Assin Manso (C/R), July 27, GNA - The Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, on Monday inaugurated a 707 million cedi Slave-route Reception Centre at Assin Manso in the Central Region with a call on the community to use the facility as a starting point to enhance the development of the area. The facility, which comprises an information centre, cafeteria, museum, prayer hall, meditation garden and lavatories, was constructed with the Ministry's share of the HIPC Fund.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the inauguration of the Centre, which was the first of 21 such to be constructed in the country was in line with the Ministry's three-year strategic plan to support and collaborate with district assemblies, communities and the private sector to use tourism as a catalytic tool to reduce poverty in the country.
He said within the next five year the Ministry would establish museums that would reflect the hardships the slaves went through, to "serve as a resting place for the souls of the departed slave as well as reconcile them with their roots"
The Minister urged the community to see the Centre as their own and to make sure that it was maintained regularly.
He said a number of persons would be trained to effectively manage the facility to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
Professor George Hagan, Director of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), commended the chiefs of Assin Manso for releasing the land for the project and urged them to use the facility to expose the cultural heritage of the area and also contribute towards the development of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board.
Mr Kwabena Karikari-Apau, District Chief Executive, commended the government for providing funds for the project.
He expressed concern about the upsurge in child trafficking in the country, which he described as a new form of slavery and said everything should be done to curb it.
Barima Kwame Nkyi XII, Omanhene of Assin Apimanim Traditional Area, also commended the government and appealed for more funds towards landscaping, the development of the walkway within the inner perimeter of the facility and to the Slave River.