Saturday, June 23, 2007
Culture and Arts need attention
QUITE recently, it was reported in the press that, the European community through the European Development Fund (EDF), has provided a grant of 2 million Euros (¢24 billion) to Ghana to assist in the development of culture and arts. Indeed, this is gladdening news, as far as the promotion and development of culture and the arts in the country are concerned.
Due to the gross ignorance and misconception about the importance of culture to development of the country, culture has been neglected and marginalized in the country.
However, with the exception of the first republic under President Nkrumah of blessed memory, and of course, the present government which have shown some concern in the area of culture, past governments have not done much to support the promotion and development of culture and the arts.
The establishment of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture by the NPP government last year was indeed a great decision that will help in the promotion and development of culture and the arts, since the overthrown of President Nkrumah in 1966. Since last year, it is quite evident that, there has been a remarkable improvement in the attention that is given to culture and the arts as compared to what prevailed after the overthrow of President Nkrumah. It is undeniable fact that culture and the arts are beginning to take their rightful place in the development agenda of the country.
It is worth repeating that the National Commission on Culture, and for that matter, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture should devise of soliciting for funds from some local organizations and international bodies such as the EDF, to facilitate the promotion and development of the Ghanaian culture and the arts in order to move the country forward in development.
From the critical standpoint, the major perennial problem and setback for the promotion and development of culture and the arts in this country is finance. It is therefore advisable that the money that have been donated by the EDF to the National Commission on Culture should be judiously used to ensure that culture and the arts are raised to a higher pedestal and recognition to bring much benefit to the country.
Professor George Hagan, Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, has promised that the amount donated to the commission would be managed over a three-year period in such areas as resource development employment, income generation etc. I hope this decision will be strictly adhere to in the interest of the country.
I urge the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture to continue its efforts in ensuring the effective promoting and development of culture and the arts in the country. This is a great task for the ministry and its unit, the National Commission on Culture to accomplish for the benefit of the country.
I am optimistic that with the necessary financial support, coupled with the right visions, and commitment, Ghana will experience much development in the shortest possible time. Due to the present favorable atmosphere prevailing in the country, there is much hope for the development of our culture to meet international standards and make Ghana one of the most developed countries in the world. Our culture and the arts must be given priority attention now, for our development depends on them.
TIMES WEEKEND` - Saturday, June 23, 2007 Page: 14