Wednesday, November 2, 2011

'Whites only' restaurant in Ghana closed down | Local News

'Whites only' restaurant in Ghana closed down | Local News

Government has closed down a seafood restaurant in Osu, Accra for breaching Ghana's tourism laws.

The Atlantic Lobster and Dolphins Ltd is also alleged to be operating a policy of racial discrimination.

Elizabeth Okoro, a young woman with Ghanaian and Nigerian parentage accused the Italian owner of the restaurant of making racist comments.

According to her, she visited the restaurant with her Spanish friend but was shocked to learn that the restaurant was opened to whites only.

She explained the owners of the restaurant were operating a new policy in which only whites were allowed to register and become members of the club.

When she attempted to register to become a member on her second visit, she was told only whites were allowed to become members.

Elizabeth Okoro said she was stunned by the utterances by the restaurant official and vowed to resist any attempt to discriminate against blacks in Ghana or any other part of Africa.

She then blew the alarm through social network sites in a bid to raise awareness.

It appears her steadfastness has yielded dividend with government taking a prompt action against the restaurant, albeit with a different reason.

Deputy Tourism Minister James Agyenim Boateng has visited the restaurant and told Joy News' Israel Laryea the restaurant has been closed down.

He said the Atlantic Lobster and Dolphins Ltd is operating as a catering service and should have registered with the Ghana Tourism Board.

He said the closure is not premised on the allegations of racial discrimination but failure by the company to adhere to legislative instrument.

According to the deputy Minister, the Italian owner confirmed making the racial comments but described it only as a joke.

James Agyenim Boateng said that joke cannot be made at our own backyard.

However, the Italian owner in an interview with Joy News' Araba Koomson denied being racist.

Anthony Daliou said he is married to a Ghanaian wife who has a Ghanaian baby and could not have made such a racist comment.

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