The Ghana Tourism Authority, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, on Monday, launched the first Jollof Rice Festival, in Accra, with a call on Ghanaians to make the event momentous.
The Festival, which forms part of the ‘See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana Campaign’, is to promote Ghanaian cuisines, as well as promote domestic tourism, Ghanaian culture and heritage.
Mr Akwasi Agyemang, the acting Chief Executive Officer, said the Festival sought to re-orient Ghanaians on a new sense of national pride and way of life to encourage them to patronise made in Ghana products.
It would take place on Saturday, August 6, and it would be preceded with a march from Ayi Mensah to the Peduase Lodge, while the grand festival would be held at the Legon Botanical Gardens.
“There would also be a media and corporate food competition to know which media house or corporate entity can prepare the best Jollof,” Mr Agyemang said.
He said August had been designated as the ‘Eat Ghana Month’ to promote Ghanaian cuisine, as well as settle the old aged controversy over who owned the best Jollof rice ‘rights’ in Africa.
He said the festival would thus showcase all kinds of foods in Ghana, bringing on board chefs across the West African Sub-region to compete and elect the country that cooked the best Jollof rice.
Mr Agyemang said: “It is a way to showcase to ourselves that we have everything that we need and stop looking outside.”
He explained that the Festival was would be an opportunity to leverage some of the festivals taking place in August, such as the Homowo, the Charley Wote Festival, to showcase Ghanaian foods for people to see the need to patronise them.
“July was the See Ghana month, marked with the celebration of Panafest, August is the Eat Ghana month, with the celebration of the Jollof festival, while the Wear Ghana month would be in September, marked with the celebration of the World Tourism Day in the Northern Region.
The World tourism forum would be in October and would commemorate the see Ghana month.”
He said it was important for Ghanaians to patronise their own products in order to develop domestic tourism as it marketed its tourism potentials to the world.