On December 21, 2015 in Kumawu in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, New York University (NYU) Africa House and the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) organized the Ghana Rural Tourism Development Forum convening public and private sector leaders, practitioners, academics, farmers, park rangers, and community stakeholders. Under the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Rural Tourism Potential,” the forum attracted more than 300 participants to discuss the role of rural tourism and technology in economic development.
Professor Yaw Nyarko, Director of New York University Africa House and CTED, said, “Tourism is a largely untapped sector that has tremendous potential to catalyze economic growth in rural communities in Africa. Rural communities, in particular, have the potential to thrive when cultural heritage and technology intersect.”
Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts, Republic of Ghana delivered the keynote address where she announced the launch of a partnership between the Ghana Ministry of Culture, Tourism and the Creative Arts and NYU Africa House and CTED. The partnership includes an extensive research collaboration between NYU Africa House and CTED and the Ministry of Tourism to explore best practices for rural tourism development in Ghana, and across Africa; capacity building of Ghana’s hospitality and tourism training schools; and the development of apps and implementation of technology to drive tourism growth.
NYU Africa House and CTED inaugurated the Kumawu Palace Museum, which showcases cultural heritage documentary films on a biography of a people, Kumawu tourism attractions, rich wildlife of the Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and geo mapping and agriculture. The dedication was led by Professor Nyarko, Barima Sarfo Tweneboah Kodua (Kumawumanhene), and Minister Ofosu-Adjare.
The program also included a Mobile App Lab, which highlighted the role of technology and mobile apps to spur economic development. The Mobile App Lab included presentations by Mohamed Kessir Adjaho, Research Assistant/Software Developer, NYU-CTED and Alfred Afutu, Software Engineer, NYU-CTED, in which they showcased the innovative CTED apps using drone data and imaging collection and agricultural trading for rural farmers and buyers. CTED-trained farmers demonstrated the apps to guests.
Furthermore, the event included the Ghana launch of the 3rd Edition of the Africa Tourism Monitor, a joint research publication produced by African Development Bank, NYU Africa House, and the Africa Travel Association, which contains tourism arrival and employment statistics and industry case studies on travel and tourism in Africa.
Highlights of the event include:
- Keynote Address by Ghana Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Creative Arts, Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare
- Inauguration of the Kumawu Palace Museum by Barima Sarfo Tweneboah Kodua, Kumawumanhene, and Nana Serwaa Amponsah, Queen Mother of Kumawu
- NYU CTED Cultural Heritage Films
- Mobile App Lab: Developing Apps, Technology, and Research to Support Rural Tourism Development, Farmers, and Wildlife
- NYU Africa House and CTED are being recognized as area chiefs honor Professor Yaw Nyarko for contributions made to the community’s economic development
- In Partnership with the African Development Bank, Launch of the 2015 Africa Tourism Monitor
9:00 am – 10:00 am
Inauguration of the Kumawu Palace Museum
10:30 am – 11:45 am Rural Tourism Development Forum at Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School
11:45 am – 12:30 pm Lunch Reception
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm NYU Africa House and CTED Honored by Area Chiefs
Ghana News Agency (Online), Unlocking Africa’s rural tourism potential is crucial – Minister
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Ghanaweb, The Kumawu Palace Museum
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Sankofa, Kumawu Palace Museum Opening
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Business Times Africa, Unlocking Africa’s rural tourism potential is crucial