Akim Aprokumasi (E/R), Nov. 11, GNA - The Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey on Wednesday, inaugurated a 340-million-cedi tourist reception facility at Akim Aprokumasi in the Birim South District.
The facility, which was built close to the biggest tree in West Africa, popularly known as the "Big Tree", will not only receive tourists who would visit the tree, but also create employment and generate revenue for the District Assembly and the Ministry.
In his inaugural address, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the project was one of 21 facilities the Ministry was undertaking in various parts of the country in order to help improve tourist sites for visitors. He described the "Big Tree" as a tourist attraction, which needed to be developed and promoted in the effort to create wealth in the communities around the area while at the same time, conserving the biodiversity.
Mr Obetsibi-Lamptey said the Ministry, with its implementing agencies, would collaborate with the Assembly in the implementation of programmes that would bring more benefit to the communities. He announced the preparation of a land use and environmental impact assessment plans to guide private sector investors in accommodation, restaurant and tourism-related facilities for the use of tourists visiting the area.
In his welcoming address, the District Chief Executive, Mr Yaw Amprofi expressed the Assembly's gratitude to the Ministry for assisting it to construct the facility, which he said would help promote tourism in the district.
He appealed to the chiefs and people of communities living close to the "big tree" to take good care of the forest and to desist from the habit of removing the back of the tree for medicinal purposes. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, called on chiefs in the district to research into history and promote their rich culture at the site for tourist. The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Gustav Narh Dometey, advised the people to halt the rapid destruction of the forest so that more of such "big trees" could develop in the future.