The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in partnership with the African Tourist Partners, South Africa has held its maiden edition of the Women in Tourism (WIT) Summit at the Accra International Conference Center (AICC).
The summit, first of its kind in Ghana was on the theme, “Driving Women Empowerment through Tourism.”
Mrs. Catherine Afeku, Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture (MOTAC), speaking at the summit on June 21, 2018 said the WIT is a platform that aims to serve as a strategic driver to promote gender equality and women empowerment.
“The overall goal of the Women in Tourism Summit is to promote women’s economic empowerment in tourism through partnerships with key stakeholders across the entire travel, tourism and hospitality value chain. This will involve improving employment/ entrepreneurship opportunities for women by facilitating their access to funding,” Mrs Afeku said.
She added that, she was highly convinced that the WIT Summit has come to stay and strongly believes that it will continue to be a platform to take women in tourism to a higher pedestal.
Other speakers at the main event included; Catherine Afeku, Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture; Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA); Nancy Sam Quartey, President, Women In Tourism, Ghana ; Sella Fubara-Obinwa, International Operations, Dubai Tourism ( Africa Market); Assia Riccio-Smith, Founder, Evolving Women.
According to Akwasi Agyeman, CEO at GTA, a survey conducted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), indicates that, women make up the majority of the tourism workforce in most part of the world yet they are less paid.
“Women make up the majority of the tourism workforce in most regions of the world and yet they’re concentrated in the lowest paid and lowest Status jobs in tourism, further women perform a large amount of unpaid work in family tourism business,” he said.
A situation he [Agyeman] described as no different in Ghana which the GTA is keen on working with like-minded agencies and MOTAC to create entrepreneurship avenues for women by facilitating their access to jobs and participation in the supply-chain.
Prior to the summit, a welcome cocktail was held at the Accra Tourist Information Centre (ATIC) on June 20, 2018 to bring women together under one umbrella to discuss issues pertaining to women in tourism and to inspire the clarity of a new course of action to advance involvement of women in tourism and also for participant and stakeholders in general to link up and network.
By: Joseph Nii Ankrah.