President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called for the need to have local content in media programmes in Ghana as a matter of regulation, to preserve the rich Ghanaian culture.
The President said the future of tourism rested in the rich culture of the country and it was imperative for the media to promote that culture in a well packaged manner to attract investments for the growth of the economy.
In a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the 2019 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC), by the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, the President said the Ghanaian culture was as relevant as ever, in national development and must be promoted at all cost.
He said “we cannot continue to be showing foreign telenovelas, cultures and programmes that teaches our children nothing on our national television, whiles our unique culture goes unnoticed”.
The President observed that there was so much potential in the Ghanaian culture with the unique feature of diversity, to educate our children to be responsible and create employment, livelihoods and the needed jobs for our youth.
In that direction, President Akufo-Addo indicated that NAFAC 2019 was premised on concrete achievements worth celebrating and not just an ordinary funfair, disclosing that with financial assistance from Japan, about 3,000 youth had benefited from pilot training programmes in culture and creative arts.
He noted that as contained in the 2016 NPP manifesto, government would progressively pursue the construction of Regional theatres mentioning the completion of some outstanding cultural infrastructure including those in the Eastern and Ashanti regions and plans were underway to complete the rest.
He explained that government was fashioning out ways to establish a Community Youth Cultural Centre and Craft Village at Kanda, Accra, through the private sector to provide suitable marketing avenues for art and craft producers and vendors.
He said government was also spearheading the Marine drive tourism and investments project to open up the doors of Ghana to international investment in tourism, culture and creative arts to create jobs, wealth and promote traditional craftsmanship.
Nana Kwebu Ewusi, Paramount Chief of Abeadzi Traditional area, in the Central Region and Vice President of the National House of Chiefs called for the improvement of culture education in schools, saying, “Science and Technology are only useful when embedded in the culture of the people”.
He said the Commission on National Culture was not well resourced to undertake the role and urged government to strengthen all relevant institutions mandated to preserve and develop Ghana’s culture to improve the economy.
Nana Ewusi, called on all to use the festival to strengthen the common bonding as a people even in diversity and appealed to politicians to eschew politics of insults, divisions and name calling ahead of the 2020 general elections.
Daasebre Professor Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional area, said Ghana was not economically independent and therefore must unite as people even in diversity to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid, which seeks to make Ghana a self-dependent economy.
The seven-day NAFAC underway in Koforidua is on the theme: “Empowering the Youth through Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts for Employment and Wealth creation”.