1 June 2012

Ghana: Work Together to Promote Culture

There is a strong need for inter-ministerial collaboration in the areas of culture, tourism and heritage to enable public officials to work for the benefit of Ghanaians, says Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister for Tourism.

Noting the important contributions these sectors make toward national development, Ms Dansua called on the relevant Ministries to work together to achieve the concrete goals of development. She made these statements when launching a book, A Panorama of Ghana's Heritage, in Accra on Monday.

According to Ghana's Cultural Policy, the National Commission on Culture (NCC) shall establish appropriate linkages with other sectors of the economy for the attainment of national cultural goals and development.

To this end, the NCC shall endeavour to provide cultural inputs for the planning of development programmes of all major sectors and shall collaborate and co-ordinate activities with the Chieftaincy Secretariat; the Houses of Chiefs; the Ministries of Education, Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Health, Food and Agriculture, Environment, Science and Technology, Youth and Sports, Trade and Industry, Local Government and Rural Development, Works and Housing, and Communication; Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice; and the National Commission for Civic Education, among others.

Ms Dansua said it was crucial for the country's cultural, artistic and natural heritage to be conserved in order to utilise them in reaping revenue, and preserving them for prosperity. She recalled that it was gratifying that Ghana was ranked the tenth tourist destination in the world due to its rich cultural, historical and natural heritage.

She appealed to corporate organisations to assist in the promotion of tourism, culture and heritage, adding that the Ministry is in the process of producing a documentary on the country's tourist potentials to showcase to the rest of the world.

The Tourism Minister disclosed that the Pan-African Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and Emancipation Day celebrations would be held from July 21 to August 2 in Accra, Cape Coast, Elmina and northern Ghana to mark the 20th anniversary of PANAFEST.

She said the book was a handy and effective marketing tool for the tourism industry as it provides a panoramic snapshot of the country's heritage.

The Director in charge of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) cluster offices, Mr Tirso Dos Santos, said the book was a landmark production of Ghana?s heritage that was skilfully crafted to attract the attention and interest of Ghanaians and foreigners.

Mr Dos Santos said the book captures the history, culture, heritage and creative activities of Ghana, and it would be translated into Spanish. He thanked the Embassy of Spain and the Ministries of Tourism and Chieftaincy and Culture for contributing to the production of the book.

The Ambassador of Spain to Ghana, Ms Olga Cabarga Gomez, said Spain believed in promoting the rich heritage of Ghana in a multicultural global community, stating that the book was an excellent medium for learning about Ghana and its peoples.

Ambassador Gomez noted that the book would contribute to knowledge about Ghana, and called for more investments to be made in the promotion of tourism in the country.

With attention-getting full-colour 108 pages, A Panorama of Ghana's Heritage, was scripted by Professor James Anquandah of the University of Ghana with photography by Mr Baptiste Dhont Farcy and a foreword by Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy of the Institute of African Studies. The book was published by Sub-Saharan Publishers.

The book is a UNESCO and Ministry of Tourism initiative supported by the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture and the Embassy of Spain. The publication offers a fascinating insight into the amazing and rich diversity of Ghana?s cultural and natural treasures. It traces an exciting pictographic itinerary through all the ten regions of the country.

According to a press release issued by UNESCO in Accra before the launch, the treasures in the masterpiece, which span the realms of space and time, are icons manifested through vivid images of UNESCO world heritage sites, national heritage sites, monuments and cultural expressions, artefacts and nature, technology and enterprise, communication and creativity. They convey the powerful message of cultural diversity, dialogue and development in Ghana.

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