Friday, May 11, 2007
European Development Fund Supports Arts, Culture
Story: KINGSLEY ASARE
*Prof. George Hagan, Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, Interacting with Ms. Ute Mohring,Programme Officer of the European Union and Mr. William Boateng of the Commission, after the launch of the Cultural Initiatives Support Programme (CISP), a programme to support arts and culture by the European Union through the European Development Fund (EDF) at the Ghana International Press Cenre in Accra yesterday.
The European Development Fund (EDF) has allocated 24 million cedis to the government through the Cultural Initiatives Programme (CISP) project for the development of arts and culture in the country.
The money would be given as grants to various organizations and individuals engaged in cultural work and initiatives.
The CISP project seeks to stimulate the development of arts and cultural expressions in all their diversity as an engine for economic development and poverty reduction in the country.
The programme Management Unit (PMU) of the CISP project which is to manage the fund set up by the National Commission on Culture (NCC) is headed by Mr. Kwasi Gyan Appenteng, a columnist of THE MIRROR.
Addressing journalists at the launch of the CISP project in Accra yesterday, the Chairman of the NCC, Professor George Hagan, said the National Cultural Policy, developed in 2004, sought among other things, to document and promote Ghana’s Traditional Cultural Values.
He said the policy was to enhance Ghanaian cultural life programmes to contribute to the nation’s human development and material progress through heritage preservation and promotion and use of the traditional arts and crafts to create wealth and alleviate poverty, adding that the inauguration of CISP project to catapult the achievement of those objectives was long overdue.
Professor Hagan admonished journalists to keep a vigil eye on the project to make it a success, adding that journalists should take interest in culture reporting as was the case for sports and other disciplines.
In an address read on his behalf, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, said the EU under the framework of the Cultural Heritage and Local Economic Development Project had renovated 514 historic houses, Fort Coenraadsburg and St. George Castle, all in Elmina, adding that the first phase of restoration works of the Ussher Fort had also been completed.
He commended the EU for the role it was playing in developing Ghana’s economy and said “the grant made available to the government by the EU played a catalytic role in the furtherance of the government’s development agenda”.
He urged the managers of the fund to disburse it judiciously and on time for the purposes intended.
Earlier in his welcoming address, the Head of the European Commission in Ghana, Mr. Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, said the cultural sector had the potential of transforming Ghana’s economy in view of the growth of the tourism industry, saying that Ghana had a lot to offer in terms of its cultural wealth and diversity.
He said culture was receiving international recognition in developing public policies, stressing that it was in that direction that the UNESCO led the adoption of the Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in October, 2005.
Daily Graphic - Friday, May 11, 2007 Page: 31