By Gifty Arthur
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Strategic Communications Africa (STRATCOM), Esther A. N. Cobbah, has stressed the need for Ghanaians to embrace the craze for the ever booming floriculture and horticultural industry, to enable it grow to attract all the benefits it bring.
She said, the industry which is flourishing in other parts of Africa and the world over, has the potential to address some of the pressing challenges of the country, including unemployment, provided the needed attention is paid to it.
Madam Cobbina, made the observation at the media launch of the 5th Ghana Garden and Flower Show, organized by STRATCOM Africa, at the La beach Hotel on Friday in Accra.
This year’s event, which is expected to attract various exhibitors and the public, will start from August 31-September 4, 2017 at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park.
The 2012 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Marketing Woman of the year said, in places like South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya, where some 10million of the population live on the industry, which when learned could solve part of the unemployment dilemma.
“Grow Ghana, following on Flower Ghana, encourages Ghanaians to realize that following Ghana is also a way to grow Ghana. It is worthwhile to invest in Ghana’s flora and fauna and there are enormous rewards to be reaped by individuals as well as the nation at large”.
The theme for this year’s event, “Flower Ghana, Grow Ghana”, according to Madam Cobbah, “Is centered on the development of the floriculture and horticultural industry in Ghana for environmental preservation and as a potential source of job creation and income generation for national growth and livelihood enhancement.
The show also aims at contributing to the realization of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eliminating poverty and hunger, and ensuring that people can enjoy prosperous lives within a healthy and well-preserved environment.
It is to specifically make Ghana beautiful and create a congenial environment for all and also promote Ghana as a tourism destination and an investment destination of choice. Activities for the show this year includes a movie night, technical conferences, practical workshops, exhibitions, jazz night, fashion shops, party in the park and other activities.
The Minister for Environment, Science, and Technology, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, commended organizers, of the show saying “When you do things with passion, you succeed”, and mentioned the health benefits of living in a greener, cleaner and healthier environment.
According to him, “The objectives of the programme, are much in line with the objectives of the current national environmental policy, that is to unite Ghanaians in working towards a society where all the residents of the country, have access to sufficient and wholesome, food, clean air and water, decent affordable housing, in a sound and safe environment”.
“I believe this promotion of job creation opportunities for the horticulture sector is particularly timely what we see in the horticulture is completely the opposite picture of what is prevail in the illegal mining business where environmental pollution, land degradation, pollution of rivers and other water bodies are undermining agriculture in some of our most fertile areas”, he said.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng, expressed the hope that, a good number of the youth, who are engaged in illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, will turn their attention to the industry, so they help boost the quest to make it an export commodity while drawing attractive income as is been done elsewhere on the continent of Africa.
“As we clamp down on illegal mining activities, it is my hope that many of the young men and women engaged in illegal mining, can be trained to engage in horticulture and be part of the effort at developing a new export product for Ghana.
As the minister for I applaud imitative such as the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, which seeks to raise the awareness of all Ghanaians, and help us harness our rich biodiversity”, he said.