Accra, Jan.31, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor said on Tuesday that the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence, which falls on March 6, 2007 provided a unique opportunity to exploit the nation's tourism potential to the maximum.
"Already, Government has initiated measures to brand Ghana as the preferred tourists' destination in the Sub-Region and the African Continent," he said when he delivered the State of the Nation Address in Accra before the Second Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic in Accra.
President Kufuor said in pursuit of this objective, Government had surveyed the entire coastline of the country and other tourist attractions, in order to make land available for investments in the sector.
He said the anniversary celebration would demand infrastructure support, especially, in the hospitality sector.
"I am happy to confirm to Ghanaians that Government has awarded the contract for the construction of a new modern hotel at the site of the old Ambassador Hotel," he said.
Simultaneously, the City Hotel in Kumasi is also being restored, he said, adding that these prestigious hotels had been allowed to deteriorate, in some cases beyond recognition.
President Kufuor said the Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City had embarked on capacity building in anticipation of the demands of the jubilee year.
He said the capacity building was to become a permanent feature of Ghana's hospitality industry.
" The anniversary should see the nation with an improved outlook. To achieve this, Government will sustain the implementation of programmes with particular attention to asocial services."
Touching on Housing, President Kufuor said affordable residential accommodation projects had commenced this year at Kpone and Kumasi. The projects, he said, would be spread throughout the country and not limited to the urban areas.
President Kufuor said Government was fine-tuning the management of the National Health Insurance Scheme and called on Parliament to support the registration drive across the length and breath of the nation. Turning his attention to Information, Communication and Technology, he said it had been acknowledged as the major player in global business and national development.
"Ghana is making great strides in this area and is now seeking to extend the fibre optic backbone to cover the entire nation. This will enable the citizenry to access affordable broadband connectivity. The regulatory environment is simultaneously being fine-tuned." President Kufuor said the peace and stability the country was enjoying was through Government's strict adherence to good governance and the rule of law.