Since he was officially appointed the Year of Return ambassador in October this year, not much has been seen or heard of rapper Sarkodie in his ambassadorial role.
Obviously, this is because he has not been assigned specific roles as an ambassador and at her Meet the Press yesterday, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi admitted that Sarkodie’s role had not been fully realised.
Responding to a question on what the Adonai hitmaker's impact as Ambassador for the Year of Return had been, the Minister said Sarkodie was appointed in view of his contribution to the Year of Return campaign when he received his award for Best International Flow at the BET Hip Hop awards in the US in October.
“He entreated everybody to visit Ghana as part of the Year of Return and for that singular effort on such a major international platform, we felt that he marketed the Year of Return project and therefore he deserved to be made ambassador for the project.
“Unfortunately, it came at the tail end of the Year of Return programme but we are going to involve him very much in activities which are outstanding for this year and we’ll actually draw a programme for him in the ensuing projects that we are going to launch as a follow-up to the Year of Return,” she said.
In her earlier presentation, the Minister said the government had intentions of extending the Year of Return celebrations beyond this year with the introduction of a 10-year comprehensive project to be launched in Accra in the coming weeks.
The extension, she said, had become necessary following the huge impact of the commemoration which has made Ghana a preferred destination for popular figures in the world.
Among the popular figures and celebrities who have been in Ghana for the celebrations are Mia Mottey, Prime Minister of Barbados; Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives; Samuel L, Jackson, American actor and film producer; Michael Jai White, American actor/director, and martial artist; AJ Johnson, American actor, director, and martial artist; and Kofi Kingston, Ghanaian/American former world heavyweight wrestling champion.
The rest are Deborah Cox, Canadian singer and actress; Danny Glover, American actor, and political activist; and Steve Harvey, TV personality.
“The sector recorded a tremendous growth of 18 per cent in international arrivals from the Americas, Britain, Carribean and other key countries whilst total airport arrivals increased by 45 per cent over the previous years,” she said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, said GH¢72 million had so far accrued to the Tourism Development Fund since it was established in 2012.
The Meet The Press was attended by representatives from the Ghana Folklore Authority, Hotel, Catering, & Tourism Training Institute and the Ghana Tourist Authority.
Source: Graphic Showbiz
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