Cecilia Abena Dapaah
Minister for Aviation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has disclosed government’s plans to develop domestic air transport to effectively expand the tourism sector in Ghana to generate jobs to boost the country’s economy.
According to her, domestic air travel is an essential element of tourism that provides an economic link.
She said the effective collaboration between the Ministries of Aviation and Tourism, Art and Culture would make domestic air travel one of the important modern forms of transport in Ghana.
The Minister disclosed this Wednesday in Accra when she inaugurated the nine-member Aviation and Tourism Technical Committee to develop the road map to help realise the full potentials in the two sectors.
Ms Dapaah stressed the need to use air travel to boost tourism to generate employment, improve economic growth.
“According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), out of the 62.7 million jobs worldwide supported by the global air transport industry, 36.3 million are tourism catalytic jobs, representing 57.9%,” she said.
The Minister noted that places had been designated at tourist sites to be developed into helipads and airstrips to enhance tourism in Ghana.
She charged members of the committee to deliver on their mandate.
Acting Chief Director of the Aviation Ministry, Christina Edmund, in a remark, observed that aviation and tourism were inter-related, adding that the tourism industry was heavily reliant on transport.
“It is a brilliant idea to improve local air travel for tourists for business leisure.
“The inter-relation between the two sectors will inure to the benefit of the country. Collaboration between the ministries to consider cross-cutting issues within the aviation and tourism sectors will maximize their full potentials to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Deputy Minister for Aviation, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, is chairman for the committee. Other members include Ellis Hugh-Tamakloe, Director of PPME at the Ministry of Aviation; Cephas Adjei Mensah, Deputy Director of F&A at Ministry of Aviation; Stephen Wilfred Arthur, Manager, Economic Regulation & Business Development, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority; Eric Prempeh, Customer Service Manager, Ghana Airports Company Limited and Dr Joel Sonne, Acting Director, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The rest are Edwin Owusu-Mensah, Director of F&A, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Reuben Kwadzofio, Senior Tourism Officer at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
By Emmanuel Kubi