Saturday, May 19, 2007
November proposed as cultural awareness month
By: SALIFU ABDUL-RAHAMAN
The Ministry of Chieftaincy and culture has proposed the month of November every year as a cultural awareness month for Ghanaians to portray the Ghanaian personality at workplaces to promote made in Ghana goods.
In line with that, a series of outreach programmes will be organised to create the awareness of the cultural heritage among Ghanaians, Samuel Kweku Boafo told Parliament yesterday in a statement.
He said the ministry had taken the decision to institute a Country Culture Awareness month to stress the importance of our cultural heritage as the foundation for our development.
Mr. Boafo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Subin said beginning with this year’s Jubilee National Festival of Arts and Culture to be held in Kumasi, the focus and direction will change so that it serves as a platform to assess the country’s level of development based on its culture and appropriate technology.
He said all the key sectors of development had been identified as stakeholders of the event to showcase their achievements through exhibition.
“Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture will ensure that it sustains the warm working relations with the other sectors of national development to ensure that the Ghanaian personality is portrayed at all times as A living legacy for posterity”.
Mr. Boafo said during the period all radio and television stations in Ghana as a show of solidarity would be encouraged to assist with programmes which reflected the objectives of the cultural awareness month.
“Likewise all Ghanaian restaurants will be expected to offer their patrons with sumptuous Ghanaian cuisines to promote our traditional culinary art,” he added.
Mr. Boafo said culture was about people, their identity and way of life explaining that Ghana was a land of many ethnic groups with different dialects.
“There are about 42 different dialects in the country. But this notwithstanding, it is rather the diversities which go to form the unity called Ghana,” he said.
Mr. Boafo said one of the concerns of the ministry was to address the parochial definition of culture as “drumming and dancing” for entertainment only because culture goes beyond drumming and dancing adding “Culture is about the development and preservation of our heritage and identity”.
“Our chieftaincy institutions, our family system, our traditional architecture, our staple foods, our traditional medicine, our asafo companies, our value, our norms our rites of passage etc are all manifestations of our culture,” he said.
To achieve this, Mr. Boafo said it required the collective responsibilities of all sector ministries saying “the ministry is going to link up with them to serve Ghanaians better because of our cultural linkages which should serve as our policy direction”.
Contributing, Mahama Ayariga (NDC-Bawku Central) said birth, marriage and death were the unique occasions in life where culture was manifested with its glory.
He bemoaned some of the practices associated with marriage and performance of funerals which tended to adulterate the Ghanaian culture and urge the ministry to design programmes to influence the attitudes and practices during such occasions to reflect the true value of the Ghanaian.
Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom (CPP Komenda- Edina Eguafo- Abirem) said culture also mean work ethics adding that the occasion should be used to discuss how we work, how we are going to pay ourselves and other things that would make our lives better.
Mr. Ayariga complained about the situation where dead bodies are kept in mortuaries for a very long time thereby increasing the cost of funeral.
Hajia Alima Mahama (NPP-Nalerigu/Gambaga) and Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs suggested for a research to be conducted on the pattern of behaviours with a view to entrenching human rights in the cultures.
Others who contributed were Nii Amasah Namoale (NDC-Dade Kotopon), Gifty Ohene-Konadu (NPP-Asante Akim South), and George Kuntu Blankson (NDC-Mfantseman East), Alfred Abayateye (NDC-Sege), Nii Jonathan Tackie Komme (NDC-Odododiodio), Fuseini Inusah (NDC-Tamale Central) and Simon Addae (NPP-Bosomtwi).
Earlier Joseph Kofi Adda (NPP-Navrongo Central) and Minister of Energy appeared before the house to answer questions pertaining to the supply of electricity to some constituencies.
Alfred Agbesi (NDC-Ashaiman) made a suggestion to the speaker to have the Minister of Energy to appear before the house to explain the current energy situation.
He also suggested the need for the Minister of Education, Science and Sports to brief the house on the situation at the University of Ghana.
The Ghanaian Times - Saturday, May 19, 2007 Page: 10