The signing of four instruments by Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe to deepen the bilateral relations between them is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Ghanaian Times reports that Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe have signed four instruments to deepen the bilateral relations between them.
The instruments include a general co-operation agreement on areas such as trade, agriculture, mining, education and scientific research, culture activities, health, transport, tourism, small and medium scale artifacts, youth and sports, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), and energy.
The two countries signed two Memoranda of Understanding for political consultations and co-operation in the field of Tourism and Arts and Culture with the third instrument being an agreement on visa requirements waiver for holders of diplomatic, service/ officials, and ordinary passports.
The instruments were signed during technical level consultations held in Sao Tome and Principe last Tuesday (October, 19), when the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, visited the country on an official visit.
Ms Botchwey and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sao Tome and Principe Edite Ten Juan signed the documents during the visit which was to intensify the long-standing cordial relations between the two
Ms Botchwey said deeper co-operation between the two countries positioned them to take advantage of the fast-evolving economic landscape of the continent.
“The new continental arrangements and instruments, such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the Single African Air Transport Market and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons are creating possibilities for an ambitious agenda for progress for our people and we must seize the moment.
This means working together, building on our different strengths and capabilities to create opportunities but also to take advantage of the new opportunities,” she said.
Ms Botchwey said implementing the agreements had become urgent as the country tackles the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19), stating that Ghana stood ready to deepen her engagement with Sao Tome and Principe in all areas of bilateral co-operation, including in trade and investments.
The newspaper says that Ghana is expecting about 150,000 tourists’ arrivals between October and December for the ‘December in Ghana’ which forms part of activities of the “Beyond the Return.”
The ‘December in Ghana programmes is expected to have tourists mostly from the Americas, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Germany, China, Netherlands and other countries.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said these at a press briefing in Accra yesterday.
According to Dr Awal, the country was expecting a rise in tourism adding that “as at now we have achieved about 70 percent of our target for this year.”
He described last year as appalling for tourism and that the ministry was aiming at doubling its figures for 2020 this year.
He indicated that Ghana was getting more tourists arrivals than any other West African countries as at today and it was due to the policies put in place by the government.
“By December we would have vaccinated close to 20 million people out of 31 million people that would be a significant number,” he said.
Mr Awal reiterated that the country was expecting to get 600,000 tourist arrivals by close of the year, which was a 100 percent increase over that of last year.
The minister said it was also hoping to generate 250,000 jobs from domestic and international tourism adding that the tourism sector has the potential to employ a lot of people.
He said the ministry’s domestic tourism drive was targeting one million people over the next one year explaining that “by June next year we should have one million domestic tourists within the country”.
On December 2 and 3 this year, Dr Awal said the ministry would launch “Destination Ghana “in America, to help attract tourist from December to March next year.
He said it was the hope of the country to make Ghana a preferred destination for all foreign nationals
The minister indicated that measures were being taken to improve on tourism attractions in the country stating that such measure included the opening of the national gallery museum which had been closed for eight years.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a scholarship scheme to support 200 young brilliant Ghanaian entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses.
The scholarship dubbed “Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Bootcamp Scholarships for Youth” and offered in collaboration with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, is aimed at supporting the youth, to realise their entrepreneurial dreams and elevate their careers.
The UNDP Regional Director of Africa, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, announced the scholarship scheme, at an interactive dialogue with Youth Groups and selected Senior High Schools, in Accra, on the theme: “Digital Economy and the AfCFTA.”
She said UNDP had partnered the Thunderbird School of Global Management to strengthen the capabilities and networks of the youth so that the youth and women-led small businesses could recover from the coronavirus disease and compete well in the single African market.
According to Ms Eziakonwa, African youths were the future of the continent and the more investment targeted at their youth programmes, the better to improve on their potentials for sustainable growth.
“Digital tools and platforms were keys to facilitating trade across borders. In order to reap the full benefits of the AfCFTA, Africa must change its ways of doing business and promoting the digital transformation of the continent,” she said.
Ms Eziakonwa said “Africa has huge volumes of natural resources that are yet to be harnessed for the development of the continent.”
She said that the AfCFTA was a vehicle for Africa to add value to their natural resources and improve the quality of goods and services through regional value chains.
“This is why UNDP’s new strategic plan considers digitalisation, strategic innovation, and development financing as enablers for transforming the way our economies work for people so that no one is left behind,” Ms Eziakonwa noted.
President for the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe, has asked Ghana to put in a bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.