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Ghana seeks UNESCO help to develop heritage sites

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The exterior of the Elmina Castle
The exterior of the Elmina Castle

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called for a closer collaboration between Ghana and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to harness the tourism potentials of the country.

He said sites such as; the Osu, Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, the Larabagna mosque and the Salaga Slaves market in the northern region, Gwollu slave wall and Nakore mosque in the Upper West Region are some of the sites that could rake in more funds for the country, if well harnessed.

President Mahama made the call when Madam Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

The UNESCO Boss has been in the country to inspect and access some of their projects in the country, was at the seat of government to share ideas with the government and to deliberate on how to leverage their collaborations.

President Mahama said the development of the heritage sites of the country would not only serve as tourist attraction, but would also help the government and people of Ghana to preserve the national heritage for posterity.

He appealed to various agencies engaged in the tourist industry to cooperate with UNESCO to develop those sites to serve as “the places to be in the African continent.”

On education, President Mahama said government would revamp the Technical and Vocational Educational system to produce more middle-level human resource for the growing discovery of natural resources in the country.

He said the country was trying to move away from the concentration of producing University graduates to the training of more Technical and Vocational skilled labour to become self-employed to reduce the high rate of youth unemployment in the country.

President Mahama said although government had made tremendous improvements in gender parity in schools, fighting of hunger and malnourishment, infant and maternal mortality, the same could not be said of water and sanitation, giving the assurance that government was on course to achieve all the millennium development goals at the stipulated time.

He commended UNESCO for supporting developing countries to achieve their development targets, sometimes even at their own peril and gave the assurance that the government of Ghana would continue to partner them to achieve their agenda.

Madam Bokova, a 61-year-old Bulgarian, who is the first woman to have been elected head of the organization, commended the government for its giant steps in the areas of quality education, science and culture and pledged UNESCO’s continuous partnership to help achieve the development goals.

She said her organization had so far held some discussions with various Ministries, which would eventually help to achieve the educational and scientific developments of the country.

Source: GNA

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