We can prioritize tourism and make it a leading industry.

We can prioritize tourism and make it a leading industry.

Ghana is a country that is blessed with numerous tourist attractions. Some of these attractions have been discovered and partly developed while others have been discovered but not yet developed, and many others remain untapped. All 16 regions of the country have more than one attraction that can drive tourism.  Additionally, Ghanaians are known for their hospitable nature. The diverse customs and traditions of the country have the power to draw visitors to the country all year round. Every traditional area has a couple of festivals that can be leveraged to attract both local and foreign tourists with good planning. There are many ecotourism sites in Ghana, including about 18 wildlife-protected areas such as the Kakum, Mole, Bui, Bia, Digya, Nini Suhien, and Kyabobo national parks. There are also resource reserves such as Ankasa, Gbele, and Shai Hills, as well as wildlife sanctuaries such as the Kogyae, Bomfobiri, Kalakpa, Agumatsa, Buabeng Fiema, and the Duasidan monkey sanctuaries. Additionally, Ghana is home to waterfalls such as the Kintampo, Wli, and Boti.

The Kyabobo National Park, located in the Atwode traditional area in the Nkwanta District of the Oti Region, is a newly established park about which little is known. It covers an area of 359.8 km² and is home to both forest and savanna. It's clear that with a little effort, Ghana could significantly benefit from tourism and potentially make it the country's top foreign exchange earner. The government has already allocated resources to improve 10 popular tourist sites, including the Aburi Botanical Gardens, Salaga and Pikworo Slave Camps, Elmina and Cape Coat Castles, Kakum National Park, and the Yaa Asantewaa Museum. By highlighting the country's unique traditions, such as its traditional outfits and fabrics like the fugu from the northern part of Ghana and kente from the Ashanti and Volta regions, we can further promote tourism and trade.

As Christmas approaches, we challenge the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to expand its December in GH program, which includes Afro Nation, Afrochella, Little Havana, Taste of Ghana, YouTube Creators Festival, Westside Carnival, Rhythms on da Runway, Roverman Productions Festival of Plays, Countdown Africa, and Adina Conference. We urge the GTA to be intentional in its programs to boost tourism in the country. Effective supervision of the "Airbnb" business by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is crucial as it has become an integral part of the hospitality industry. This will guarantee that all participants in the sector adhere to internationally acceptable standards all the time. BrytGh.com believes that we can achieve more by collaborating and, therefore, encourages public-private partnerships in the development and management of tourist sites throughout the country.

The Ghana Tourism Authority is taking over the Tanoboase Sacred Gardens to restore them.

The Tanoboase Sacred Grove will be taken over for redevelopment, according to the Ghana Tourism Authority( GTA). This represents a turning point in the region's continued efforts to increase visitor interest and tourism development. The Ghana Tourism Authority's CEO, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, thanked the Tanoboase chiefs and residents for their cooperation during a short ceremony held there. He also emphasized the significance of protecting cultural heritage sites like Sacred Grove while promoting modernization and sustainable tourism methods.

He emphasized how important these programs are for boosting the country's tourism industry and giving local communities financial options. Mr. Agyeman expressed his sincere gratitude to the District Chief Executive, the local Member of Parliament, and all other participants for their unwavering support throughout the celebration. and cooperation that will bring the job to fruition.

The Tanoboase Sacred Grove will likely experience new life as a result of the renovation, making it more interesting and reachable for both domestic and foreign visitors. The GTA hopes that this job will boost tourism, boost economic growth, and give the neighborhood a chance to display its distinctive customs and crafts. To ensure that the project complies with the GTA's goal of showcasing Ghana as a top travel destination, rich in cultural heritage, and natural beauty, the Authority may keep working closely with pertinent partners. The Upper East Region's Pikworo slave camp and the Salaga Slave Market were given to contractors by the Authority earlier this week for development as part of the slave routes project.

Politicians need to streamline and consolidate the process of teacher licensing. This will help to ensure that qualified teachers can enter the workforce more easily, ultimately benefiting students and the education system as a whole.

