In preparation for this year’s “December In Ghana” festivities, officials from the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Beyond the Return Secretariat, and the Ministry of National Security convened with event organisers to address security concerns.
The collaborative meeting, hosted at the Accra Tourist Information Centre today, brought together key stakeholders who engaged in discussions about the safety and security aspects of the upcoming yuletide events. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, emphasised the paramount importance of maintaining a safe and secure environment for all events associated with December in Ghana.
“Inasmuch as these events must happen, they must happen in a safe and secure environment,” Agyeman stated, underscoring the need for constant awareness of issues and concerns raised by event organizers.
Agyeman further highlighted the ongoing efforts to collaborate with the National Security and the Police to address all security concerns comprehensively.
The meeting involved an extensive presentation by officials from the National Security Ministry, covering crucial areas such as the threat of terrorism in the Sahel, Ghana’s northern threats, the security landscape, vulnerabilities, common vulnerabilities at event centres and the hospitality industry.
The presentation delved into potential indicators of terrorist activity and general requirements for event organisers, encompassing planning and preparedness, personnel and access control, among other aspects.
The security operatives highlighted the gravity of the situation, pointing out the omnipresent threat of terrorism across the country. They urged event organisers and the public to exercise vigilance in identifying any suspicious activity or individuals that may pose a threat. The operatives stressed that the threat of terrorism is real, necessitating heightened security consciousness, especially during the December In GH activities.
During the event, organisers had the opportunity to express their concerns about implementing security arrangements, with National Security operatives and the police offering assurances of support to ensure the safety and security of event patrons. Participants were also introduced to the National Security Ministry’s “If you see something, say something” initiative, encouraging the general public to report any suspicious activities.
December In Ghana solidifies the country as the epicenter of celebrations during the Christmas and New Year periods. This year, the Beyond the Return Steering Committee has approved and endorsed 180 events and activities as part of the tourism initiative.
Story by Samuel Obeng Appah