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17-member Steering C’ttee to coordinate ‘Beyond Return’ project inaugurated

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has inaugurated a 17-member steering committee to coordinate the ‘Beyond the Return’ – a decade of African Renaissance (2020 – 2030) project.

The project is a follow-up to the Year of Return – Ghana 2019 which positioned the country as the preferred destination for the African diaspora and boosted the tourism sector.

Over the next decade, the new project seeks to consolidate these gains and grow tourism in the country, showcase its investment potential and solidify its diaspora engagement programmes.

The committee, inaugurated in Accra on Thursday is co-chaired by Kwame Boateng, Board Member, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and Akwasi Awua Ababio, Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President. 

It has representation from the sector ministry, Office of Diaspora Affairs, Pan-African Historical Festival (PANAFEST) Foundation, African American Association of Ghana and the Ministry of National Security.

Others are from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and Ghana Immigration Service, amongst others.

Speaking at the ceremony,the sector minister, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said the committee was planned for start of work in March, after the country’s Independence Day celebration but had to be pushed back due to COVID-19 containment measures.

She said the ‘Year of Return’ – 2019 project made the country the choicest tourism destination in Africa and gave a tremendous boost to tourism, spreading its benefits across many businesses within its extensive value chain. 

The Beyond the Return project, she said, had been envisaged to serve as a springboard to propel Ghana’s creative sectors to meet its developmental goals.

“Given its expected outcomes, ‘Beyond the Return’ has to be a cross-sectoral coordinated programme which ultimately must lift high the image of Ghana, create and expand economic opportunities and forge a stronger bond with the African diaspora and the global African family,” she said.

According to Mrs Oteng-Gyasi, it was for this reason that the Ministry had reached out to several agencies and individuals whose work is to help propel the drive forward.

She announced that the proposed programme of activities and work plan for this year’s component of the project in the coming weeks, would be formally outdoored.

BY TIMES REPORTER 

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