by Egi Gaisie
This begins my first post on education and training in the hospitality industry in Ghana. I find it necessary to set a tone for readers and to encourage interested readers to consider, in whichever small way they can, to help lift up this industry. Even if you are not heard about, like me, you could also know in your heart, “I did what I could.”
To write this article I went down memory lane, reflecting over various efforts made over the years towards capacity building/development in the tourism sector in this country. I felt disheartened.
I gather other professionals in other sectors of the economy; health, legal and judicial, education, etc feel the same about their respective areas of specialization. My focus, however, is the hotel/hospitality industry.
What follows are just excerpts of selected efforts observed and/participated in, culled from my diary.
September 18-20, 1995 
It was the 2nd National Tourism Conference. Of the five workshops under the theme “Quality Assurance of the Hospitality Industry”, I participated in Human Resource Development and Professional Training- its impact on quality assurance.
The need to develop and train manpower in the various segments of the industry in all categories(from skilled personnel to managerial) glared at us.
We brainstormed and identified the main problems (summarized below):
  • lack of qualified and/or experienced personnel at the managerial level
  • lack of dedicated training institutions (for the industry)
  • lack of coordination between public and private sectors in the area of training
  • unwillingness of some private operators to invest in training their personnel but would rather poach trained persons from other hotels

We also came up with proposals to resolve the identified problems. Among these was the urgency to establish training institutions in the tertiary level to arrest the problems of quality personnel in the management level category and to assess and strengthen existing training institutions(named).
Short term measures were spelt out.
This was 23 years ago. 

Excerpt of a speech delivered by a hospitality professional during the conference

After vehemently making a case for professional training for all levels, (late)Mr K.D. Annan said:

“One can say with certainty that the future of tourism is being jeopardized by increasing lack of qualified personnel. Even those with some threshold level of training in basic skills do not seem to have a career path because of lack of appropriate courses/curriculum to develop them for the industry”.
The above took place 23 years ago.

Tulip News, Edition No. 3 2003

Golden Tulip Accra, 1st Teaching Hotel in Ghana 
This was a front page headline of ‘The House Journal of Golden Tulip, Accra’. 15 years ago

Excerpts on a news article, TCDI, 19 May 2003

Jake Launches Tourism Capacity Initiative 
A $4.8 m project, Tourism Capacity Development Initiative was launched in Accra. Its aim was to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders in the tourism sector as a means to attract tourists to Ghana. 

The Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, (late)Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, who launched the project, said although the 15-year National Tourism Development Plan has chalked up a number of successes, there is the need for a redirection in the tourism sector to enable the sector to meet new trends in the global tourism sector.
 He announced that the government had set new targets for the tourism sector to make it the leading economic sector by the year 2007.

(Late)Obetsebi-Lamptey, therefore, cautioned the management of TCDI against re-inventing the wheel and to avoid over-ambitious tasks that will not make the project sustainable.

The Mission Director of the USAID, Ms Sharon Cromer, said the objective of the project is to provide technical assistance and training to improve the capacity, quality and performance of the tourism industry.
She said the TCDI project, was scheduled to last for 16 months.

Reference from
This was 15 years ago.

Implementation of the Technical Cooperation for Tourism Development Project Through Strengthening of Public-Private Partnership(PPP) -August 2008

There had been several meetings by 5 different work groups, sub-task forces and open PPP forums  organized by a secretariat, I think every quarter, where all were present and group chairpersons made presentations.

In reference to the above meeting in August 2008:

  • Hotels were selected for experiential learning
  • A legislative instrument was thought to be required for proposed training manuals to be made operational.
  • A work group was in discussion with National Accreditation Board on the issue of development of standards for tourism and hospitality training institutions
  • A task force was working on tourism training certifications

The work group on human resource development outlined the objectives of the group as follows:
Completion of training modules for core competencies; front office, housekeeping, food and beverage service, food production and tour guiding; June 2008
Conducting a trainer of trainers program by September 2008 and evaluating the test before rolling out the main program early 2009
The Trainer of trainers program will be tested with the support of selected institutions and hotels using the reviewed curriculum at different certificate levels
A special task force was constituted to undertake specific projects in preparation of the test run.

This was 10 years ago.

Note: Highlights and italics my emphasis.

Where are we today? Has anything gone wrong? What went wrong? How can we rise above good intentions and bring about sustainable and progressive growth in this industry? 

You may also like

Leave a Comment