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Ghana begins preparations for UNWTO regional congress on women

Accra, Sept. 26, GNA – Ghana has begun preparations to host the maiden United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional congress on women empowerment in the Tourism, Arts and Culture sectors in Accra.
     The congress received endorsement from the recently concluded 23rd General Assembly held in Saint Petersburg, Russia when the Secretary General presented it as part of the activities to be held in Africa.
    The congress aims at analysing the current challenges and opportunities for women’s empowerment in the tourism sector, creating a synergy among African countries and key stakeholders for greater cooperation in the promotion of women’s participation in the tourism sector.
     As part of the preparatory mission to the host country, the UNWTO visited Ghana to engage with the Tourism Ministry and other stakeholders to ensure that the event goes as planned.
     Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture receiving the team, said Ghana was happy to host this important event and was ready to welcome the world.
     She said the Government was committed to gender issues and the President as the co-chair of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) group has given his endorsement for the programme.
     “I am confident the conference has come at an opportune time and will afford Ghana, Africa and the world an opportunity to discuss and have inclusive approach towards women in the tourism sector. We look forward to engaging stakeholders to support and increase the participation of women in education, entrepreneurship and leadership’’, she said.
     Madam Lydia Bebe Kum, Senior Programme Officer expressed appreciation for the warm welcome and reiterated UNWTO’s support towards the event.
     She said the congress was part of the Secretary General’s 10 points agenda for Africa and the event seeks to engage stakeholders to mainstream a gender perspective on women’s empowerment in tourism policies and strategies.
     She added that, such visits to the host country was part of the standard requirements and also to ensure that, the local organizing committees were given the necessary support and guidance in the execution stage.
     She said the event was scheduled to come off from November 25 to 26, and the second global report on women will be launched during the congress.
      Madam Bebe Kum said, as part of the women’s empowerment initiative in Africa, UNWTO would launch a competition in collaboration with Wakalua and IE Business School for African women, followed by a Masterclass on site, regarding women’s empowerment and tourism education in Africa.
     She noted that the aim was to provide a platform for women in technology in Africa to showcase their vision for a more inclusive, sustainable and competitive tourism sector.
     The UNWTO delegation led by Madam Bebe Kum and Mr Kojo Bentum-Williams, Senior Expert for Communications for Africa held working session with the working committees of the event and also held meetings with sister UN Agencies in Accra as part of the mission.

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