Beyond the Return Steering Committee inaugurated

The Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has inaugurated the Beyond the Return Steering Committee to kick start the 10-year project.

The ‘Beyond the Return‘- a decade of African Renaissance (2020-2030), is the follow up to the successful ‘Year of Return’ Ghana 2019 project.

The Project positioned Ghana as the preferred destination for the African Diaspora and gave a tremendous boost to tourism, spreading its benefits across many businesses within its extensive value chain.

The Steering Committee has institutional representation from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Ghana Tourism Authority; Office of Diaspora Affairs; Panafest Foundation; African American Association of Ghana; Ministry of National Security; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ghana Police Service; Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; and Ghana Immigration Service.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said ‘Beyond the Return’ sought to consolidate the gains from the ‘Year of Return’ and grow Ghana‘s tourism - showcase its investment potential and solidify its Diaspora engagement programmes over a decade.

It would also 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.

The Ministry, therefore, reached out to all the agencies and individuals to constitute the Committee, with the GTA becoming the Coordinating agency, in order to play a key role in ensuring the success of the project.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the Committee had been charged to look at the programmes that would be effective for the “Beyond the Return” project and submit for consideration by the Inter-Ministerial-Committee.

Per the project concept, it would stand on seven pillars, therefore, the Committee would have design programmes for each.

The pillars are: Experience Ghana; Invest in Ghana; Brand Ghana; Celebrate Ghana; Pathway to Ghana; Give Back to Ghana; and Improve Tourism and Heritage Assets.”

“We recognise that for this year, because of the situation that we have, we may not be able to have programmes that would entail public gatherings and so as you work, you must take that into consideration and come out with feasible programmes that we may be able to implement for the second half of this year,” the Minister stated.

The Minister expressed confidence in the team’s dedication and commitment, and assured them of the Ministry’s support to successfully execute the assignment.

Mr Kwame Boateng, a Board member of the Ghana Tourism Authority and Co-Chairman of the Committee, expressed appreciation to the Minister for the confidence reposed in them, saying they would innovate amid living with Covid-19, to become successful.

“We are going to be innovative, think contemporarily and we know that with the dedication and devotion victory would be ours and we would succeed in bringing glory to Ghana,” he said.

Mr Akwasi Awua Ababio of the Office of the Diaspora Affairs, Jubilee House, is the co-chair of the Committee.

Other members include Mr Yofi Grant, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Dr. Sayibu Pabi, Deputy Commissioner of Police; Madam Khadijah Iddrisu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr John Agbeko, Chief Director, MOTAC; and Madam Dentaa Amoateng and Professor Esi Sutherland of the PANAFEST Foundation.

Madam Jessica Ayivor , AAAG; Mr Ekow Sampson GTA; Mr Ben Anane Nsiah, GTA; Madam Roberta Dawson Amoah, GTA; Mr Lawrence Coffie Azumah, Ministry of National Security; Madam Edith Arhin, Ghana Immigration Service; and Madam Amy Appiah Frimpong, National Theatre are the other members.

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