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Tourism, Arts & Culture Get $50m World Bank Grant

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Fingered as one of the most ineffective ministers in the present regime, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku is admirably keen on turning for good the fortunes of Ghana with a $50 million World Bank Grant.

The grant which has been approved but yet to be released, would be used to strengthen and support MoTAC’s activities as well as the agencies it oversees.

Addressing the media for the first time at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra, on Monday, the minister said the fiscal intervention would be used to facilitate the creation of jobs and empower women and youth across all sectors along the creative arts and culture value chain.

“The grant would enhance the overall domestic and foreign tourist experience…from the time you disembark from the airport through the immigration to the time you join the taxi to get to your hotel, to visit the site, to return to your country, the results should be repeat experience,” she said.

Mrs Afeku continued: “That visitor must return and that value chain is why we are getting this support among others to ensure they don’t leave with a bad taste in their mouth.

It is expected that part of the grant would be extended to the creative arts sector to ensure that they are involved and engulfed in the ministry’s development plan.

Commending the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for facilitating the process to acqiuire the grant, the Tourism minister said the release came after “persistent cajoling, begging, plead that the fourth revenue earner in the country deserved a major boost.”

Meanwhile, the world bank together with MoF have supervisory power over how the grant would be spent.

Revenue Garnered by MoTAC

With a budgetary allocation of GH¢75 million, the ministry was questioned on how much it added to the nation’s GDP in 2017. The ministry could not produce figures.

It was however revealed that the tourism development levy which is under the auspices of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) had gathered GH¢11,675,900.

“The tourism development fund is for a specific purpose and supports four cardinal areas including marketing and promotion, tourism investment (infrastructure development), capacity building amongst others,” the GTA revealed.

Ghana’s tourism sector has maintained its position as the fourth highest foreign exchange earner, coming after gold, cocoa and oil.

With effective policies and funds, the ministry hopes to raise its position to the highest earner.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com 

 

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