MINISTRY DRAWS UP PLAN FOR CULTURAL MONTH IN NOVEMBER
Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture has drawn up a programme to mark Culture Month in November this year and called on Ghanaians to showcase the rich Ghanaian culture during the month long programme.
The month is set aside to exhibit Ghanaian culture, promote national heritage sites and promote eco- ‘tourism,
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr. Alex Asum-Ahensah, said he had tasked district and regional officers draw up local cultural programmes, such as drama and cultural dancing, to whip up interest in the celebration.
He was speaking when he took his turn at meet the — press series organized by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday.
Mr. Asum—Ahensah said the GTZ was at assisting the ministry to develop a five—year strategic plan to guide the officials implementing the programme and activities of the ministry.
He said, a consultant had been contacted to see to the development of the strategic plan and indicated that the draft would be ready for discussion and review by the end of the year.
He said the government will partner traditional authorities and to make culture the foundation of the country’s development.
It will also resource institutions responsible for the preservation, protection and promotion of culture to prosecute the cultural agenda of “building a better Ghana,” which will see Ghanaians embracing culture at both public and private institutions, he noted.
The Minister said government would empower traditional leaders to lead the culture renaissance to create the necessary awareness among youth for them to freely embrace and appreciate Ghanaian culture.
He noted that traditional leaders serve as the medium through which the colonial government conducted it administrative functions, as they serve as adjudicators, levied communities for development and formulated laws.
“These functions which were efficiently performed by the traditional on behalf of the colonial administrators, no doubt, assisted in the development of nation,” he said.
“It is the intention of the ministry to revive this positive qualities within the traditional institutions in our present democratic dispensation to effectively partner the government for governance,” Mr. Asum-Ahensah said.
He said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture and supported by GTZ, recently organized a workshop for the National and Regional House of Chiefs as part of the input for the national stakeholder conference on decentralization.
He noted that the East Asian countries achieved rapid development through the recognition of the role of culture as the foundation for development.
“We, as a country should be ready to learn from their experience so that we can develop our own philosophies to develop our dear country, Ghana,” he requested.
The Minister expressed worry that globalization had affected the country’s culture, with the youth being the victims.
“The youth, who are our future leaders, have brought into the Western culture the phenomenon. We as a country can on longer identify with our uniqueness as true Ghanaian's reflecting cultural heritage,” he stressed.
He said the local media, which was supposed to promote and preserve the country’s culture, tended to focus on politics and other issues that did not promote the Ghanaian cultural identity.
To reduce the effect of globalization, Mr. Asum-Ahensah said his Ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Education to review the school curriculum on culture to reflect Ghanaian cultural orientation and practices.
Besides, he said, the government would encourage religious bodies and organizations to incorporate culture in their programmes and activities.
He said the ministry would be working closely with other ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to formulate policies on issues on culture in their programmes and activities.
Mr. Asum Ahensah said Ghana’s colonial masters had made commitments to support the country with funds to rehabilitate the country’s heritage sites.
Daily Graphic Page: 24 Wednesday, October 28, 2009.