As the country prepares for the 2024 general election, political parties are likely to politicize every issue, including education. However, they must refrain from politicizing teacher licensing and professionalism. Instead of focusing on their manifesto, political parties should prioritize consolidating the gains made in teacher education reforms. The education system, especially teacher education, has made significant progress. Therefore, politicians should not reverse these gains. It is believed by BrytGh that the significant progress made in teacher professionalism has been beneficial, as Ghanaian teachers have been performing exceptionally well on a global scale. For example, between 2018 and 2023, four Ghanaian teachers were listed among the top teachers in the Global Teacher Prize, with the last two achieving top 10 positions.

 This is a clear indication that Ghana is doing something right in teacher education, and it should be maintained. Reports indicate that Ghanaian teachers are highly sought after in other African countries, Europe, the Americas, and Asia, which is definitely worth celebrating. Furthermore, the fact that Ghanaian teachers are exempted from any assessment for Qualified Teachers Status in the United Kingdom confirms the high quality of teachers produced by our teaching institutions. It is reassuring that the Education Act of 2008, Act 778 has explicit provisions for the licensing of teachers. The Act has vested the National Teaching Council (NTC) with the authority to administer professional exams to aspiring teachers.

Since 2018, when the first-ever teacher licensure examination was conducted at colleges of education across Ghana, obtaining a professional license has become compulsory. The teaching license is now mandatory for all qualified teachers in the country and attests to the holder's ability to meet the required standards for teaching. Consequently, graduates from colleges of education or universities must pass the licensure examination before qualifying to serve as teachers under the Ghana Education Service (GES). The examination does not apply to those already in the teaching profession. However, they are expected to undergo in-service professional training programs to upgrade their skills and become eligible for the license.

 BrytGh expressed relief that the National Teaching Council (NTC) did not mandate teachers already in the classroom to write an exam. Having to write an exam after years of teaching would have been a huge disservice. However, we believe that making teaching a recognized profession has several benefits not just for Ghanaian teachers, but for the country as a whole. It would ensure that we have quality teachers to educate our children and raise the standard of teaching in Ghana. Licensing Ghanaian teachers will also prepare them to be accepted globally, which is crucial in today's interconnected world. Therefore, we join the call to strengthen teacher licensing. At the 70th anniversary of the Kpando SHS, Eric Kutortse, the Executive Chairman of the First Sky Group, highlighted the need for politicians to stop politicizing education. He called for a national policy on education, regardless of the political party in power.

It is clear that as Ghanaians, certain aspects of our development must be free from politics, and education is one of them. We must be intentional about this and work together to build a robust and resilient nation. Politicizing education endangers the future of our young ones and sets a dangerous path for the country.

It is imperative to take decisive action against online scams. 

The increasing number of online scams targeting unsuspecting customers is a matter of great concern that warrants immediate attention. The recent incidents involving counterfeit pizza restaurants in the country, which were highlighted by BrytGh last week, serve as a stark reminder of the escalating danger posed by scammers. These fraudsters are now using sophisticated tactics to dupe customers, fabricating fake listings and social media profiles that appear genuine. Falling victim to these scams can have catastrophic consequences, not only for the individuals who suffer financial losses but also for the businesses being impersonated.

The impact on businesses cannot be overstated. They are not only losing potential revenue as customers shy away from online transactions but they are also forced to allocate additional resources to combat these fraudulent activities. As the Christmas season approaches, this appalling situation is likely to escalate. Many are, therefore, concerned about the apparent lack of interest of duty bearers in tracking and clamping down on these scammers who are growing more confident by the day.

It is crucial to take decisive action to crack down on scams, protecting both consumers and businesses. Regulatory bodies, such as the Cyber Security Authority and law enforcement agencies, need to collaborate to identify and dismantle fake listings and social media accounts while holding the perpetrators accountable for their deceitful actions. Issuing occasional public alerts is not enough; these authorities must go after the criminals and eliminate their activities from cyberspace. The BrytGh believes that these institutions can bring sanity to the online space and ensure that citizens can transact businesses without fear. The increasing number of online scams is a serious issue that warrants immediate attention. It deserves a national conversation because the future of businesses lies in cyberspace, which requires significant development and trust-building efforts.

