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Entertainment of Saturday, 23 April 2011

Source: ISD (Charles Nii Ayiku)

Okwahu Easter Paragliding Festival Underway

The Minister for Tourism, Ms. Akua Dansua, has reiterated her Ministry's agenda to promote tourism internationally and domestically, adding that the paragliding festival at Kwahu in the Eastern Region, is going to be a significant part of this development.

This was contained in her speech when she officially opened this year's Okwahu paragliding festival yesterday at Atibie-Kwahu. According to her, with the passage of the Tourism Bill by Parliament which is awaiting presidential assent, Tourism development will be taken to another level.She therefore encouraged the Ghana Tourist Board and all partners in the industry to continue to nurture the festival and other domestic tourism programmes to attract participation from both local and international visitors as Ghana prepares to move into a phase of accelerated development and modernisation agenda.

She was also hopeful that collaboration among stakeholders, especially, those from the Kwahu business community, will ensure successful Paragliding festivals in ensuing years.

In his welcome address, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Ebenezer Okletey Terlarbi, called on investors to help in developing the several untapped attractions in the region so as to provide job opportunities for the youth as well as create more attractive sites that would generate revenue for the people of the region and government.

One spectacular part of the event was when the Deputy Tourism Minister, James Agyenim-Boateng underwent a paragliding session. He described his experience as an exciting one and hoped to paraglide each time he gets the opportunity. In all, about twenty five invited foreign pilots have been paragliding together with other revelers at the event.

The event also saw a high level of security personnel from the Ghana Police Service, patrolling at event locations fully armed and also undertaking security checks at vantage points. There was also health screening including HIV and AIDS tests.The paragliding festival, started six years ago to coincide with the Easter festivities in the Kwahu area, used for family re-unions, funerals and also to plan various development projects.The festival also has the potential of enriching the local economy since facilities such as hotels and restaurants will experience increased patronage. This year's activities have been expanded to include health walk, a durbar of chiefs, street jams among others.

Other Officials at the opening ceremony include, Mr. Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Interior Minister, Mrs. Dina Hammond, Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism Mr. Julius Debrah, Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board as well as Security heads of the region, stakeholders and sponsors.

Source: ISD (Charles Nii Ayiku) Photos by Charles Nii Ayiku

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