Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, yesterday urged Ghanaians to take advantage of the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament and showcase the country's rich cultural heritage to promote tourism. He also appealed to hoteliers to demonstrate the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality to visitors who would come to the country for the event, scheduled for this month.
Mr Baffour-Awuah was speaking at the launch of the Committee of Kumasi Venue Organising Committee of Ghana CAN 2008 tournament, in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region. He said government was committed to promoting sports in the country and charged the Committee to work hard to ensure the success of the continental tournament.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said the event would present a great challenge to the country since a number of visitors and football enthusiasts would flock into the country and urged Ghanaians to demonstrate high sense of civility to project the nation 's image. He expressed dissatisfaction that the launch by the Committee, scheduled to commence at 1100 hours was delayed till around 1230 hours.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said, 'This is highly unprofessional and unacceptable if we want to promote the development of sports in the country, especially if we want to stage a successful tournament.'
Nana Agyemang Gyau III, Atimpimhene of the Berekum Traditional Council, urged Ghanaians to contribute their quota towards the success of the tournament. He cautioned taxi drivers and other service providers not to take advantage of the ignorance of visitors and charge exorbitant fares because that could cause a dent on the country's image.
Mr Kwamina Sambani, a member of the Committee, expressed gratitude to individuals and organisations in the region that contributed to the development of sports in the country. He said the Committee would provide giant screens to enable sports enthusiasts in the region to watch live coverage of matches involving Cameroon, Sudan, Egypt and Zambia, which would be based in Kumasi.
Four teams in the region, comprising Aduana Stars, B/A United, Tano Bofoakwa and Bechem United will take part in a football gala on Friday, January 4, to create interest and awareness of the people about the tournament, as part of the launch.
Aduana Stars will play Bechem United in the first match whilst B/A United will engage Tano Bofoakwa in the second match with the winners meeting in the final, all at the Coronation Stadium in Sunyani.