By Seraphine Nyuiemedi
As the country gears towards its 66th Independence Day celebration in the Volta Region, many pub operators, food vendors, and commercial drivers in the regional capital Ho are poised to benefit from the economic advantages that the event presents.
To this end, most pubs within the municipality have stocked their shops as part of their preparations ahead of the event, while commercial drivers have also fixed their vehicles in readiness to provide clients with the best services.
The region will host the 12-day event, which is expected to attract many visitors and tourists to the region.
Fishing is the predominant occupation for residents in coastal communities and those situated along water bodies such as the Volta Lake and the Keta Lagoon in the region.
Salt mining and vegetable farming have for several years been major economic activities for citizens, especially in the Anlo enclave where the Keta Lagoon spans through several communities.
The middle belt and northern parts of the Volta Region are highly endowed with arable lands that provide avenues for both mechanised and subsistence farming.
The region has several public and civil servants who work in government departments and agencies, whereas the few factories in the region employ youths to carry out production. Other economic ventures include tourism and hospitality, as well as grocery sales, among others. Among all these occupations, pubs are the most common business in the 18 district and municipal capitals in the region. Pubs are the most common business one can find in the nooks and crannies of the region.
With the celebration quickly approaching, GBCNEWS gathered the perspectives of some food vendors, pub managers, and commercial drivers on how they can profit economically from the event.
While pubs like Evergreen and others are seeing sales declines, Erasmus Boni, owner and manager of Mirage Pub, a popular local hangout, has seen an increase in sales and hopes to generate even more revenue during the celebration.
He indicated that his pub, in collaboration with Guinness Ghana, will reduce the prices of its products on that day.
“We will have a live band closer to the event ground and also reduce the prices of our beverages, especially, beer,” he said.
Mr. Boni was excited about the President’s choice of the Volta Region to host the 66th Independence Day celebration. Some food vendors, commercial drivers, and tricycle riders GBC NEWS spoke to are also hopeful to generate more revenue as visitors and tourists travel to the region to participate in the celebrations.
However, GBC NEWS checks indicate that whereas business is booming for some people in the Ho Municipality ahead of the celebration, some businesses are experiencing reductions in sales, like the operators of “Evergreen” pub.
The operator of the bar disclosed that her regular sales have dropped but expressed the hope that there will be an improvement in the coming days prior to the climax of Independence Day on March 6.
At the official launch of the Independence Day Celebrations and its mascot in Ho, a Deputy Director of Communications at the Presidency, Jefferson Sackey, urged the people to project the region’s numerous tourist attractions and economic activities to woo visitors and tourists alike for financial gains. He urged the people to leverage the economic benefits of the celebration to boost the local economy.
The special guest for this year’s celebration is the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who is also the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The 66th Independence Day parade will be held at the Volta Regional Youth Resource Center at Adaklu, in the Adaklu District of the Volta Region. It is themed, “Volta 2023, Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose”