Picture: Ghana’s Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal
Ghana has been elected to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council after she polled 17 votes out of the 20 valid votes cast at the UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting in Mauritius on Thursday. Five other countries also got elected to the council but with lesser votes. These countries are Nigeria, Rwanda, Namibia, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The election of Council members was the highlight of activities at the 66th UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting on the theme: Rethinking Tourism for Africa: Addressing global challenges; Promoting investment and partnerships.
The new members will be formally approved at the next General Assembly meeting of the UNWTO in Uzbekistan in October this year.
The Executive Council amongst other things take measures in consultation with the Secretary General to implement decisions to boost tourism across the globe.
In his acceptance speech, Ghana’s Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, who was full of praise for his colleague-Ministers for the trust reposed in him, pledged Ghana’s commitment to help put travel and tourism at the summit of the global development agenda.
It will be recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently tasked the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to implement innovative strategies to make tourism, arts and culture contribute effectively to national development.
The President also directed the Ministry to ensure that international tourist arrivals reach two million by 2025 with a corresponding receipts of $6 billion annually.
Dr. Awal called on African Tourism Ministers to pursue sustainable tourism practices in order to protect the environment and ensure that communities benefit from the tourism diffident.
He also called for investment in tourism infrastructure and also to build the capacity of operators along the tourism value chain to enhance the continent’s competitiveness.