Man-made barriers such as numerous checkpoints and travel document processing delays have become deterrents to organizing educational tours within the continent, according to Mr Edward Obiri Ampong, Managing Director of Edibeck Consult.
He acknowledged that these challenges have forced organizers of educational and cultural exchange programs to rely on foreign partners, particularly in Europe, to arrange summer camps, tours, and exchange programs for school children.
Mr Ampong emphasized the greater difficulties faced when travelling within African countries compared to travelling to Europe.
Addressing the bottlenecks in the free movement of persons could greatly benefit Africa in terms of revenue generation and cultural integration through intra-continental cultural exchange programs and educational tours.
Mr Ampong expressed hope that the full implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which includes protocols on the movement of goods and services, will support their long-term vision of organizing camping and tours within the continent.
“We are trying to replicate what we are doing in Europe and also in Ghana as a long-term vision. A time will come where you would see hundreds of kids from all over the world coming to Ghana, and from an economic point of view, we (Ghana) will also enjoy,” Mr Ampong stated.
In line with their goals, Edibeck Consult is scheduled to embark on a tour to Europe on July 29 as part of the 2023 Summer Camps Holland event in Braamt, Netherlands.
The event aims to promote education, culture, and tourism between the Netherlands and participating countries, including Ghana. Fifty-one schoolchildren below the age of 17 from 18 private schools in Ghana will be participating in the two-week event.
The activities planned for this year's event encompass a diverse range, including language introduction to Dutch, raft building, ziplining, mountain climbing, cycling, and more.
Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to explore four European countries, namely the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Germany, and visit renowned landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, Brussels City, the Berlaymont building, and Amsterdam City.
Mr Edwin Ayitiah, General Manager of The Light Academy, a partner school, stressed the importance of experiential learning outside the classroom as a means to nurture creativity and critical thinking among children.
He stated, “The world is moving at a very fast pace, and trust me, we need young people who can think critically and find very creative and innovative ways of solving real-life problems.”