Mr Kwesi Aane Koomson the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Youth Inspired Ghana was among 24 young Africans selected from the continent to participate in the first African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum
The forum was organised by African World Heritage Fund in partnership with Robben Island World Heritage Site, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the African Union and the South African Government which was held on the iconic Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa from 28th April to 4th May 2016. Mr Koomson, a BSc Physics graduate of the University of Cape Coast who represented Ghana made presentations at the forum on Ghana’s heritage sites and tourist centres and also some cultures of the Ghanaian people.
He was also among the group who did practical field work on Built Environment on the Island, who went on to make presentations and proposals on the Adaptive Reuse of Old and Deteriorating Buildings on the Island to meaningful use. Kwesi was among an eight member board that compiled and drafted the African Youth Declaration which was subsequently presented at Maropeng at the climax of the 10th anniversary celebration of the African World Heritage Fund.
The young CEO also represented the host State Party, South Africa and defended Robben Island World Heritage Site at the Youth Model of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention also held on the Island which led him gaining the accolade CEO of Robben Island because he well defended the Island as if he is the CEO or part of the board.
The programme which was very successful saw an opening message from Dr Mechtild Rössler, Director of UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Hon. Derek Hanekom, the South African Minister of Tourism, Carmela Quin, World Heritage Education Programme UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Mr Mava Dada, acting CEO of Robben Island Museum, Pamela Mac Quilkan, Head of Programmes African World Heritage Fund.
The one week forum was also steered by Mr Pascal Taruvinga, Mr Richard Lo Giudice and some Ex Political Prisoners of the Island among others, and a closing ceremony message from the Deputy Minister, Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa, Ms Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi.
The program is a milestone for the young social entrepreneur. In a discussion with Mr Koomson he said he is much more encouraged to do more for the Ghanaian youth and that of Africa as a whole. He hopes to use the knowledge and experience acquired from the forum for the betterment of others through his organisation Youth Inspired Ghana, an NGO that provides motivational talks/seminars for youth in schools and communities in Western Region, and any other youth organisations. He also looks forward to building
good relationships with the government bodies to add his quota for the wellbeing of the tourism industry in the country. Sighting an example that how Robben Island today has become one of the most visited heritage site on the African continent with close to thousand (2000) tourist a day for seven days a week even for the fact that it is an expensive place to visit.