On 1st June 2022, the Executive body of the Pan-African Heritage Museum (PAHM) led by its Executive Vice Chairman, Ladi Nylander paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal to discuss issues of interest to the sector in respect of the Pan African Heritage Museum (PAHM).
The Leader of the delegation, Mr Ladi Nylander informed the Hon. Minister that the chairman and founder of the PAHM was currently in the United States of America (U.S.A) on a related engagement of the PAHM.
Discussions with the Hon. Minister centred on the pillars of the “Beyond the Return” which dovetails into the overall objectives, vision and agenda of the Pan African Heritage Museum (PAHM). They include: Experience Ghana, Diaspora Pathways to Ghana, Brand Ghana, Give Back Ghana, Promote Pan-African Heritage and Innovation, Celebrate Ghana and Invest in Ghana.
The delegation expressed appreciation to the Hon. Minister through the Deputy Minister, Hon Mark Okraku Mantey for gracing the occasion during the Launch of the Digital Museum on 5th May 2022. According to them, it offered the team the opportunity to have confidence in the government’s resolve to support the PAHM.
The Executive Director of the PAHM, Prof Pashington Obeng stated that the PAHM hopes to have the needed support and assistance from the Presidency and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. He noted that the team believes that having all hands on deck is important to create the needed partnership. He further stated, that the museum will not just be a place for people to come through and experience the artefacts and African relics but it will also be concerned about the local community’s involvement thereby creating jobs and employment opportunities for them. He assured the Hon. Minister that seminars and workshops will be organized for Senior High Schools, Universities, etc. across the country to empower the youth to create jobs and help them understand African culture, history and heritage.
In his remarks, the Hon. Minister said culture defines us as a people, and therefore he is personally inspired by the concept and brains behind the Pan-African Heritage Museum currently operating digitally until the physical structure to house it and to enable people experience what goes in there is completed. He noted that African Americans undertake trips to destinations where they can connect with their roots and history and therefore the visit is timely.
The Hon. Minister informed the team from PAHM that the Ministry has targeted 2 million visitors by 2024 and beyond to generate 5 billion dollars for the Ghanaian economy. He said, per statistics, each tourist spends on the average an amount of $2,500.00 in the country when they visit and this energizes the economy. He said, for this year, the target of the Ministry is one million tourists as part of Destination Ghana and Beyond the Return campaigns.
The Hon. Minister reiterated the government’s commitments to create jobs and employment through the private sector and one of such initiatives worthy of support is the PAHM which aims at also involving the local community and creating opportunities for the youth of this country.
The Hon. Minister was emphatic that, the ministry is working assiduously to make tourism the number one contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He again noted that the very foundations of tourism are culture and heritage. Therefore, it is the resolve of the Ministry to support the private sector to push our Cultural Heritage across the length and breadth of the globe.
For the opening of the National Museum, the Hon. Minister was emphatic that it will finally be opened on Friday, 10th June 2022. The leader of the delegation, Mr Ladi Nylander on behalf of the team took the opportunity to congratulate the Hon. Minister and his Deputy for the good work being done by the Ministry for Mother Ghana. He made it clear that the Hon. Minister had been specific and measurable in his dealings and hoped his tenure of office will be successful.
Mr Nylander also made it known that the Pan-African Heritage Digital Museum is one of a kind in the world and the first. He noted that there are about 3,000 museums in Europe and only 200 in Africa. None of these has a digital version. He took the opportunity to invite the Hon. Minister and his Deputy to the launch of the second phase of the Digital Museum of the PAHM Scheduled for August 31st, 2022 which is earmarked as “Africa Day”.
Present at the meeting were the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Mark Okraku Mantey, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr John Yao Agbeko, the Special Advisor to the Hon. Minister, Nana Sarfo Kantanka I, the Executive Director, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), Mr Kingsley Ofosu Ntiamoah and the Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi.
The PAHM delegation included the Executive Vice Chairman, Ladi Nylander, and the Executive Director, Prof. Pashington Obeng. Other members of the delegation included Dr Sam Mensah, Nana Ama Yankah, Mr Charles Eghan, Mr Bobby Banson, Mr Kofi Yankah and Kofi Karikari.