CULTURE CRITICAL TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Participants in a workshop on culture and planning for cultural and district planning officers in Kumasi have called for the strengthening of collaboration between district assemblies and their cultural offices to enhance the cultural life of the people.
They contended that although culture contributed significantly to the overall development of the country, it had not received the necessary attention it deserved.
The workshop, which was organized by the National Commission on Culture and sponsored by the Konrad Adenauer Stifftung (KAS), was to provide cultural diagnosis of the development planning programme of the country.
Speaking on the perspective of the Regional Co-ordinating Council, the Ashanti Regional Economic Planning Officer, Mrs. Lucy Owusu-Ansah, expressed concern that the district assemblies had relegated cultural promotion and development to the background.
According to her, district assemblies had failed over the years to plan for cultural programmes and projects and reminded them that the development must be human-centered.
“Culture should occupy centre stage in every district’s development planning process,” she said.
The Chairman of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), Professor George Hagan, said it was time for professional planners to place their work in the proper cultural context.
The Director of Finance and Administration of the National Commission on Culture, Mr. Michael H. Attipoe, called on the government and all to make every effort to make culture an integral part of the country’s development agenda.
A Senior Programme Manager of KAS, Mr. Isaac Owusu-Mensah, said development could not be achieved in circumstances where the cultures of the masses were abandoned in favour of foreign values.
“This point needs to be emphasized because it is the absence of cultural relevance and the need for the cultural adaptation of external inputs into Ghanaian development planning which, in our minds, constitutes the major obstacle to success in development planning and implementation in Ghana,” he stressed.
Mr. Owusu-Mensah pledged his organisation’s continuous support to the country’s democratic development, especially the work of the NCC, for Ghanaians to appreciate the value of “our cherished cultural norms”.
Daily Graphic - page: 29 Tuesday, August 11, 2009