Monday, August 17, 2015

COMING UP!!>>Ep.51:Afri-Tourism (2): Matters Arising on Branding Africa when the UNWTO is in Town!

Episode #51:
Afri-Tourism (2): Matters Arising on Branding Africa when the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is in Town!

Back on 9 September, 2014, our first focus on Afri-Tourism was powerful and deliberate: we had a definition for our listeners on what defines Afri-Tourism. Just to remind listeners, we defined it as “the witting attempt by Africans to purchase African products while visiting African countries.

This definition was not plucked out of the blue, but based on a deliberate process of having had four tourism-related shows from which we drew inspiration for a definition. Again, to remind listeners:

The term “Afri-Tourism” has become entrenched in AIF’s history on account of the first-ever High-Level Forum on Regional Development in West Africa, which was sponsored by WACSI. At the forum, Kofi Akpabli made a presentation entitled “Towards Afri-Tourism: Making Ghana a viable Tourist Destination” in which he spoke of a kind of sub-regional tourism. Akpabli further spoke of regional tourism blocs, wondering whether West Africa is competing or actually complementing – as done in East Africa?

In a week in which the UN World Tourism Organisation is in town for three days to discuss tourism and branding Africa, we at AIF believe it is an opportune time to re-visit both tourism—as practiced in Ghana and Africa—and “Afri-Tourism”.

To this end, we will be speaking to three tourism practitioner-experts who are no strangers to the AIF Show.

Kofi Akpabli; Professor Boakye; and Aisha Boakye-Yiadom are three familiar faces to AIF who know their tourism inside out, and will help us navigate another conversation on it from a sub-regional; national; and continental perspective.

Let’s go Afri-touring!

Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000

Join us if you can at 1pm on 11 August, 2015.

Guiding questions
  • ·       What is the objective of Sekalaga Tours?
  • ·       What is level of youth engagement of Sekalaga Tours in promoting travel/tourism?
  • ·       What was outcome of ST’s “All-White Party” held in March 2015
  • ·       What has been TRAC’s major work since establishment in 2014?
  • ·       How important is security & safety to advocacy of TRAC?
  • ·       In TRAC’s opinion, how should governments better-protect tourism trade?
  • ·       Ebola is not over, but being managed, so how does one continue to make Ghana a viable tourist destination?
  • ·       What about sub-regional tourism that East Africa does very well?
  • ·       Can Ghana still be considered a honeymoon destination in West Africa?
  • ·       What has reception been to Akpabli’s “Romancing Ghanaland – the Beauty of 10 Regions” and “Harmattan: a Cultural Profile of Northern Ghana” since book-reading?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Asha Boakye-Yiadom, Sekalaga Tourist Attraction & Educational Resource
Ø  Juana Akuamoah-Boateng, Assistant Producer, AIF ReComm

Guests on the line:
Ø  Naa Lamiley Bentil, Senior Staff Reporter, Daily Graphic, Ghana @13h10 to speak to us about the newly-established Network on Forest Governance & Community Empowerment, and key outcomes of Civic Response Media Workshop on Forest Governance held 12-14 August, 2015

Ø  Mariam Chiazor Content Editor, Afro Tourism (  @13h30 to speak to us about her company, and impressions of the two-day “UN World Tourism Regional Conference on Enhancing Branding Africa: Fostering Tourism Development” underway at LaPalm Royal Beach Hotel

Ø  Prof.Boakye, Executive Director, Tourism Research Advocacy Centre(TRAC), Cape Coast University, Central Region, Ghana @13h50 to brief us about the state of Ghana’s tourism (potential), and what TRAC has been doing since establishment in 2014

Ø  Kofi Akpabli,  CNN-award-winning tourism journalist; author of 3 books on Tourism @14h20

Monday, August 10, 2015

COMING UP!>>Ep.50: A Review of West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN) Media Training

Episode #50:
A Review of West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN) Media Training

We want to use  the 50th edition of the show to primarily review and assess the training journalists underwent on 5 August here in Accra. 

Organised by the Ghana Chapter of the West Africa Drug Policy Network, the objective of the training was to educate the media to appreciate the complexities inherent in reporting drug policy issues. 

