Plans are underway to develop into iconic tourist attraction sites the Yaa Asantewaa Museum and Mausoleum at Ejisu in the Ashanti Region. Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), said the move aimed to bring facilities at those sites to international tourism standards, thereby attracting visitors to the area. “The Ministry intends to do something symbolic to honour the great Nana Yaa Asantewaa as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of her passing in October, this year,” he said.
Dr Mohammed Awal disclosed this when he visited the Paramount Chief of Ejisu, Nana Afrane Okese, as part of his two-day working visit to the Region.
The Museum was constructed in the early part of 2000, in memory of the great Nana Yaa Asantewaa, a renowned Ghanaian warrior queen from Ejisu, born around 1840, who rose to lead the Asante army against the invading British.
Yaa Asantyewa’s leadership and passion led to her role as Commander-in-Chief of the Asante army, spearheading the Anglo-Ashanti fifth and final war against the British, dubbed the ‘Yaa Asantewaa War of Independence (or the War of the Golden Stool), which began on March 28, 1900.
Dr Mohammed Awal paid glowing tribute to the late queen for her courage, tenacity of purpose and positive influence on African women, saying the Ministry would liaise with the Ejisu Traditional Council for the realization of the noble project.
The Museum got burnt in 2004, destroying some rare relics and artefacts.
Besides, some residents had encroached on the 14.1-acre land earmarked for the Museum, but the Ministry said measures were in place for the development of the facility.
On the Yaa Asantewaa Mausoleum, the Minister explained that it was appropriate for it to be in good shape since it served cultural and educational purposes.
The Minister was accompanied by his Deputy, Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, Mr John Kumah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejisu, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and Mr Ekow Sampson, an Official of the GTA.
Regional Officers of the GTA, Centre for National Culture (CNC) and Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMD) were also in attendance.
Nana Afrane Okese said the Traditional Council would offer land for the Ministry to develop the iconic projects.
He appealed to the government to commit resources to develop tourist attraction sites in the Ejisu Municipality such as the Asante Traditional Buildings (ATBs), designated as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Minister various places, including the Ntonso Textile, Ahwiaa Carving, Adanwomase Kente Weaving and Bonwire Kente Weaving Centres as well as the Yaa Asantewaa Museum, Besease Shrine and Lake Bosomtwe.
The rest are the Prempeh II Museum, Centre for National Culture and Kumasi Zoological Gardens.