Sustainable Tourism

The Ankobra Gold Route is a cultural conservation and sustainable tourism project focused on Ghanaian-Dutch mutual cultural Heritage in the Western Region of Ghana.
The Project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, and implemented  by a partnership formed by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), Ricerca e Cooperazione (RC), an Italian NGO with extensive experience in Ghana, and the Department of Social and Political Studies of the University of Pavia, in Italy.
The Project involves close collaboration between its three partners and several stakeholders, namely, the Ghana Tourist Board; the Public Records and Archives Administration Department of Ghana (PRAAD); the University of Ghana, Legon; the University of Groningen; the Atlantic World and the Dutch Program (AWAD); the Western Regional Administration; District Assemblies; Traditional Rulers; and local communities.

The project area is made up of the coastal area of the Western region  “Ghana West Coast” a tourism destination area where sustainable tourism is providing meaningful source of living to many small and medium business  in the tourism sector. The project area is also made of some rural communities fringing the Ankobra River. These are areas characterized by a high level of environmental degradation. Large tracts of fertile land which would otherwise have been used for agricultural purposes have been destroyed by illegal mining operations. Even large rivers like the Ankobra have not been spared. For many miles along its banks, heavy duty bulldozers have been used to divert the natural course of the river to allow for mining of gold leaving large heaps of soil on either side of it. Large gaping holes left uncovered after mining the area are also a common feature along the hillsides. Poverty among the populace is high.

Within the project conservation  is  closely linked to  sustainable tourism  among rural and mining communities along the river. The goal is to develop alternative sustainable income generating activities and sensitize the local people toward issues of cultural conservation and the fight against environmental degradation.
The communities involved in the project are located along the course of the Ankobra starting from its mouth and proceeding upriver: Sanwoma and Brawire in /Ellembelle district; Dominase and Awurozo, near Bamianko (Nzema East Dis- trict);  Gambia, Awudua in the Prestea-Huni Valley District. In the coastal area  there are Butre, Akwidaa , Princess Town, Axim and Beyin.
The development of sustainable tourism is an important focus of the Project. A cultural tourism route has been created in the Ankobra region with the active involvement of local communities and institutions, linking up with a wider context of sustainable tourism, which is already well established in the western coastal districts.

Other activities undertaken under the Project are historical, anthropological and archaeological research, restoration of objects and artifacts, production of promotional material, organization of round tables, production of scientific papers and articles.  training programs for tour guides and the Town Tourism Development Committees (TTDCs), to promote and market the Ankobra Gold Route tour to tourists, and build the capacity of the local community to preserve and promote ancient relics of Ghanaian-Dutch common cultural heritage for poverty reduction.









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