What If Attention Is Given To “ The Center Of The World”; Ghana

Bernice Mensah, Student of GIJ Bernice Mensah, Student of GIJ

Tourism is a key economic driver which generates a huge sums of foreign exchange earnings, creates jobs, and wealth as well as stimulates other sectors of the economy, in fact tourism is currently the fourth largest source of foreign exchange earnings estimated at US2.2 million after cocoa, gold and oil. Tourism contributed to supporting 602,425 direct and indirect jobs . Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture (MoTAC) estimated that the sector contributes approximately 4.9 to the country's GDP. The tourism sector of the country is rapidly raising the country's development on a promising plateau contributing to both economic growth and job creation. Travel and Tourism competitiveness report 2019, according to the world economic forum results indicates that Ghana has significant opportunity to build competitiveness through its historical relics, culture and abundance of natural sites, which have the potential to raise the country's international recognition as tourism destination

The significance of tourism over the years was not really felt until the diversification of Ghanaian economy in the year 1985 drifted attention over reliance on traditional commodities such as gold, timber and cocoa. This policy directives was borne out of the unique and bountiful natural resources which were identified as competitive and sustainable. Ghana has over 30 historical forts and castles, ie. Elmina and cape coast castle, Manhyia palace museum which has historic relics and artifacts of Ashanti kings. Religious monuments such as Larabanga mosque which is seen among the oldest mosque in West Africa.

This takes no chances on a snippet of doubts that the attention paid to tourism sectors and prospective tourism avenues are still in question, should it still be considered as one of the economic drivers that generates huge foreign exchange, as if that is not enough, tourism has created job opportunities for approximately 700,000 people. Therefore it behooves us as nation to exploit all available and potential tourism centers, putting into consideration Ghana being the center of the world.

Ghana is pretty much right at the center of the world, being close to the equator and on the Greenwich meridian, which represents zero (0) degrees longitude.

A monument has been unveiled at a site at Tema, which depict the very point where the Greenwich Meridian runs southwards through the ocean to meet the equator at the center of the earth, making the country the closest to the center.

This discovery marks one of the lucrative ventures which in no uncertain terms can add to generate huge sums of income for the nation, the new discovery tourism site can be transformed into a beautiful place named the center of the world. This will create employment opportunity and generate income hence reduce the rate of joblessness and add to the over 70,000 people employed into tourism ventures in the country not to mention the petty buying and selling of cultural ornaments and beautiful artefact. One of the fundamentals why this nation should be compelled to draw attention to the new discovery is the fact that this discovery is rare and an exclusive discovery which every nation across the globe will want to have, being situated at the center of the world arguably is every nation's dream to have. At least one particular iconic element that can sell the country across diaspora, a typical one is discovering that your country is situated at the center of the world.

In this regard, it behooves the government and other stakeholders to give much attention to the new discovery which can be converted into one source of tourism in Ghana and can generate huge sums of income for the country. We have no idea the millions of people outside who will want to explore to see or even stand just at the center of the world to tell a story some day to their children. We often see how foreigners defy all odds just to explore and have fun at one unique place that stands out, encompassing taking pictures and engaging in other business with the locals, i.e the buying of souvenirs and other items such as Kente, beads, paintings, basket, carving and mask are all source of income that can be earned by those who are into such artefact. etc. All these items are very necessary for every tourist to relish purchasing them. It serves as a reminder for the trip that was undertaken.

It is of no doubt that every destination has something unique that teaches people, and immersing themselves in a completely different world is the utmost learning opportunity.

Source: Bernice Mensah