The Kakum National Park has inaugurated a refurbished exhibition centre renovated by the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust (GHCT) with support from the French Embassy in Ghana through its 2020 Sankofa small grants.

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Wildlife Division (WD) of the Forestry Commission (FC) also partnered in the renovation of the exhibition hall.

The GH¢300,000 project, which is the first phase of a refurbishment project of the centre and began in 2018, was developed around six thematic areas, which are the introduction and history of the Kakum conservation area, the rainforest structure, ecosystem services and products, special conservation efforts and alternative/additional livelihoods and visitors.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GHCT, Akunu Dake, in his welcome address said the exhibition centre was designed to showcase the natural heritage of the Kakum Park, in addition to reflecting the ecological beauty of the park and its history.

He said it would also aid staff in sensitising visitors to conservation efforts being implemented by the GHCT and the Wildlife Division of the FC; and what role visitors could play in safeguarding the ecosystem.

He commended the Embassy of France in Ghana through the Sankofa Support Project for Higher Education and Research in Heritage and Tourism in Ghana, for their important foundational support for the renovation works.

The Director of Ecotourism and Stakeholder, WD/FC; Dr Richard Gyimah, commended the GHCT for its partnership with the FC to develop ecotourism sites while noting that the inauguration of the exhibition hall would undoubtedly provide tourists and visitors with the necessary serene atmosphere to connect with nature and also appreciate better the importance of biodiversity conversation.

He called on prospective development partners who want to collaborate with the FC to develop nature-based tourism into various protected areas in Ghana to avail themselves for further engagement.

The Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, for her part, said that it is was her hope that the new edifice will help visitors, especially students, to learn and gain more knowledge about Kakum National Park and the unique services culture it offers.

The Head of Cooperation of the French Embassy in Ghana, Julien Lecas, stated that his outfit was honoured that the GHCT had successfully completed the renovation of the exhibition centre.

He added that the French Embassy in Ghana was positioned to support the promotion, protection and preservation of culture and heritage in Ghana.

The Denkyira Kyidomhene, Nana Oduro Appiako II, also graced the occasion.

The Kakum National Park in the Central Region managed by the WD of FC is one of Ghana’s flagship tourism and natural heritage sites which receives the highest number of visitations annually.