The Paramount Chief of the Akwamu Traditional Area, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, has lauded the West Africa Tourism Organisation (WATO) and all its partners for the creation of an ecotourism network within the sub-region.
The network, dubbed West Africa Ecotourism Network (WAEN), was created to organise and coordinate the activities of the various ecotourism establishments set up in countries within West Africa.
The creation of the WAEN aims at promoting ecotourism within the sub-region spanning from wildlife and plantlife to local communities and their various cultures that affect a greater population of people worldwide.
Speaking at the launch of the network on Monday, November 28, 2022, at the Royal Senchi Hotel in the Eastern region, the Akwamuhene indicated that tourism is one of his main areas of focus and “the work of the West Africa Eco-tourism Network aligns with my vision for promoting and attracting tourism to Ghana”. He was as a result pleased that the WATO has established the network.
He was confident however that WAEN will make the tourism destinations more discoverable to interested persons across the world.
“With the singular creation of the WAEN, eco-tourists, as well as individuals and groups interested in West Africa ecotourism will find it so much easier to discover the many gems of beautiful landscapes, seasonal and dedicated cultural events, wildlife and plant life sanctuaries, reserves and parks, that are spread all over the different countries,” said Odeneho Akwafo III.
“Anyone anywhere in the world will be able to get access to information ranging from ecotourism destinations to tour operators, all in one online spot,” the paramount chief added.
With the impact the WAEN is predicted to have on the economy of the community, he incentivised all the countries which are partners to the network to be ready for the great revenue they will generate among other benefits.
“We had better begin to prepare as small communities and neighbouring countries to receive the type of tourists that have a strong taste for nature brands of ecotourism.
“This is how much the ecotourism collaboration being launched officially today will impact West Africa tourism and indeed Africa tourism, in the most profitable manner. We only have to be better prepared to reap the benefits.”
In attendance was Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, paramount chief of Akwamu Traditional Area; the Adantemhene of Akwamu, Nana Asamoah Yeboah-Afari; the Chief Executive Officer of WATO, Ola Wright; and Louise Twining-Ward of the World Bank Group.
Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the World Tourism and Travel Council among others were also present at the event.
View more photos from the event below: