The Pikworo Slave Camp at Nania in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region is receiving facelift and infrastructural development to enhance its attraction to attract visitors.
It is part of the re-development process of tourist sites particularly slave routes, being carried out by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture through the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) with funding from the Tourism Development Fund.
Already, the first phase of the re-development process of Pikworo Slave Camp comprising the construction of an administration block which included the waiting area, reception, manager’s room and souvenirs display room had been completed.
A second phase comprising the putting up of washrooms, borehole, landscaping, periphery wall and the frontage among others had also begun and work is expected to be completed at the end of December, 2023.
At a brief ceremony at Nania, Pikworo Slave Camp, to hand over a five-seater toilet facility to the Grovtex Ventures Limited, a construction company, to begin work, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, revealed that the enhancement was to help preserve the history of slave trade and boost tourism in the area.
“This is part of the slave route project that we have embarked on”, he said adding, “we are tackling that one at a time because we have realised that the story of the slave trade, unfortunately as it is, has to be preserved for future generation”.
He said over the years, the routes and sites of slave trade in Ghana which contained lots of history had not seen any major development and enhancement and said when actions were not taken to preserve the facilities, the history would be lost and distorted.
He said similar project was been undertaken at the Salaga Slave Market in the Savannah Region and expressed optimism that with the re-development, the tourism sector would be boosted and would contribute to growth of the economy.
“We want to bring it to appreciable level so that when people come, they will find it decent enough to sit and then tell the story well, so there are some places that we are introducing sculpture pieces to make sure that people can really appreciate.
“It is all about when we are celebrating Emancipation and PANEFEST, the story as we promised, we are doing the slave route tour so people can come here and then have a better appreciation of what happened and it is also about making sure that the place is attractive to attract more visitors to drive both domestic and international tourism,” he said.
Mr. Wisdom Ahadzi, the Upper East Regional Director of the GTA, noted that the Pikworo Slave Camp was strategically positioned to attract visitors including neighbouring countries and underscored the significance of the development to the growth and development of tourism and the local economy of the region.
The Regional Director noted that the GTA in the region was working with various stakeholders to ensure that tourist sites were identified in each of the 15 municipalities and districts in the region and developed to reposition the region to create jobs, boost local economy and help reduce poverty.
Mr. Gerard Ataogye, the District Chief Executive for Kassena-Nankana West, expressed gratitude to the government for taking steps to develop tourist sites in the district which would create jobs for the local people, but appealed for more to be done to develop the numerous tourist sites in the district to attract more visitors.
History has it that the Pikworo Slave Camp was established in 1704 as a transit centre, where Africans who were captured as slaves were kept in shackles, auctioned and later resold in the Salaga Market.
They were moved onto the Coast for shipment to French, English and Dutch slave traders.
The CEO was accompanied by Mr Ekow Sampson, the Deputy CEO in charge of Operations of the GTA.