Meet Abeiku Aggrey Santana: Ghana’s ‘Tourism Apostle’

Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey Santana is Radio Presenter, a seasoned Communications Expert, Television Host, Content Developer, Speaker, Author, Serial Entrepreneur, Youth Leader, Community Developer, International Trade Relations Consultant, C.E.O of Bayslodge Hotel and Apartment, Kaya Tours Company Limited, Strategic Communications Limited, Kaya Management Services Limited and Smart Broadcasting Company Limited and one of Africa’s most accomplished and Most Influential Tourism personalities.

Few people have shaped communications as much as Abeiku has within the sub-region.

Abeiku’s ethos as a businessman is to be able to evolve business beyond its current state of necessity-based informality into one that is vibrant and robust enough to promote sustained economic growth and generate long-term, viable livelihoods across the continent, this is the principal that drives him as an entrepreneur.

Abeiku started basic education in Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana, at Nana Kwaku Boateng Experimental School. He attended Secondary school at the Ordinary Level at Ghana National College, Cape Coast. At the Advanced level, he completed Ghana Secondary School in Koforidua.

After his national service with National Archives, Public Records Department in 1996, he joined radio in 1997. He kicked his unending streak of prominence with a multi-varying personality on radio. He experimented with MCing and doubled up as an Entertainer (Comedian).

Prior to this, he had his first encounter with radio in Koforidua, interning as Producer, Studio Assistant and later Presenter Assistant at Live FM. In that capacity, Abeiku had the rare opportunity to work with some of the greatest broadcasting and media adepts like Giles Bossman and Kweku Sintim-Misa (KSM).

In his quest to add finesse to his already natural and astute gift and skill, he enrolled in the Ghana Institute of Journalism with an Advanced certificate program. He studied PR, Advertising and Marketing.

He then took a leap of faith in 1999 and moved to Kumasi to join New Mercury FM. Within the first 6 months, Abeiku had altered the feel and essence of radio as a means of communication as a medium of entertainment.

HE had now become the new King of the airwaves with a touch of loud, creative, all-inclusive, innovative and relevant content to his everyday craft. His rare ability to dabble between 4 local languages make him the man-for-all men, he had become the most demanded voice on the airwaves in Kumasi. He is known to be the man who brought life to radio; the people’s presenter.

Back then Abeiku interviewed the then candidate J.A Kuffour who later became the president of Ghana. In that same year, he interviewed Hon. John Mahama who took over as President of Ghana after the Kuffour Administration. With the niche he had carved for himself, Abeiku became the centre of a bidding war between Capital Radio and Fox FM, two of the biggest radio stations in Kumasi as of the time.

Ash FM, a new entry succeeded in moving Abeiku to their platform due to their extensive experience as a media empire and how that fitted into the overall vision of the young star at that time.

He christened the new platform and drew in numbers, within the first 6 months of Operations, Ash FM became the No. 4 Radio Station in Kumasi. Abeiku became one of the pioneers in the revolution of music and radio.

Multimedia Group in Accra, poached Abeiku in 2001 and succeeded in bringing him to their local –dominating platform, Adom FM. 3 years into his placement at Adom FM, Abeiku rose to become the Drive Time Host of the year against some of the Top Kings and Queens of the airwaves at the time at the RTP Awards, becoming the first award for the Adom FM radio station, alongside Komla Dumor and Doreen Andoh as winners in other categories.

In 2004, his penchant of higher learning and self-maximization, took him study to the United States of America under a scholarship program at the Iona College which he deferred. He rather enrolled at the New York Paralegal School graduating as a Litigation Specialist Assistant. He also completed a Certificate Program; Post Graduate in Public Administration with a Specialization in Research and Human Resource.

Due to his huge knowledge of the spending habits of the huge masses because of his experiential, all-inclusive radio experience, he became a thought leader in the Creative and Communication departments of various marketing companies in creating marketing products for Below the Line (BTL) activations. In that capacity, he worked with Ad Media, MMRS, Media Magic, Origin 8 to mention a few. In extension, he worked with Unilever, Nestle Ghana, SC Johnson and Johnson creating retail products for the BTL target audience.

Abeiku then made a mogul move to start his own Advertising Agency in 2005 and called it Strategic Communications. His company became the Ad Agency for Ernest Chemist, one of the leading Pharmaceutical giants in Ghana till date. Strategic communications became Content Providers for TV3, Ad Agency for Guinness, Unilever, Everpure Mineral Water. They also became the BTL Ad Agency for Kasapreko Company Limited and have retained the account for the last 15 years. With his knowledge in the public service and administrative space, he started leading Public Communication for State Agencies like the Narcotic Control Board, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ministry Of Information, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. Abeiku is one of the leading minds in Public Sensitization Communications Strategy on the continent.

Abeiku then developed a love for tourism in the area of Marketing and Communication. He managed the Volta Hotel, Akosombo, the Adowa Night Club etc from 2006 to 2009 this intensified his love for the field. He then came into the field of tourism journalism and became the preferred journalist for Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Sao Tome, Zanzibar and Tanzania, he then proceeded to be a destination marketer. In few years in this niche, Abeiku has become one of the most recognized faces in destination marketing on the continent. His love for Tourism took him to University of Cape Coast, Graduate school to do his Master’s Degree in Tourism Management.

Prior to this, In 2010 Abeiku has set up Kaya Management Services as a capacity building company. He then extended the company to accommodate his new found love and thus added Tours, Hospitality and Real Estate. So that gave birth to Kaya Tours, Bays Lodge which is one of Ghana’s top apartment hotels. Through his various companies Abeiku has trained and mentored several individuals who have risen through the ranks to occupy senior management positions in some of the biggest multinational conglomerates in Ghana including Banks, Insurance and Advertising Companies.

Abeiku has consistently over the past few years maintained his spot as one of the Top 100 Most Influential people in Ghana in the Area of Media. He is a youth Influencer, a pacesetter and a bench mark in the broadcasting landscape and an overwhelming force to reckon with. He is currently a celebrated Global Icon in African Tourism and one of the TOP 100 Influential personalities In Tourism in West Africa. He won the Most Active Tourism Contributor at Indaba South Africa alongside CNN’s Richard Quest.

Abeiku is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketers Ghana (CIMG), Advertisers Association of Ghana, Tour Operators Union of Ghana, Legal Assistants Association in America and West Africa Tourism Consultants

Abeiku has been a Brand Ambassador for GRAFT Foundation for reconstructive Plastic Surgery. The multiple award winner has won numerous awards in the Radio and Television landscape. In 2015, his company Strategic Communication won the Brand Activation Company of the year by the CIMG.

Abeiku is a self-published Author, in 2009 he wrote a self-help and motivational book titled YOU HAVE NO LIMIT.

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