MP for Assin Central, the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong has challenged the Central Regional House of Chiefs and people of the Central Region to sell the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles to him and his call provides a basis to begin a conversation about privatizing some of our tourists’ destinations.
Mr. Agyapong’s initial ideas for the property and his reputation for business and industry are enough proof that when we take the bold step to let go of tourist destinations that are not being managed properly, we will be able to save the history they represent as well as the facilities.
In an interview with the TV network he owns, Net2 TV, he explained that if the Castles are sold to him, he will build a big ship on the sea with accompanying services such as restaurants which will transport tourists to their chosen destinations.
He indicated that he will invest massively in the two Castles if given the opportunity adding that pictures of the tunnel leading to the sea will be taken to serve as a reference when it’s expanded.
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According to him, he gets sad anytime he sees the Castles being wasted away knowing that he will be able to make more money than the current managers of the two castles get if they agreed to sell to him.
Due to the history and national character of the two castles and other tourists’ sites, it will be unconscionable to sell them to private players. In fact, selling them outright may be irresponsible since there will be no guarantees that the private investor will not pull down and use the lands for something else. The best way will be to partner with private money and ideas to bring the best out of our tourism industry.
Why Private Partnership
Most of these tourists’ sites suffer from a lack of ownership. Everyone believes they own it so no one owns it eventually and when that happens they are left to be shadows of what they can truly become.
Engaging men like Kennedy Agyapong won’t solve all the challenges we face in tourism but we will be employing the transformative power of private capital in a sector that has the potential to expand our economy beyond our wildest imaginations.