Sixteen Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Ghana have visited the ongoing exhibition on heritage sites in the country. The visit to the month-long exhibition was to give the envoys an insight into the current status of the country’s heritage sites, including forts and castles, and how best to collaborate with the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and other partners to restore Ghana’s heritage sites for the generation yet unborn.
The tour of the exhibition at the Ussher Fort in Accra was also to inform the envoys on how best to support the GMMB to make the sites attractive tourist sites in the country.
The envoys included those of the United States of America, Mrs Stephanie S. Sullivan; Ms Selma Ashipala-Musavyi of Namibia, Ms Alicia del Rico of Spain, Ms Harriet Thompson of the UK, Mr G. Y. Hamza of Nigeria, Ms Quintero Turbay of Colombia, Ms Grace Jeanet Masonand of South Africa and Mr. Eliphas M. Barine of Kenya.
The rest are the Charge d’Affaires of Zimbabwe, Mr Eddison Sithole; the Charge d’Affaires of Canada, Ms Annika Allman; the Charge d’Affaires of Libya, Mr Mohamed M. O. Melad; Ms Seyda Ergún of Turkey, Mr Richard Mwanza of Zambia and Mr Enrique Escorza of Mexico.
Support of Dutch government
The exhibition is the first since the Ussher Fort Museum was opened to the public on June 8, this year, after it had been refurbished with support from the Dutch government to restore and preserve part of the country’s history.
The acting Executive Director of the GMMB, Mr Ivor Agyemang Duah, who welcomed the envoys to the exhibition, urged the public to take interest in the restoration of world heritage sites in Ghana.
He said the conservation and the protection of the sites were a shared responsibility and urged all to participate in them to enable the board to achieve its mandate.
Mr Agyemang Duah said the museum would take into consideration the history of the Ga Mashie community where it was situated.
“The exhibition is not a permanent one and is going to run for a while. It follows what we did in Ho in the Volta Region. We have reopened the Ho Museum and we are rehabilitating Ashanti traditional buildings in the Ashanti Region, in collaboration with the French Embassy,” he added.
He said the board had rolled out a programme with the diplomatic community on a monthly basis, and that at the end of July, the museum would be opened for the first time in 65 years the Western regional office, which would take care of the eight monuments in that region.
The UNESCO Representative in Ghana, Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, emphasised the socio-economic importance of museums and monuments and encouraged all to join hands in restoring the sites in the country.
Ambassador Turbay, who is the Dean of the Diplomatic Community, expressed appreciation for the guided tour of the museum, which, she said, would afford the envoys the opportunity to “know and love Ghana more”.
She suggested that the programme be organised regularly to enable them to acquaint themselves with Ghana’s historical sites, as well as inform their support towards restoring them.
The envoys were taken through presentations on the mandate of the GMMB, the status of Forts and Castles in Ghana and the need to safeguard the shared heritage for posterity.