A sod-cutting ceremony to commence the building of a new school to train tourism and hospitality professionals in Ghana, West Africa and across the continent is expected to take place next year.
The new school which is expected to provide end-to-end training for the industry will be modelled after prominent institutions such as Kenya’s Utali College. This was disclosed by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal at the maiden Public-Private Partnership Forum (PPPF) and the inauguration of the PPPF Steering Committee today at the University of Ghana Business School.
Responding to earlier concerns raised by the President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Mrs. Bella Ahu about the poor state of the existing Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT), the Minister said the new school will be a much bigger institute fitted with state-of-the-art learning equipment and materials that will focus on not just attracting students from Ghana, but also across the West-African region.
The GHATOF President added that HOTCATT in its present state, albeit with good instructors does not provide a conducive environment to train professionals to feed the hospitality and tourism industry – a situation she bemoaned, made Ghana an uncompetitive tourist destination.
The holding of a PPPF is under Article 42 of the Tourism Act 2011 (Act 817) which recommends that, there shall be a forum to encourage both the public and private sectors in promoting tourism development opportunities and also to engage the private sector to discuss pertinent issues that impact the development of the tourism sector in Ghana.
CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyeman said tourism thrives on collaboration; thus, “PPPF will help to create an enabling atmosphere to formalize the collaboration that we need.”
The maiden edition of the Public Private Partnership Forum was under the theme: “Shaping the Future of Tourism in Ghana through Collaboration and Partnership.”
The Forum drew participants and stakeholders from both the public and private tourism sector, academia and corporate Ghana. A nine-member Steering Committee led by the GTA CEO was inaugurated by Dr. Awal and charged with ensuring the continuity of the forum that will be reporting to the Ministry on activities of the PPPF.
A panel discussion on on the topic: “Creating a Win- Win Partnership for all Tourism Stakeholders,” and moderated by Kafui Dey was also held as part of the maiden Forum.
Discussants included: Kwadwo Antwi, CEO – Ghana Tourism Development Company, Theresa Ayoade, CEO – Charterhouse Ghana, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, CEO – UMB Bank and Kwesi Eyison, Vice – President, GHATOF.
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah