Late reggae legend Robert Marley summed it all up: “Africa is the richest place, but the poorest race”.
Well-nourished forests, rich mineral deposits, vast agricultural capabilities and scenic locations clearly depict the aesthetic power of nature that rests with us.
The desired projection of these features to the world has obviously not received the best of efforts as there is apparently more the world can learn from this continent.
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From Ghana to Kenya to South Africa and even across the Sahara, several components of our eco-tourism package are yet to be displayed to the world, though this could very well trigger a boost in the economic fortunes of the continent.
Tourism has been designated as the fastest growing enterprise in Africa.
In Ghana, the Ministry of Trade, in 1993, prepared a 15 –year tourism development plan, with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Tourism Organization, an institution that ranked Ghana 17th position in 1985 and 8th position in 1998, in a ranking system that catalogues tourism potentials of countries.
In the same country, tourism is rated the 3rd largest revenue earner after minerals and cocoa.
With all these and more, it appears Africa hasn’t done enough to showcase its treasures to mankind.
Colonial relics like fortes and castles could be bastions of the tourism capabilities of African countries if properly managed.
Water bodies, breathtaking landscapes and several artifacts with rich historical stories are available in their naturalness for visitors with a soft spot for nature.
The mosque and mystery stone at Larabanga (Northern Region), the “talking river” (Volta Region), Kakum Park (Central Region) and Paga crocodile pond (Upper – East Region) are but a few of the tourism hotspots in Ghana that can rake in unbelievable amounts of resources if the right steps are taken.
The Masais of Kenya and Zulus of South Africa have stories that people around the world would want to hear over and over again.
Africa has no excuse for penury. Looking within can stimulate a chain of events that would project us to where we deserve to be.
Our promised bliss by the West would continue to elude us if we choose to dance to a tune that has no rhythm for Africa’s progress.
The urgent need to harness the socio-cultural, economic and political factors that would kindle the needed oomph for growth has not been as urgent as it is now. We need to rise up.
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