Fraudulent activities on the internet have become a growing concern, and it is essential to raise awareness among consumers to help them recognize and avoid falling prey to these scams. Businesses must also take proactive measures to protect themselves and their customers from fraudulent activities. Combining efforts is necessary to tackle this mounting threat and secure a trustworthy online environment for all. In the long run, the government needs to play a critical role in addressing the proliferation of online scams by implementing comprehensive regulatory measures and enforcing laws to deter scammers. Law enforcement agencies must receive additional resources and funding to enable them to conduct thorough investigations and prosecute individuals engaged in fraudulent activities.

Moreover, the government should collaborate with internet service providers and social media platforms to identify and remove fake listings and accounts used for fraudulent purposes. Working together, they can establish more robust verification processes to validate the legitimacy of businesses and individuals advertising their products and services online. By taking these proactive measures, the government can help create a safer online environment for both consumers and businesses, ultimately reducing the prevalence of online scams, safeguarding the financial well-being of individuals, and upholding the integrity of legitimate businesses in the digital marketplace.

Investing in youth empowerment leads to a brighter future.

The youth play an important role in nation-building and development. Therefore, the country, along with its key stakeholders and development partners, has implemented several interventions aimed at empowering the youth. It is crucial to prioritize the needs and development of young people for a brighter future. As per Ghana's National Youth Policy (NYP), anyone between 15 and 35 years old is considered a youth. According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, Ghana's population age structure is transitioning from being dominated by children aged zero to 14 years to being dominated by young people aged 15 to 35 years. The proportion of children in Ghana has declined from 41.3% in 2000 to 35.3% in 2021, while the proportion of young people has increased from 34.6% in 2000 to 38.2% in 2021.

The rapid growth of the youth population could have a significant impact on socio-economic development, depending on the actions taken by the government and other stakeholders. With the right interventions in place, the growing youth population can be mobilized to support a productive economy, create wealth, and deliver critical social services to the population. However, there seems to be a trend of neglect towards this important segment of the population, which is evident in the increasing numbers of unemployed, underemployed, and underpaid youth. BrytGh warns that this situation could be detrimental to the country's development and future, as the youth increasingly demand more equitable and progressive opportunities and solutions in their societies.

This group of the population faces various challenges, including economic and financial exclusion, adverse socio-cultural practices, a mismatch between the knowledge acquired and industry requirements, inaccessibility of education and educational facilities, minimal skills development, low participation in governance, limited access to health services, and weak development support services, among others. However, it is important to note that Ghana's youth have self-creativity and innovation, backed by significant knowledge of information and communications technology (ICT). BrytGh welcomes the remarks made by the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, describing the Ghanaian youth, especially those in tertiary institutions, as fascinating, with ideas and innovations capable of driving the country towards the path of development. 

The Chancellor's comments should serve as a reminder to the nation's policymakers that they need to work towards empowering the youth by developing their full potential to guarantee the country's future. It is, however, unfortunate to note that although a significant number of the country's youth possess high levels of qualifications in general knowledge, especially in the humanities and business-related programs, all does not seem to be well with them. Many young people in Ghana have achieved academic qualifications ranging from Higher National Diplomas (HND) to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). However, a significant number of them still rely on financial assistance from family and friends to make ends meet. For those without such support, some have resorted to alcoholism, drug abuse, and criminal activities such as armed robbery.

Those who are interested in entrepreneurship face another challenge: lack of start-up capital. Fortunately, the government has implemented various youth intervention programs over the years to address these issues. Nonetheless, more needs to be done to foster partnerships among all stakeholders and leverage the creative potential of the youth, as recommended by the Chancellor. To achieve sustainable youth development, the government must spearhead and foster partnerships that will ensure the effective implementation of the new National Youth Policy (NYP) from 2022 to 2032. All key stakeholders need to work together to make the NYP a reality.

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