The second edition of the Women in Tourism Summit (WITS) was held in Accra last Thursday, with the objective of supporting, empowering and celebrating women for their diverse contributions to the development of the tourism sector.
The summit, jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with the African Tourism Partners (ATP) was on the theme ‘Empowering women in Ghana’s tourism industry’.
It was aimed at equipping and leading women to discover and articulate their purpose, clarify their vision, and their worth in the country and saw Ghana’s rich culture on display.
Queen mothers, chiefs and members of the traditional councils in Accra and some parts of the country were at the summit in their regalia, as a symbol of the country’s rich culture and tradition to grace the event.
Made in Ghana products such as smocks, kente, beads, GTP textiles, foot wear, pearls, cocoa beverages and cosmetics were all exhibited at the summit to portray the country’s rich culture.
Speaking at the summit, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, stated that the ministry was interested in leading the advocacy for greater balance in leadership roles within the hospitality and tourism industry.
“On our part, the ministry will champion the agenda for inclusive growth in the industry through policy interventions,” she disclosed.
She encouraged women operating in the tourism industry to grab business opportunities in the country, and form partnerships both locally and internationally with entities, to extend and achieve success in their business fields.
“We urge all women to get involved in driving progress across the value chain tourism,” she entreated.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the government had recognised gender equality and women empowerment as a key factor for the attainment of the country’s socio-economic development goals.
Mr Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA stated that the increased contributions of women in the tourism sector in recent years had impacted positively on the tourism industry.
He added that the GTA would continue to promote women equality and drive the enabling environment to empower more women to reach the upper echelons of tourism practice in the country.
Mr Kwakye Donkor, the CEO of ATP, stated that ATP was mandated to showcase positive policy framework for gender balance across the tourism industry in Ghana and beyond.
He said amplifying Ghanaian women’s voice in negotiating for industry leadership positions was also another call to duty for women empowerment in the country.
BY EVANGEL KELVIN AINOO AND ALBERTA BRONI