CULTURE, A VITAL TOOL FOR NATIONS SOCIO-ECONOMIC PROGRESS — VEEP
By: SAMUEL NUAMAH
VICE-President John Mahama has stressed the need to recognize the role culture play in the country’s socio-economic development, saying “it is culture that gives us a unique identity as a people”.
He observed that modernization had led the youth to lose touch with the country’s culture and underscored the important of promoting the arts and culture to take their rightful place in the country’s development.
Vice-President Mahama said this when a delegation of chiefs of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) 2010 called on him at the Castle, Osu, yesterday to brief him about preparations towards this year’s NAFAC slated for Tamale from November 20 to 27.
The festival, which was last held in the Northern Region in 1978, has the theme, “NAFAC — Promoting unity, technology and wealth creation for a Better Ghana: The role of the youth in nation building”.
Vice-President Mahama said NAFAC has had a checkered history in view of the lack of adequate resources to host it.
“When the economy is in distress we often relegate culture to the background, but I think NAFAC is worth celebrating”, he said.
In view of the consistent plaguing of the NAFAC owing to inadequate funds, the Vice-President called for a partnership between the government and the private sector to sponsor the annual event, noting that corporate firms stood to benefit from such a venture.
He, therefore, urged NAFAC to liaise with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture to sponsor the festival.
To promote the arts and culture, he said the Private Sector Development Strategy Phase II, being prepared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, would give credit lines to support the growth of arts and culture under the creative industry component.
He thanked the chiefs supporting the passage of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority bill, which he said, would create an alternative growth pole in 10 to 15 years. “We might see a reverse migration where the youth will come to the north in search of economic opportunities”, he said
Mr. Mahama assured the chiefs that the government would lend its support to ensure the successful hosting of the festival.
Kpembi Wura, AIhaji Haruna Kibasibi I, who led the delegation, said the chiefs and members of the regional planning committee were working tirelessly to host a successful festival but front all indications; the support of the Presidency was needed.
He said preparations was going on with, publicity being extended to Accra to increase awareness and to whip up public support.
The Ghanaian Times Page: 12 Monday, October 26, 2010