Accra Nov. 7, GNA - Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, on Monday announced that the second phase of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy would benefit people from coastal communities, focusing on the productivity of fishermen and fishmongers, salt producers and the tourism industry. He said plans were also underway to reverse the decline in the fishing industry along the coast.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, who made the announcement when he addressed participants at a three- day international conference on the coastal zones on Sub-Saharan Africa said the salt industry had also been included in the President's Special Initiatives.
The conference had about 40 participants drawn from Ghana, the UK, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and Liberia He noted that there were tremendous economic opportunities that prevail in the coastal towns, however, the country could not boast of a significant national economic activity that accounted for the livelihood of several communities.
The Minister said, "In Accra alone, there are over 80 buildings and monuments of heritage significance in the core area of Ga Mashie...These are priceless assets that any nation will jealously guard against, amidst threats of climate change and the ravaging disaster that come with it."
He said there were sufficient economic potentials in the fishing and salt industry hence the need to guard against any hazards that threaten the coastline.
Touching on the contributions of the tourism industry to the economy, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said the success of Ghana's economic strategy of becoming a middle-income economy by 2015 was largely dependent on the new growth sectors of tourism.
He however, said tourism perhaps remained the most vulnerable to the threats of climatic change, explaining that lessons from tourism intensive coastal towns were there to learn from.
The Minister expressed concern about the negative features of our coastal towns, saying it threatens any economic emancipation. "There is also the physical obsolescence in most coastal towns with fragile building that can not withstand any adverse forces of nature on the coastline," he added.
The Minister expressed interest in topics such as "Africa-European partnership for sustainable development, Climate change effect on long-term planning challenges and the Public -private networking for African Development," which, he said, were deep centred. He urged that the recommendations and findings after the conference be shared with the private sector, saying it would also be relevant to the NEPAD initiative.