Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism on Monday launched the celebration of a carnival saying, “We in the tourism sector in Ghana are excited that Ghana is also going to be counted among countries that exhibit their history and culture through carnivals".
A carnival typically involves a public celebration or a parade combining some elements of a circus, masks and public street party.
It is to be held in September this year in collaboration with Ghana Tourism Authority and UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton as well as Ghana Society in the UK.
The Sector Minister said the September Carnival being organised on the theme: “Carnival Comes Home” was designed primarily to encourage home-coming among the Diaspora especially people of African descent while it gives Ghanaians the opportunity to experience at first hand the benefits of carnivals.
She said the carnival, was expected to bring together 1,000 school children, young adults and aspiring performers from different communities to make carnival costumes and construct floats in addition to the usual music and dance that were characteristic of carnivals.
Ms Dansua said international artists recruited by the UK Centre for Carnival Arts would provide expert guidance and support to Ghanaian artists to participate in the carnival parade which would be designed and performed by local people.
“Carnivals are popular international tourism events in the Caribbean, Latin America and some parts of Africa such as the Seychelles.
carnivals stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities and transform lives especially in host countries.
Carnivals unite communities not only through participation within a country but also strengthen existing relations among peoples and countries,” Ms Dansua said.
The Sector Minister stressed the important economic benefit that carnivals could bring to the country citing examples of the Luton International Carnival which generated 93 million pounds sterling and attracted up to 150,000 spectators annually.
She advised the organisers to take steps to protect the cultural sensibilities of Ghanaians and help prevent the youth from engaging in immorality, drugs and other vices during the period.
Mr Paul Anderson, Organiser of the Carnival who is also associated with the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, explained that the carnival was being organised in September to coincide with activities of the London Olympic Carnival to seek sponsorship for the Ghana project.
He urged corporate organisations and individuals to come on board to help in the project saying “We are open to ideas and criticism from the public.”
Anderson noted that, the carnival being organised in September was expected to bring people from all walks of life together including the political divide and bring some dampener to the political heat.