Buried in the training is a desire to shift mindsets around how drug policy is reported from a law-enforcement perspective, where the drug-user is vilified and criminalised to the point where they are treated with a level of dignity.

That said, no paradigm-shifting will occur without an assessment of how journalists found the programme. It is for this reason we will speak to two journalists to share their views, and offer recommendations on the way forward for the Media to better-appreciate drug policy.

Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000
Join us if you can at 1pm on 11 August, 2015.

Guiding questions
  • ·       What was rationale for training media on drug policy?
  • ·       What did the journalists learn – if anything?
  • ·       How do journalists assess the training programme? What recommendations do they have for improvement?
  • ·       Why is the media important in conversations around drug policy?
  • ·       What is the way forward for the workshop?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Hilda Mbong, Lawyer; Rapporteur; independent observer
Ø  Juana Akuamoa Boateng, Assistant Producer, AIF Research & Communications Unit
Ø  Maame Agyeiwaa, Chronicle newspaper, Ghana

Guests on the line:
Ø  Genevieve Dadzie, Programme Officer, AAEA Secretariat, Electoral Commission, Ghana @13h15 to speak to us about the 3rd Continental Election Management Bodies Forum/General Assembly Meeting of the Association of African Election Authorities, held 22-24 July, 2015

Ø  Yaw Kwakye, Manager, Climate Change Unit, Forestry Commission @13h30 to brief us about mini-retreat for journalists organized by Forestry Commission in Koforidua, Eastern Region of Ghana from 5-6 August, 2015 on Communication messaging around Emissions-Reduction Programme/REDD+

Ø  Jonas Nyabor, Radio Univers 105.7FM/ @14h00

Thursday, August 6, 2015

VIDEO Clip: AIF Show's Interview of Facilitator Gilbert Atta-Boakye during Results-Based Management Workshop Training 27-31 July, 2015

The workshop covered discussion on a wide range of issues, including: Introduction to Results-Based Management Concepts and trends; understanding the general concepts of management approaches, specific indicators, development and use of results frameworks for Parliaments and results-Based Management and Parliamentary Results Chain.

The workshop was organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), which is the foremost, effective and credible regional institution with counterpart funding from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). In the last four years, it has remained committed to scaling up legislative capacity development and deepening institutional memory of West African legislature

Monday, August 3, 2015

ARTICLE: Disaster in Paradise? Looking beyond Bunso: Towards securing our tourism attractions

The  greatest desire of any  tourist/holiday maker is to have fun and relaxation in a safe place away from home. To that end almost all tourism destinations present themselves as idyllic places where the patron can feel relaxed and safe. Thus  the tourism attraction would be the last place a person would expect to be exposed to harm . That is why  this week has been a rather bad one for tourism.  First it was the deadly terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia, then,  our own Bunso Canopy Walkway also gave way. The first of them was a security issue while the incident in Ghana centred on safety. Either way, they each have the potential to hurt the tourist trade in their respective countries.

Research has shown there is a very strong positive relationship between safety/security and the fortunes of tourism.  Tourism literally thrives on safety and security.

For example, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) indicates that  international tourist arrivals in  its  Middle East Region (including Egypt and Tunisia)    declined by 8.4 percent to 54.8 million in 2011 – a year after the  Arab Spring.  Yet, in 2010 the previous year,  arrivals to the region had  grown by  nearly 15.  The effect is even more graphic  when the figures for the two countries are isolated from the rest. Experts generally believe that the 2010  revolts caused  at least    a 30-40% decline in  demand for the two countries in subsequent years.   In fact, in Tunisia, tourism arrivals dropped by a third in 2011 and the associated financial losses can only be imagined. The same can be said of the effect of the 9/11 attacks on the New York tourism industry which was estimated to lose some 1-2 billion dollars in business in associated  economic activities.

An even more ominous    threat to global tourism is that posed by terrorism. The stark reality is that   a pattern is slowly taking shape in which tourism facilities are increasingly becoming targets for terrorist attacks.  Attacks from England, Bali, Indonesia, France, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya, Peru, The Philippines, and Mexico and, more recently, Tunisia have shown this trend.  This year alone Tunisia has witnessed two such horrific  incidents,  just three months apart from each other - one at a museum and the  more recent one at a popular tourist beach.

 It therefore goes without saying that countries that wish to gain from tourism must consciously make efforts to protect the trade.  For a country that is so heavily reliant on international visitors, Ghana cannot afford to be having such avoidable  safety oversights or security breaches  at its attractions.  It is against this backdrop that  we  should take what happened in Bunso as seriously as we can and also institute structures that can avoid a terrorist attack on our tourism facilities.  

It is good to read that the Ghana Tourism Authority is in the process of developing a Legislative Instrument that will empower them to  enforce safety and security at our attraction sites.

This is because  in truth,  Bunso is not the only unsafe and insecure attraction in the country.  In fact save for a few arrangements for police presence on crowded days, our attraction facilities hardly have any security cover.  Neither are there any strong safety measures that can protect patrons from unintended harm.

Moving forward the  Ministry of Tourism  as a policy formulator must initiate processes  towards the crafting of a tourism safety and security policy.    Such a policy would definitely have to address pertinent questions such as: How safe should our attractions/facilities ? What are the likely sources of harm/threat (unintended or intentional)
·         What warning systems can we put in place to  monitor and react to such threats?
·         Who manages these systems and how will they be funded?
·         What systems can we  institute to  ensure these facilities comply with  prescribed safety measures?
·         Who are the key stakeholders and what roles do they play?
·         How often must equipment at attraction sites  be maintained or changed?
·         What is the carrying capacity of our tourist facilities, how are they determined and  who enforces adherence to  them?
    How best can  the tourism sector  and the security apparatus collaborate to provide  safety/security (especially from terrorism)

Bunso must  serve as the  wake-up call for us as a destination to  create security structures and systems  for all tourism attractions  in Ghana.

Prof. Kwaku Boakye

The writer is the  Managing  Researcher at the Tourism Research and Advocacy Centre- a tourism think tank based in  Cape Coast.





Wildlife has been the source of our heritage and livelihoods. It plays a very important role in the development of a nation particularly Africa and Ghana for that matter. It features prominently in festivals, the arts, drama, folklore and serves as totems. It also provides animal protein in the diet of many people, ranging from insects through reptiles to mammals. Additionally, access to bushmeat provides an important safety net for most rural people in times of economic stress.

Wildlife also plays an important role in Ghana’s tourism industry, and there is undoubtedly a great potential for future development of ecotourism centered on the country’s national parks and reserves.

Nevertheless, wildlife is being over hunted and it is reaching a point where the dwindling number of animals is threatening the food security of both rural and urban communities, survival of the species and the integrity of Ghana as a signatory to international conventions. This state of affairs has been mainly due to non- observance of the rules and regulations governing hunting of wild animals coupled with inadequate support from the law enforcement agencies to assure sustainable uses of wildlife.

One of the measures to regulate hunting and ensure sustainable use of the resource is the institution of a CLOSE SEASON that begins from August 1st to December 1st every year. This is the period where most wild animals, particularly mammals, such as Duiker, Bush pig, Honey badger, Pangolin, Porcupines and Royal antelope to mention but a few, are being followed by their young . It is therefore, imperative that the animals are given a respite from hunting to wean their young for a successful recruitment into the next generation. Non-observance of the close season therefore, undermines the very existence of wild animal populations and deprives Ghanaians of a valuable resource for sustainable development. Only grasscutters are exempt from the Close Season but license has to be obtained to hunt it.

It must, however, be emphasised that not all the animals produce their young and wean them within the four months in question. The gestation period for elephant for instance is 22 months, Bongo: 9.5 months, Red River Hog: 4-5 months, Yellow backed duiker, Black duiker (Forest Duikers): 7-8 months, and Bush buck: 6-7 months. Therefore, to find a generic CLOSE SEASON for all animals is impossible because that will mean a total ban on hunting the whole year round. It is in this vein that by L.I.685 it is an offence for anybody to hunt, capture or destroy any young animals or female animal accompanied by their young.
Our appeal therefore is that all hunters, be they professional, trophy, leisure and dealers in the wildlife enterprise to temporarily stop their activities during the close season and also be circumspect during the open season.
What we look forward to from the public is that people will not patronise the sale of all bushmeat, dead, alive or smoked except for grasscutters so that hunters will find it uneconomical to hunt these animals for the expected aim to be achieved.
We are  again appealing to all Ghanaians especially, the police to arrest and prosecute such offenders by notifying the nearest Wildlife Division and Forestry Commission Offices or the Executive Director, Wildlife Division on Tel. 028-9109683/ 028-9115499, Accra.
Signed by:
Executive Director
Wildlife Division, Forestry Commission

For further information contact
Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Unit
Forestry Commission
P.O Box 434, Ministries
0244-643780 / 0244-090974

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Dear friends,

I believe this email finds you well.

