towards the event. She said the congress was part of the Secretary General’s 10 points agenda for Africa and the event seeks to engage stakeholders to mainstream a gender perspective on women’s empowerment in tourism policies and strategies.
She added that, such visit to the host country is part of the standard requirements and also to ensure that, the local organizing committees are given the necessary support and guidance in the execution stage.
The second global report on women will be launched during the congress.
The event is scheduled to come off from 25-26 November
As part of the women’s empowerment initiative in Africa, UNWTO will launch a competition in collaboration with Wakalua and IE Business School for African women followed by a Masterclass on site regarding women’s empowerment and tourism education in Africa.
The aim is to provide a platform for women in technology in Africa to showcase their vision for a more inclusive, sustainable and competitive tourism sector.
The UNWTO held working session with the working committees of the event and also held meetings with sister UN Agencies in Accra as part of the mission.