Ghana, Lesotho broaden cultural exchange

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Mohalenyane Phakela

LESOTHO and Ghana are exploring ways to broaden cultural ties by introducing culinary dishes from both countries, the President of the Lesotho Chefs Association, Chef Donald Moletsane has revealed.

Chef Moletsane spent a week in Ghana where he met with government and tourism officials in the West African nation to hammer details of the cultural exchange which will involve among other things, the setting up of a restaurant offering Ghanaian dishes in Lesotho.

Correspondingly, a restaurant will be set up in Ghana to offer Sesotho dishes.

Chef Moletsane, who is also the owner of the Dona@Balos Chef School and Hospitality, accompanied his students who started work-related learning in the West African nation and took the opportunity to meet with Ghana’s Tourism Minister, Catherine Abolama Afeko, Ghana Tourism Federation President, Nana Anim Akatakyir as well as President of Chefs Association of Ghana, Chef Isaac K Sackey.

“My visit to Ghana was prompted by the fact that they (Ghanaians) had indicated that they needed a culinary school in their country and they sought assistance from the Lesotho Chefs Association,” Chef Moletsane told the Weekender this week upon his return to Lesotho.

“They were charmed by the presentations of Lesotho students at different African food competitions so last week, we met and discussed ways to build good relationships with the idea being that of learning from each other in terms of food culture through food festivals, competitions and exhibitions at tourist sites.

“We saw the need for a Ghanaian food restaurant in Lesotho to enable Ghanaians in our country to have their traditional food while we also establish our Sesotho food restaurant in Ghana.”

Chef Moletsane said Minister Afeko expressed a keen interest in seeing the two countries working closely together especially in the area of students exchange programmes and internships.

Chef Moletsane said the collaboration would also be “an opportunity for our students to start their own restaurants to generate employment and reduce poverty in Lesotho”.

He said he would meet with local hospitality institutions as well as the Lesotho Chefs Association to come up with effective strategies to maximise on the opportunity ahead of reporting back to Ghana in June.

“I have to return to Ghana in the next two months to finalise how best we can work together so I will meet local hospitality schools so that we establish how the relations can benefit both countries.

“We have the best students in Lesotho and Ghana is more than willing to host them for internship programmes as they have the best hotels. So we will also discuss how we will select students to send to Ghana after every six months.

“In return, we will help Ghana establish a culinary institution in Lesotho so that in future we will be able to host their students in order to reach the ultimate goal of having traditional food restaurants in both countries,” he said.

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