Government is developing a national strategy, to develop all commercially viable tourist sites in the country, for development, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mohammed Awal, has disclosed.
“The World Bank funded Tourism Development Project has identified Fort Prinzenstein and other tourist sites in the Keta enclave which have been earmarked for inclusion in the national strategy,” he said.
Dr Awal made this known in an answer to a question by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, Kwame DzudzorliGakpey, on the floor of Parliament.
MrGapkey sought to know plans put in place to develop the fort, the Atorkor Slave Market and Cape St Paul Lighthouse in the Keta and Anlo constituencies.
According to the minister, in furtherance of the development strategy, a tourism investment summit would be held later this year, to encourage private participation in the tourism sector.
Regarding the Atorkor Slave Market, Dr Awal said it has been ‘captured’ under the Slave Trade Heritage Sites Routes component of the Tourism Development Plan.
“Under this, a consultancy firm will review the existing conditions at selected Slave Trade Heritage in Ghana and make proposals for their improvement,” he told the House.
The development of the Atorkor Slave Market, DrAwal said was important to the preservation of the Ghanaian slave trade narration.
“The preservation and interpretation of sites like Atorkor Slave Market is important not only for our collective memory as a people but to also provide points of engagement and reconnection with the African Disapora, who constitute a major segment of international tourist traffic to Ghana,” he said.
Atorkor, a town in the Anlo Constituency,was one of the many places used for the outlawed slave trade, where Africans traded were ‘shipped’ to Europe and the Americas by their colonial masters.
Built by Danish traders in 1784, Fort Prinzenstein was for defensive purposes after the Sagbadre War between the Danes and the Anlo people, to keep the area safe from other powers.
In a related development, the minister said as part of measures to use music and dance to promote Ghana’s culture, measures have been developed to achieve the aim.
They include the promotion and marketing to sustain the biennial National Festival of Arts and Culture, an inter-regional seasonal dance competition, a traditional dance workshop and a traditional street dance festival.
These measures, DrAwal said would market and promote Ghana’s cultural dances and music internally and internationally.