Catherine Afeku, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has been adjudged the Most Active Tourism Minister in West Africa at the African Travel Times’ 2018 Awards in Accra.
Mr Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, was also awarded the Most Active Head of National Tourism in the Sub-region.
The African Travel Times, the organisers of the event, said their aim was to identify excellence among the travel and tourism industry and encourage actors to be more effective and efficient in the execution of their duties.
Awardees in the Airline Category included: British Airways – Most Trusted Airline (International); Ethiopian Airlines – Most Reliable Airline (Africa); ASKY Airlines- the Most Reliable Carrier (West Africa); and Kenya Airways- Most Supportive National Carrier for effective promotion of the Kenyan Tourism Board.
The South African Airways won the Most Supportive National Carrier for effective promotion of the South African Tourism Brand.
In the Hospitality Category: the Royal Senchi Hotel and Resort in Ghana was adjudged the Number One Resort (West Africa); Eko Hotel and Suite in Nigeria won the Number One Conference Venue (West Africa); and Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Nigeria, won the Most Corporate Hotel (West Africa).
Awardees in the Governments and Agencies Category included: the Ghana Tourism Authority – the Most Active Tourism Agency (West Africa); while the Bayelsa State Government in Nigeria was recognised for establishing, the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality.
The Benin Republic and Togo were adjudged joint winners of the Authentic African Traditional Culture and Voodoo Capitals (Worldwide) award; while South African Tourism was decorated with the Most Effective National Marketing Tourism Agency (Africa) award.
The Awards for Individual winners went to Mr Herbert Acquaye, former President, Ghana Hotels Association; and Mr Ikechi Uko – Outstanding Tourism Personality of the Year.
In the Ghana category, the winners included: Mr Bassem Toura, General Manager of Holiday Inn received the award for the Three-Star Hotel category; while the General Manager Award for the Four Star Category went to Mr Roman Krable of the Accra City Hotel.
The General Manager of the Five-Star Category as well as the Manager of the Year Award for went to Mr Michael Rathgeb, of Movenpick Ambassador Hotel.
Golden Tulip won the Brand of the Year Award; Movenpick Ambassador Hotel picked the Conference Hotel of the Year Award; Oak Plaza Hotel was declared as the Best Bed and Breakfast Hotel of the Year, and African Regent Hotel won the Airport Hotel of the Year Award.
The Tang Palace Hotel, won the Best Hotel Management of the Year – International category; and La Villa Boutique Hotel, the Best Hotel Management of the Year – Ghana Category.
According to the Minister, musicians can help change the narrative about Africa through their music.
“I trust that the narrative of Africa will change and it will change through music, art and culture. We can use music as a conduit for peace and send a strong signal to the rest of the world that Africa has its challenges but we have overcome most of them,” she said.
Mrs. Afeku stated that with a collective goal, AFRIMA can be a force to be reckoned with at the international level. “It is my belief that together we can put AFRIMA on a competitive tie and have a stronger voice in an increasingly-competitive world. We want the people of this beautiful continent and the rest of world to see this as a call to duty; a call to every creative artiste in Africa, from the North to the South, to the East and the West.”
The Minister also said that Ghana has a wide range of unique and exciting natural, cultural and historical attraction as well as a number of events with international and domestic appeal including PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebrations, paragliding festival, carnivals, choral festivals, national festival of arts and culture homogenous festival.
She added that ‘Our musicians are very talented, intelligent and they are ambassadors of hope to the next generation”.
According to her, it’s imperative for Africans to come together in order to re-energize the continent to be sold as preferred tourism destination to share our beautiful sight with the rest of the world.
“It’s for this reason that Ghana institutionalized “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana” campaign to drum home the huge tourism potential with an exciting range of products from culture, eco-tourism, heritage, beach and conference tourism serving as unique ingredients of any enticing destination”.
Speaking on HitzFm Friday morning, Hon. Catherine Afeku the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture has revealed that, Ghana will be hosting AFRIMA for three years and has been allocated with a budget of $4.5M which should tell one how the NPP government is serious with the Tourism, creative art, and Culture sector.
“We are hosting AFRIMA for three years. That is how serious the government is with the Tourism, Arts and Culture sector. The budget for @AFRIMAWARDS is $4.5M for three years.” She revealed
The minister has been on HitzFm’s DaybreakHitz with Andy Dosty to elaborate on the biggest event in Africa ” All Africa Music Awards” which is been hosted in Ghana for the first time since 2014 and has said that, its all end up with Tourism.
“Naturally, the end result of AFRIMA is Tourism”. she has said.
According to her, it is very misconception to think that she is only much focused on Tourism because she is much passionate about Arts and Culture saying, the internal part of it all is Tourism.
“I think it is a very big misconception to think I am only focused on Tourism. I am very passionate about Arts and Culture. The integral part of all this is Tourism. You need arts and culture to promote Tourism.” She added.
All Africa Music Awards (also referred to as AFRIMA) is an annual award show. The event was established by the International Committee AFRIMA, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage. Its pioneer Awards show was held in 2014.
