Ecotourism Development in Ghana: A Postcolonial Study with Focus on Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary and Kakum National Park
thesisposted on 17.03.2011, 11:03 by Gabriel Eshun
The thesis argues that ecotourism development can contribute towards rural community development, biodiversity conservation and conservation education. The thesis examines the ways in which ecotourism in Ghana has become a topic of great interest among researchers, policy makers and development practitioners, especially in the current decade. The thesis makes original contributions to the body of knowledge on ecotourism through its tripartite study—historical, comparative and methodological studies – and in particular by the use of vernacular poetry to mediate local development debate. The thesis employs triangulation and qualitative methodology to analyse colonial continuities in ecotourism development in Ghana. Historically, ecotourism development in Ghana has continued practices of colonial wildlife conservation and forestry and has failed to problematise marginalisation of local communities in ecotourism development. This replicates crisis narratives on environment and people, entrenchment of Northern funds and expertise and marginalisation of local ecological knowledge in ecotourism development. The comparative study has revealed that the creation of BFMS and KNP and ecotourism based in them, have brought hardships to the residents of the surrounding communities such as restriction of access, crop raiding, reduced protein sources and access to medicinal plants and animals. The methodological study argued for creating knowledges that seek to ‘speak back with’ the researched communities. This aim of the thesis developed the Sankofa Postcolonial Methodology (SPMET), for geographical research in Africa. The thesis then further explored the epistemic tenet of the SPMET by positioning poetry as a postcolonial epistemic tool par excellence in Africa. This involved creating research and interpretative poems for conservation education through ecotourism development in Ghana.