The Ministry of Tourism is making a fantastic claim that the government of Ghana could make billions of Ghana cedis from funeral tourism.
Mark Okraku Mantey, Deputy Tourism Minister, explains the concept will aim to use the grief grounds of funerals to attract tourists. His idea is one of the most incredulous because Ghanaians may enjoy attending funerals, but having tourism peer down their necks as they mourn loved ones has been considered by critics as a completely dystopic proposition.
Already, Okraku Mantey is developing cold feet as he explains that funeral tourism will not be lucrative in Muslim communities because Muslims are fond of rushing their dead to the grave so that there is no opportunity to freeze the dead body and put up big funerals for it that can be used to attract tourists.
However, the idea is a masterstroke for Christian communities where dead bodies are frozen and then given expensive funeral rites.
“You [Christians] keep your bodies [corpse], and there are things you do that can attract people to go to a particular town,” the deputy minister said.
He particularly cited the Ashanti Region as the funeral jamboree capital of Ghana where a lot of money can be made from his funeral tourism.
“…whether we like it or not, in the Ashanti Region, a funeral is a big deal,” he added.
Mark Okraku Mantey strange proposal adds to a string of criticisms concerning the depth of his intellect.
Indeed, when he was nominated for the Deputy Ministerial portfolio, many musicians, including dancehall act, Shatta Wale, begged President Akufo-Addo not to appoint him because he did not think Okraku Mantey was intelligent enough for that portfolio.
President Akufo-Addo had simply ignored that admonition from critics and hence his ]Mantey’s] first major proposal as a Deputy Tourism Minister is to want to cash in on the funeral culture of Ghanaians.
His suggestion is in spite of the fact that over the years, successive governments have been harping on the need for Ghanaians to be moderate with funeral celebrations so that households can save money for more important things, including the education of children.