The Fifth Edition of the All Africa Music Awards is underway at the capital of Ghana, Accra independent Square. The Event has been in commencement from November 21st and will have its climax on the 24th November 2018.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Catherine Afeku has launched the maiden edition of the See Ghana Magazine.
The event which was held at Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra on October, 12, is intended to market the beautiful sceneries of the country to citizens and to the international community.
Speaking at the launch, Madam Afeku emphasized that as part of efforts to boost domestic tourism in an attempt to attract tourists across the globe, the See Ghana Magazine’s main objective is to take these attractions to potential travelers before they plan their trips to the country.
According to her, complimentary copies of the magazine would be given to embassies and high commissions as well as planes for free.
The printing of the magazine has been outsourced to CLITI Magazine and would be sold at the various newsstands for GHc10.00 per copy and would be published on monthly or quarterly basis.
The Minister added that Ghana would also host this year’s All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) from November 14-17, which is being organised by the Government of Ghana in collaboration with the African Union and AFRIMA Secretariat.
AFRIMA is designed to promote the distinct rich African music worldwide, engaging millions of fans by propelling African music to glorious pinnacles beyond the borders of Africa.
“We also took advantage of this rare opportunity to emphasize on the benefits prospective sponsors of the upcoming AFRIMA Awards, are going to derive from investing in this year’s awards ceremony, which Ghana is hosting.”
The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture who is also the Member of Parliament for Evalue-Gwira-Ajomoro, Hon. Catherine Afeku has indicated that creating a National Film Authority will help spearhead the development of the industry and make it more vibrant to meet international standards.
She however charged stakeholders in the Film Industry to conduct nationwide stakeholder engagements so as to map out modalities for the Legislative Instrument (L.I) that will ensure the institutionalization of the Development and Classification of Film Law (Act 935), 2016.
She spoke in an exclusive interview after Committee her ministry set up on May 30th, 2018 to work on having an L.I presented its report.
The Committee which comprises leaders of the various film value chain groups began their work since June 7, 2018 by meeting stakeholders and industry players over the Development and Classification of Film Law (Act 935).
According to the Minister, when an Authority is established as contained in Development and Classification of Film Law (Act 935), the huge potential in Filmmaking which will lead to job creation and make Ghana a film location and thereby enhancing tourism will be unearthed.
She said the Authority which will serve as a regulatory body as far as Filmmaking is concern and provide the legal framework for the production, regulation, nurturing and development of the Ghanaian film industry, and for the distribution, exhibition and marketing of films and related matters.
She added that the Act requires the establishment of a National Film Authority and when that is done, it will promote conductive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films.
She said: “The main objectives of the Authority are to evolve a dynamic, economically self-sustaining and culturally conscious film industry in the country in the national interest, promote the creation of a conducive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films and encourage the use of films to project the identity and image of the Republic and its people within and outside the country.”
Catherine Afeku enumerated further that the Authority will facilitate co-production between local and foreign producers and regulates foreign participation in the Ghanaian film industry to ensure its benefit to Ghanaian film practitioners just like what is being practised in other countries like Malta, Kenya and South Africa.
She said it was in the light of this that the Ministry planned to engage stakeholders in the film industry to put structures in place to be able to reap the huge and potential benefits that come along with Filmmaking.
“Malta, Kenya and South Africa are doing well because they have an Authority. So my ministry asked the Film industry stakeholders to engage the Attorney General on the modalities of establishing an L.I and they have presented their interim report. We are going to use this as a basis for the L.I and the establishment of an Authority,” she said.
She also averred that President Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture support fully the production and development of movie making in Ghana and will offer their support to see to it that the industry is rebuilt for the better.
She however indicated that after the consultations with the citizenry, the Attorney General will take over and create memoranda to Cabinet to look into.
“So if we are able to make our case before Cabinet, it then goes to Parliament and there too, we have to make a strong case before the House for an L.I which will help support the industry,” she said, assuring the Committee that she will do all within her powers to push harder for Parliament approval when the time comes.
The Convener of the Committee, George Bosompem said the team was put together to look into how best as stakeholders, they can get the Film Act, (Act 395) operationalized.
He averred that Development And Classification of Film Law (Act 935), can be operationalized properly with a Legislative Instrument (L.I) therefore there will be a wider stakeholder engagement for the Development And Classification of Film Law (Act 935).
George Bosompem also revealed that, the L.I will facilitate the Development And Classification of Film Law (Act 935) that is already established, “as for the Act, it has been there already so what we have been doing is to go out there and mould an L.I for the Act. The other challenge we have is that we do not have the physical being of the National Film Authority which the law requires.”
In view of the unavailability of a physical being of the Authority, the Committee suggested some facilities that can be renovated and use as offices in the operation of the Authority if it is established.
He said the committee will embark on an education drive for all stakeholders to understand the content of the Law and the L.I so as to ensure maximum cooperation.
He believes that the establishment of the Authority will also give new image to the Film industry to become one of the best in the sub-region.
“The Authority will standardize things,” he said.