By Gifty Arthur
The fifth edition of the celebrated Ghana Garden and Flower Fair, has been held in Accra with a call on Ghanaians to embrace the habit of adopting horticultural and floriculture for both economic and beautification.
Ghana Garden and Flower Fair, from the stables of Strategic Communications Africa (Stratcom), the yearly show, was held at the Efua Sutherlands Children’s Park in Accra from Friday September 1, to Monday September 4, where during the four day programme, Ghanaians were treated to very innovative and impressive way of growing flowers in homes, work places and others.
The show which has successively been patronized by people of high repute, was this year graced by the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, during the opening ceremony on Friday and Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, at the fashion show on Saturday night.
Others were the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the Royal Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker, former Second Lady, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Madam Sophia Horner-and former Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Abla Gomashie.
Themed “Flower Ghana, Grow Ghana”, the show among others, seeks to boost Ghana’s tourism value internationally by ensuring that Ghana becomes more attractive, enhancing its thriving vegetation and making it profitable and worth considering in the eyes of a good number of Ghanaians, so that in the long run, it becomes one of the exporting commodities.
The number of exhibitors which keep increasing, had wares for the likes of homes, the real estate developers, horticulturists, churches, companies, event organizers and designers, flower pots, botanists and many more.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stratcom, Ms Esther Cobbah, said the show which started five years ago, was to achieve “a greener, cleaner, healthier, wealthier, and beautiful Ghana”.
She said, the quest to create the awareness and change the in attitudes of people was “challenging but very fulfilling, especially we see how a professional communications approach can achieve the required behaviour change”.
She posited that the “The development of the floriculture and horticultural industry in Ghana will not just beautify our environment and will not just provide us touching ways of expressing our feelings to each other but can also create immense value for our country.
The industry she said has the potential in Ghana to create employment for the teeming youth as well as foreign exchange to support the economic adding these can be achieved if individually, everyone plays his or her role.
Flowers can create much needed jobs and generate valuable foreign exchange for national growth and individual livelihood enhancement”.
Wife of the president, Mrs Ajufu-Addo, who was the special guest, commended the Stratcom Africa led by Madam Cobbah for its private initiatives, such as the show that helps to generate interest and passion in the value and benefits of garden and flowers.
“I have tremendous faith in the willingness of Ghanaians to unite behind worthy causes. I have personally witnessed this human quality under many circumstances and recently in the overwhelming support that individuals and corporate organisations have extended to the ‘Save a Child, Save a Mother Project’,” she said.
“This is a testimony to the fact that when Ghanaians come together, we can get things done. I have no doubt that together, we will succeed, through the horticulture and floriculture sector, in helping to diversify our economy, increase our foreign exchange earnings and contribute to the development and beautification of our motherland.”
Mrs. Akufo-Addo, who cut both the fifth Ghana Garden and Flower Show anniversary cake and the tape to formally open the show, challenged the youth and women to make good use of the opportunity provided and harness the benefits of the industry which is yet to be explored fully
She said, “I will like to throw a challenge to the youth of this country to seize the opportunities that are available from Ghana’s flora and fauna. In particular, my challenge goes to women, whose resourcefulness in Ghana is well known.”
Prof. Frimpong Boateng, who was optimistic the show will live up to expectation considering the over 100 exhibors that lined up for this year’s show said “ The impressive turn out of exhibitors, sponsors and partners here this evening is a demonstration of our commitment to this noble cause”.
He said, there were a lot Ghana could get from the floriculture and horticulture industry, provided the interest is developed and the benefits and profits created like its being done by Stratcom Africa.
“There are lots of opportunities to be harnessesd in the floriculture and horticulture industry. Ghana stands to gain a lot from this sector as we shall see in the coming days”, he said.
The Royal Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker, whose country is known globally for adopting and benefitting greatly from the floriculture and horticulture industry, said Ghana could also do it and encourage Ghanaians to embrace what the sector seeks to bring.
Ghana’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Madam Sophia Horner-Sam said: “There is the need for us to make a conscious effort to encourage people to tap into the numerous benefits of the floriculture industry.
This is a billion dollar industry and unfortunately, we as a country, are yet to fully explore this lucrative industry. This is why such initiatives deserve commendation,” she said.