The CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, has noted that in spite of difficulties being faced by the hospitality sector, the emergence of a voice that helps to push its agenda through advocacy is always welcome as it only sets to improve on standards which rubs off the entire tourism ecosystem.
Mr Agyeman made the remarks last Tuesday evening during a virtual zoom event where he officially inaugurated the 'Hospitality Professionals Network Ghana' (HPNG), a formal guild for professionals whose vision is to enhance the human capital within Ghana’s hospitality industry
Bringing together hospitality practitioners from all levels of the professional pyramid, HPNG is poised to help in building the capacity of people working in the industry to enable them provide world class services, and grow in their professional career.
Focused on promoting education, essential connections, advocacy and support, HPNG, seeks to actively manifest this through its networking activities, and makes a commitment to foster a coordinated front for professionals in the hospitality industry.
Mr Yaw Agbeko, Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture, is on as a board director of the network, along with Mr. John Addo Kufuor, CEO, Airport West Hospitality, owners of African Regent Hotel, Ms. Jeanne Donkoh, CEO, Bioko Treats chocolatiers and Mr Herbert Freise, MD, Hospitality Solutions, who spoke during the event. They expressed their extreme delight to see guild take off and looked forward to sharing their knowledge and helping to steer affairs of the industry in the right direction.
Definitely one of the gains the Coronavirus pandemic hiatus brought during the lockdown when the period served as an occasion for reflection, the musings of six passionate practitioners resulted in the foundation for the formation of the network.
These practitioners are the foundation management team for the network and include, as Chief Executive, Rosalin Abigail Kyere-Nartey, a hospitality & educational consultant, Head of Marketing & Events, Mrs Wilhelmina Bruce-Appenteng, a business development & marketing consultant and Head of Professional Development, Sylvia Efua Bartels-Asiamah, a training & development consultant.
The rest are Head of Membership & Relationship, Brenda Larbi, a human resource consultant, Head of Finance; Percy Kuma, a hospitality and finance consultant, Head of Partnership & Affiliates,
Mr Samuel Obiri Aduama, a hospitality professional and Head of Legal & Communication; Mrs Jacqueline Obeng-Ansong, a hotelier.
They are assisted by Ms. Margaret Ampere, an aesthetician, and Mrs. Elizabeth O. Olympio-Manuel, a restaurateur, who are subject experts on spa and eateries respectively.
"Our overriding objective is to project the role of the hospitality industry as a contributor to employment creation and sustainable economic development," says Chief Executive, Mrs Kyere-Nartey.
Notably, the hospitality industry has suffered immensely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, and Ghana’s industry is no exception. The HPNG is keen to get to work to jump-start life towards local recovery and boost international confidence in Ghana's offering.
She encourages all individual hospitality professionals, employers with thriving hospitality businesses and future hospitality professional aspirants to join the network and take advantage of the tools, insights, and expertise to fuel career growth, inspire continuous personal development, and optimize opportunities that HPNG offers.
“Being a member of HPNG allows you to be part of a platform of policy makers, influencers and decision makers, partake in certified E-learning courses covering different topics in the hospitality industry; as well as, enjoying complimentary webinars and workshops with unlimited access to industry events and professional development opportunities," she adds.
The Network intends to spark revolutionary ideas for the future of Ghana’s hospitality professionals with their platform, where all members and guests will be able to engage and connect with fellow professionals and push for higher laurels.