GTA, National Security Engage Event Organisers Ahead of “December in GH”

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December in Ghana
December in Ghana

As part of preparation towards this year’s “December In Ghana” events, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), in partnership with the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat, and the Ministry of National Security, has engaged event organisers to address security concerns during the events.

The engagement brought together key stakeholders of the events to discuss the safety and security aspects of the upcoming events.

Mr Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, said it was important to ensure a safe and secure environment for all events associated with “December in GH” events, saying “ in as much as these events must happen, they must happen in a safe and secure environment”.

He said December was a busy month for event organisers in the country, and it was important to pay attention to anything that would ensure the smooth execution of all planned events for the period.

Mr Agyeman noted that the country was ready to receive tourists and vacationers for events, and urged event organisers and all stakeholders to collaborate with the authorities as well as the “Beyond the Return Secretariat” to ensure all activities were carried out safely.

He said the authority had engaged the Department of Urban Roads and the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service on how to ease traffic flow during the festive period.

Mr Marvin Obeng Antwi, Administrator, Counter Terrorism Unit, Ministry of National Security, said event locations were soft spots and targets for criminals and terrorists due to the large number of patrons.

He said in West Africa, this year, there had been 2,122 terrorist attacks which led to the death of 1,292 compared to January to September 2022, where there were 959 attacks and 7,501 deaths.

“There are a lot of vulnerabilities and we are not immune to these terrorist attacks. There have been a lot of attacks on hotels and event locations, so these events are not exempted,” he said.

He said event organisers must be cautious and not overlook certain suspicious acts. They must engage more security staff, provide multiple exits to events, access to parking spaces, and conduct through screening of patrons to events.

Mr Antwi noted the Ministry and various stakeholders were working hard to ensure a conducive environment for businesses and event organisers to operate during the period and urged them to also be ready to provide reliable information to the police, invest in security measures and cooperate with the security agencies.

Madam Akosua Danquah Ntim Sekyere, Head of Client Services Unit, Ministry of National Security, assured event organisers that National Security personnel would be at some of the events to observe developments.

She added that security was a shared responsibility and that event organisers must not hesitate to contact the police to share information on suspicious activities of persons.

“The threat of terrorism is real, necessitating heightened security consciousness, especially during the “December In GH” events and event organisers and patrons must be vigilant in identifying any suspicious activity or individuals that may pose a threat.”

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