The Damongo constituency is undoubtedly the most popular tourist attraction in northern Ghana, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said.
He, therefore, urged residents and non-residents of Ghana as well as visitors to the country to pay a visit.
He asserted that the constituency, which consists of 104 towns, villages and communities, is home to a number of historical sites, breath-taking landscapes and cultural diversity, making it a top tourist destination for people looking to experience Ghana and West Africa’s beauty and traditions.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, the Minister, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Damongo, said tourism offers a glimpse into Ghana’s history, culture and nature, and thus should not be reserved for foreigners alone.
He said there are several tourist attractions in the country, which if well patronised, will contribute substantially to our national economy.
Touching on the renovated and modernised Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, coupled with other initiatives such as the Year of Return and Beyond the Return, Mr Jinapor said government had shown commitment to promoting tourism in the country.
Highlighting some of the tourist attractions in the Damongo constituency, the MP mentioned the Larabanga Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Africa, mostly referred to as “the Mecca of West Africa.”
“The over 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,” he said.
He also mentioned the mystic stone, also located at Larabanga, saying “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 Mr Jinapor 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.
He referred to 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,” he explained.
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 expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Tourism Minister Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, for the special attention they have paid to tourism in the Damongo constituency.