The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) have handed over the Pikworo Slave Camp at Nania, near Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region for enhancement work to begin.
The redevelopment processes of the site include the construction of an administration block comprising of a waiting area, reception, manager’s room and souvenirs display room.
It is being funded by the Tourism Development Fund and it is expected to be completed in 12 weeks.
The Pikworo Slave Camp, developed in the 16th century was being used as transit center where slaves were kept, auctioned and later sold or transported to the South.
It was also used as a slave trading camp where people were sold to the English, French and Dutch slave traders.
Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony at Nania to formally hand over the site to the Lubie Construction Works, a Ghanaian Construction firm, Mr Henry Yeleduor, the Upper East Regional Director, GTA, said the move was part of strategies to enhance the state of tourist sites in the country.
He said the project when was completed would see the construction of a peripheral wall with a gate and arc, a seven-seater washroom facility, five summer huts and car park at the Pikworo Slave Camp.
He said government with funding from the World Bank was putting measures in place to redevelop and enhance the state of selected tourist sites across the country in order to increase patronage.
The Paga Zenga Crocodile Pond, he said, was also being given a face lift with an administration block and a car park,
“government is determined to develop lots of the tourist sites in the region to increase visits and revenue mobilisation.
“The vision is that we want Ghana to be the hub of tourism in West Africa, so the expectation is that if these sites are enhanced, there would be a lot of visitations to the place and that will also increase revenue.
“Because these sites are located within the communities, it is also supposed to affect the local economy in terms of job creation, manufacturing of souvenirs, food and water among others,” he added.
Mr Gerard Ataogye, the District Chief Executive for the area noted that the district was blessed with varied tourist sites which needed revamping and redevelopment and the enhancement initiative was in the right direction.
He expressed optimism that with the proximity of the Burkina Faso border, when the tourist sites were developed with the needed facilities installed, it would increase patronage to the site which would grow the local economy and create jobs for the people.
While urging the residents to cooperate and support the contractor to finish the work as scheduled, he warned that shoddy work would not be accepted.
Mr Costa Achindiba, Assemblyman for the Nania Electoral Area, commended the Ministry of Tourism and Ghana Tourism Authority for the move to develop the sites as it would also help preserve the cultural heritage of the area for generations unborn.