Allow me to wish you and yours a peaceful new month.

May all your endeavours come to pass!

The first most-popular download is that of Ep.39, in which we had the priviledge of an exclusive interview with Namibia's High Commissioner to Ghana H.E. Charles Josob who spoke to us about his country's achievements on renewable energy.

Still with Namibia, just in case it escaped your attention, Namibia will host the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Centre for the SADC countries.

We at AIF are barely surprised about this feat. Kudos, Namibia! This means Cape Verde joins Namibia to host the ECOWAS & SADC Centres respectively, with ECOWAS having pioneered this Centre of Excellence in 2010.

Still on ECOWAS, the second highest podcast in the top 10 is that of Ep.43, which I used to interview former ECOWAS official Frank Ofei about Ecowas' fortieth anniversary. We also examined the failure of this country to capitalise on awareness-raising of Ecowas' landmark celebration.

The interview was also especially noteworthy as it took place in the same week President John Mahama of Ghana passed the baton of Chairperson of ECOWAS to Macky Sall of Senegal at an ECOWAS Summit.

At the top spot on the website since September 2014, is AIF Research & Communications Unit's first-ever High-Level Forum on Regional Development in West Africa, which was supported by WACSI.

That it has remained number 1 since 2014 suggests an interest in a Forum of this kind taking place again.

Kindly find below the top 10 posts for your enjoyment!

We welcome feedback!
Kind regards,

1. First-ever High-Level Public Forum on Regional Development in West Africa -- 4-5 September, EASTGATE HOTEL, Accra
High-Level Public Forum on Regional Development in West Africa Introduction and Objectives The Research & Communications Unit o...

2. At Africa in Focus' First-ever Public Forum, Former ECOWAS Official Frank Ofei Speaks about Ecowas Common Currency

3. PODCAST!>>Ep.39: Impact of Ghana's Power Crisis(1): Why Renewable Energy?
EPISODE #39 Research & Co-ordination: E.K.Bensah Jr Executive Producer: E.K.Bensah Jr Technical  Producer: D.J. Stagger "Dear f...

4. Five-day Regional Workshop for Parliamentary Staff of Ghana; Gambia; Nigeria; & ECOWAS Opens in Accra
Gilbert Atta-Boakye, Facilitator Accra, Ghana – In an attempt to redefine work ethics across the sub-region, a five-day workshop to en...

5. COMING UP!>>Episode #48: Mixed Bag: Updates on Financing for Development; Freedom of Information
Episode #48: Mixed Bag: Updates on Financing for Development (#Ffd3); Freedom of Information We want to use ep.48 to look at two...

6. COMING UP!>>Ep.39: Impact of Ghana's Power Crisis(1): Why Renewable Energy?
Episode #39:   Impact of Power Crisis (1): Why Renewable Energy, and Options for Financing? That we have a power crisis i...

7. AFRICA IN FOCUS >> Coming up on 9 September, 2014: Afri-Tourism!
Since 29 July, AIF has navigated the waters of a topic that merits more discussion on the Ghanaian media landscape – that of Tourism. We wi...

8. COMING UP!!>>Ep.49: Mixed Bag#2: Outcome of Third Financing for Development Conference; AU Youth Impact Africa Awards
Episode #49: Mixed Bag#2: Outcome of Third Financing for Development Conference; AU Youth Impact Africa Awards We want to use ep....

9. COMING UP!>>Ep.34: Towards a more Equitable Gender Participation in Peace & Security with UNSCR1325
34th Edition: Towards a more Equitable Gender Participation in Peace & Security with UNSCR1325 This year, the AU is payin...

10. PODCAST:>>Ep.43: SPECIAL: Talking Points around #ECOWAS@40(4): One-on-one with former ECOWAS Official Frank Ofei

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