Nana Kobina Nketsia

The ninth edition of the Ghana Culture Day has been marked in Accra on Thursday with a cultural symposium on the theme; “Culture-translating values into economic opportunities”.

The symposium organised by the Ghana Culture Forum (GCF) was to set the stage to attempt to explore the vast economic potential in the cultural space of Ghana.

It was also to maximize cultural opportunities to increase the economic growth and employment ventures for Ghanaians.

Nana Kobina Nketia V, Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, said Ghana was in absolute need of cultural liberation, which would enable us to freely exhibit the economic opportunities available through the application of the African values.

He said in the spirit of cultural independence, Ghana needed to appreciate the value of absolute mental independence.

He said history serves as the foundation of culture and people who lose their historical memory become fragile as they progress, saying “no nation rises based on borrowed culture and borrowed values”.

Nana Nketia said a nation’s strength, power and growth or development were based on its culture and the consciousness of the values generated by that culture, “Culture strengthens the mind-set.

“Any cultural conscious society must be on a constant guard for any form of social weakness, this can only be done by being participants and not spectators, to help the struggle to maintain the scale to boost immunity and hence to survive and prosper.

“Survival is based on the economy and ecology and the opportunities there in which provides and enhances the strength and power of the society”.

Nana Nketia said culture itself implies creativity, and Ghanaian’s need to project themselves, and clear from their minds the stigma that everything Africa is inferior.

“There are so many things we have and we need to promote them because without it we are no body. It is the mind-set that must be put right, without knowledge of who we are, we do not have a culture, our culture must have roots,” the Essikado Omanhene stated.

Mr Asare Konadu Yamoa, Chairperson, GCF said the day was set aside by the forum to highlight the need to have an integrated approach in culture and art.

He said it was a fact globally that culture was the transformation corner stone for national development and economic growth, however, Ghana does not have satisfactory data on the creative industries.

“We are unable to provide daily information about the number of people employed in this industry, neither have we been able to quantify the contributions of the creative industry to development and economic growth,” he said.

Mr Yamoah said for Ghana to be able to achieve the best outcomes for the industry, it must immediately begin to work towards integrating the industry into the national economy with close strategies developed in maximum value.

“Ghana has a lot of cultural experiences and institutions that are supposed to facilitate the process of creating an environment that allows citizens to promote their creative and generate wealth for the people and the nation,” he said.

He noted that the creative industry represents the best for Ghana’s quest for economic development as it sits at the centre of the economy, but “we have not been able to translate these opportunities into real economic potentials and income”.

Mr Yamoah indicated that the symposium was a way of setting the stage for the continuous discussion of these issues and they expect industry and policy makers to facilitate the process of creating an environment that allows all manner of businesses to help promote the art and culture as a complementary source of revenue for the industry and the state.

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