Through a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, US/ICOMOS Board member Gina Haney and US/ICOMOS Intern Theresa Coolahan travelled to Cape Coast to make a follow-up assessment on the recomendations that derived from a workshop conducted in 2000.
Cape Coast has been undergoing renewed development due to increases both in population and in the number of tourists. In 2000, US/ICOMOS organised a design & planning workshop, cosponsored by Conservation International and the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, for conservation and tourism development for Cape Coast, Ghana. The workshop was held during the middle of a two-year project, the Consolidation Phase, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation Project, Central Region, Ghana. In 2006, US/ICOMOS received a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to conduct an evaluation mission to Ghana.
The Consolidation Phase followed an earlier, larger grant that restored three of the most significant castles and forts (all World Heritage sites) along the former Gold Coast; established museum and interpretive programs; created a protected, national rainforest park (Kakum National Park); worked with local communities to develop alternative agricultural and business ventures; and developed tourism literature. The principal objectives of the evaluation were to determine the long-term effects of US/ICOMOS-led project activities and local project management as well as to identify, if possible, a suitable host organization for an annual US/ICOMOS internship in Ghana.
In September 2006, US/ICOMOS Board member Gina Haney (and former Ghana Project Coordinator) and Theresa Coolahan (2006 US/ICOMOS Intern) travelled to Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana to conduct the evaluation mission. They were met by James Reap (US/ICOMOS Board member) for a portion of the trip. Based on the results of this trip, an evaluation report is being compiled to assist the local and national heritage groups with on-going planning and management of Cape Coast's heritage resources.
In addition, US/ICOMOS hopes to identify funding to provide for an annual internship to Ghana, focusing most likely on restoration efforts at Gothic House, the headquarters of the Oguaa Traditional Council. Built by wealthy trader James Dawson around 1815, Gothic House is one of Cape Coast's most important architectural sites. The property was owned for many years by Jacob Wilson Sey, who founded the Aborigines Rights Protection Agency in the 1890s, before turning it over to the Ghanaian government shortly after Ghana achieved independence.
The internship would be hosted by ICOMOS Ghana (located in Accra) and the Cape Coast Traditional Council, with assistance from the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust.