Awal on LGBTIQ: We’ll enforce and respect our cultural values
The Minister-designate for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Awal Mohammed has said that government will enforce and respect the cultural values and practices of the Ghanaian people against homosexuals.
According to the former Business Development Minister, the religious practices of Ghana strongly frown on that act and cannot, therefore, find space in the laws of the country.
“I think Ghana’s religious practices frown on lesbianism; our cultural values do not accept it. Mr Chairman, we’ll enforce our cultural values and respect our cultural practices,” he responded to a question.
He took his turn at the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday to be vetted for the portfolio of a Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
Awal had been asked about his position on the subject by the Ranking Member on the Committee, who is also the Minority Leader, and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu.
The Minority Leader had described the sexual preferences of the LGBT+ community as “dehumanizing,” saying he had never seen even animals running after their kind in a sexual way.
“I haven’t seen a male goat or a male cow running after a male goat or male cow,” he said.
While asking the nominee to clearly state his position on the raging LGBTQ+ debate in Ghana, following the recent opening of a community space for LGBTQ+ in Accra, Mr Iddrisu said: “There’s a significant development in our culture today about lesbianism and gays and you are a true Muslim; I want to know where you stand because where I stand is that I find it immoral and dehumanising and not in the context of any Ghanaian culture for a man to be relating to a man; and a woman to be relating to a woman.”
He continued that: “I know where Prof Mike Oquaye stands strongly. He’s anti-lesbianism and gay. As a leader of this house, he stated that publicly and as a reverend”, the Minority leader added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mohammed Awal – Minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture made a strong case for the Tourism sector announcing that the sector could be the number foreign exchange contributor to the Ghanaian economy, if it is managed well.
According to him, per data provided by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the tourism sector is the fourth highest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ghana, having contributed about 6.2% and about 5.3% of national employment.
However, he called for a paradigm shift in the Ghanaian tourism sector which would propel the sector to garner five billion dollars each year, making the tourism sector the number one foreign exchange earner to the Ghanaian economy.
Part of realising this epic national dream, according to Awal, is that Ghanaians championed international tourism, adding that if he has the opportunity, he would like to take parliamentarians round Ghana to appreciate the corporate, religious school and other tourism stein the country.
He said: “To do this,Ghana has to improve on our art and culture, drumming and dancing; national festivals for arts and culture also have to be revisited. You cannot have effective tourism without an art and cultural background. We need to draw arts, culture and heritage since they are intertwined.”
The Tourism minister nominee asserted that in 2019, when Ghana had the Year of Return, 1.1 million tourist visited Ghana, contributing to three billion dollars, a development which has been an increase in the tourism contribution to the economy in the last eight-ten years, in terms of international tourism.