Mr Waksman Azaanab, the Upper East Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture (CNC), has appealed to the government to complete an old theatre building in Bolgatanga that was started in the 1970’s.
“The region has no theatre to carry out some of our cultural activities and sharing borders with two countries, Burkina Faso and Togo, a theatre would serve as a platform for cross cultural activities”
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, Mr Azaanab said people from the neighbour countries visit Ghana as tourist and the construction of the theatre would be of great importance since it would help advertise the local culture and generate income for the region.
It would also honour the government’s promise to construct ten regional ultra modern theatres across the country to promote culture, he said.
He said, “When the theatre is built it would serve the two neighbours as well, Burkina Faso and Togo and they can patronize and showcase their culture and this would help us get more revenue to carry out our activities. So we are urging the government and the
Ministry of Creative Arts, Tourism and Culture to start the construction of theatres from our region because the region is deprived.”
The Regional Director said the CNC had not only focused on its core mandate of promoting, preserving and conserving the cultural heritage of the country, but had also collaborated effectively with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) over the years to educate some selected communities on issues such as teenage pregnancy, early marriage, Births and Deaths
Registration, antenatal and post natal health and sanitation.
Mr Azaanab said the CNC has a vocational training centre that trains the youth to be self employed with skills in cloth weaving and sewing.
He said the lack of funds and infrastructure were some of the obstacles affecting the attainment of the goal.
“The structure housing the trainees is in a dilapidated state, the two major things we do here are weaving and tailoring and we lack the machines and materials to operate smoothly. The training is free but because we do not have the resources to acquire machines for everybody to work on, the trainees are forced to buy their own machines,” Mr Azaanab said.
He said the number of staff at the training centre was dwindling and it might collapse if serious attention was not paid to the effort.
“Currently, we have only one staff left to teach the trainees and it is because those who had gone on retirement had not been replaced. So if he retires then the Centre would definitely collapse. Due to the poverty level in the region many of the trainees cannot afford the machines making training difficult.”
Mr Azaanab urged the government to help sustain the Upper East CNC through the provision of funds, infrastructure and building of the regional theatre because culture is the backbone the country’s history.
He appealed to Non-Governmental Organizations and philanthropists to partner the CNC to promote and conserve the cultural heritage of the region.