The Member of Parliament for Damongo Constituency, and Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, has called on Ghanaians, residents of Ghana and visitors who come to the country to visit the Damongo Constituency, which he says is, arguably, the number one tourist destination in northern Ghana.
He said the Constituency, which is made up of one hundred and four (104) towns, villages and communities, is home to several sites of historical significance, awe-inspiring landscapes, and cultural diversity, which makes the Constituency an exceptional destination for tourists seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty and traditions of Ghana and West Africa.
Mr. Jinapor was speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, 12th July, 2023, when he made a statement on tourist attractions in the Damongo Constituency.
He said "tourism offers a glimpse into our history, culture and nature, and thus should not be reserved for foreigners alone."
He noted that there are several tourist attractions in the country, which if well patronised, will contribute substantially to our national economy.
Tourism has become a major boost for many countries across Africa, such as Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, and Zambia.
On Tuesday, July 4, 2023, President Akufo-Addo commissioned the renovated and modernised Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, with a commitment to make Ghana the tourism hub of West Africa.
Mr. Jianpor said this initiative, coupled with others, such as the Year of Return and Beyond the Return, shows Government’s commitment to promoting tourism in the country.
Highlighting some of the tourist attractions in the Damongo Constituency, the Member of Parliament mentioned the Larabanga Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Africa, mostly referred to as “the Mecca of West Africa.”
The over six hundred (600) year old Mosque is said to have been built by one Ayuba, after Allah had revealed to him in a dream to build a mosque, which Allah himself had already laid the foundations.
Inside the Mosque is an ancient Qur’an believed to have been delivered by Allah to the Imam of the Mosque in 1650.
Mr. Jinapor also mentioned the Mystic Stone, also located at Larabanga.
According to legend, when the colonial Government was contracting a road through Larabanga, they removed the stone, but came back the following day to find that the stone had returned to its previous position, and when this persisted, they were compelled to divert the road, and leave the stone in its position, which it has remained till date.
Other tourist attractions cited by the Member of Parliament include the Mognori Eco Village, a community-based tourism project in Mognori, that provides a range of tourist activities such as guided nature walks, traditional and drumming and dancing and handicraft demonstrations, as well as the Mole National Park, the first, largest and most prestigious protected area in the country, which previously served as a Game Clearance Area, but currently hosts, various plant and animal species, including elephants, buffalos, lions, monkeys, and other rare and endangered species.
This park also hosts West Africa’s first luxury safari lodge, the Zaina Lodge, which provides top-notch hospitality services with a unique cultural touch to visitors of the Park and its catchment areas.
Mr. Jinapor said Damongo, which serves as the capital of the Constituency, the Savannah Region, as well as the Gonja Kingdom, and which hosts the famous Jakpa Skin, exudes cultural richness, and offers patrons rich cultural and historical experience of the Gonja people, including their festivals, such as the Damba and Fire (or Jintigi) Festivals.
He said the centrality of the Damongo Constituency, makes it an exceptional place to lodge and connect to the other parts of northern Ghana.
Mr. Jinapor thanked President Akufo-Addo and the Minister for Tourism, Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, for the special attention they have paid to tourism in the Damongo Constituency, and called on all and sundry, to patronise these sites for the rich experience they offer.
Members who contributed to the Statement were enthused about the tourist attractions in the Constituency.
The Member of Parliament for Ketu South, Hon. Abla Dzifa Gomashie, urged the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, to take Mr. Jinapor’s Statement and explore the various tourist destinations for employment opportunities for the youth.
Story by: Nadia Aidoo