Tourist attractions

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Before the Jerry Rawlings administration in 1981, tourism in Ghana was not an effective source of income for the Ghanaian society and was thus a missed opportunity in helping to diversify the Ghanaian economy. The Rawlings administration appropriated the Ghanaian culture and used it as a source of revenue. Through the restoration of castles that were once used for the slave industry, establishment of public memorials honouring the "illustrious sons" of Ghana, coupled with encouragement from the government via incentives for private investments, the Rawlings administration was able to push tourism forward with the cost of capitalizing on Ghanaian culture.

A highlight is the Aburi Botanical Gardens in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

Today, in the 21st century, one cannot talk about horticulture in Ghana and West Africa without talking about the Aburi Botanical Gardens. The Garden occupies an area of 64.8 hectares. It was opened in March 1890 and was founded by Governor William Brandford-Griffith and Dr. John Farrell Easmon, a Sierra Leonean medical doctor.

Before the garden was established, it was the site of a sanatorium built in 1875 for Gold Coast government officials. During the governorship of William Brandford-Griffith, a Basel missionary and Jamaican Moravian, Alexander Worthy Clerk, supervised the clearing of land around the sanatorium to start the Botanic Department. In 1890 William Crowther, a student from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, was appointed the garden's first curator. The gardens played an important role in encouraging cocoa production in South Ghana, by supplying cheap cocoa seedlings and information about scientific farming methods. After Hevea brasiliensis was sent to Aburi from Kew in 1893, the gardens also encouraged rubber production in Ghana.

Cape Coast Castle is one of about forty "slave castles", or large commercial forts, built on the Gold Coast of West Africa (now Ghana) by European traders. It was originally a Portuguese "feitoria" or trading post, established in 1555, which they named Cabo Corso.

In 1653, the Swedish Africa Company constructed a timber fort there. It originally was a centre for the trade in timber and gold. It was later used in the Atlantic slave trade. Other Ghanaian slave castles include Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg. They were used to hold enslaved Africans before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas, especially the Caribbean. This "gate of no return" was the last stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Coast Castle, along with other forts and castles in Ghana, are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of their testimony to the Atlantic gold and slave trades.

Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle), also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina, in present-day Elmina, Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast. It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.

First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, after an unsuccessful attempt in 1596, and took over all of the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of the United Kingdom.

The Gold Coast gained its independence as Ghana in 1957 from United Kingdom and now controls the castle. Elmina Castle is a historical site, and was a major filming location for Werner Herzog's 1987 drama film Cobra Verde. The castle is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with other castles and forts in Ghana, because of its testimony to the Atlantic slave trade. It is a major tourist attraction in Ghana.

Source: Wikipedia, the ree Encyclopedia

More Information:

High Commission of the Republic Ghana

5 Nelson Mandela Ave

Windhoek

Phone: +264 61 221 341 / 2

Fax: +264 61 221 343

Email: [email protected]

Head of mission: Mr Yakubu Alhassan, High Commissioner

Office hours: Monday-Friday: 09:00-15:00