The eight days of colourful display of Ghana’s rich culture and heritage at the 2019 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) has ended in Koforidua with a call for culture and tourism enhancement to create jobs for the youth.
All 16 regions of Ghana took turns to perform their various cultural dances and traditions and presented key strategies for harnessing the tourism potentials to create job opportunities for the youth to reduce the employment rate.
It was on the theme: “Empowering the Youth through Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts for Employment and Wealth Creation”.
The closing ceremony saw the Eastern Region, being the host region, showcasing her splendid traditions through cultural performances by the people of Krobo-Odumase, Akuapem-Amonokrom, New Abirem and a number of senior high schools.
Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, the Regional Minister, said the various presentations at the Festival once again brought to the fore the unique culture of Ghana and its diversity, which must be upheld to foster unity for national development.
He said it was of no use to discriminate against any one on the basis of culture, tribe, religion or creed, rather it was beneficial for Ghanaians to accept each other’s cultural differences and promote same to ensure unity in diversity.
Mr Darfour commended the National Commission on Culture, partners and stakeholders for their hard work, which brought the weeklong NAFAC to a successful conclusion, in spite of the financial challenges.
He said the public would reflect on the various speeches and presentations and endeavour to uphold the Ghanaian culture for national identity in the comity of nations.
Osabarima Ansah Sasraku III, Akuapem Kyidomhene and Chief of Akuapem Mamfe, said the Ghanaian culture was full of ethics and discipline, needed for national development and not archaic or inferior to any foreign culture.
He said the teaching of cultural studies in schools must be strengthened to broaden the horizon of the youth on their rich and unique culture.
Osabarima Sasraku said it worrying that most parents in Ghana spoke English with their children at home instead of teaching them their local languages adding; “That trend is the basis for the neglect of our rich culture and traditions and so we must act fast to disabuse that notion”.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Alhaji Ziblim Iddi Barri, said the Ministry was in contact with the Bureau of Ghana Languages and the University of Ghana to develop languages of some of the new regions for teaching and learning at schools, particularly that of the Oti Region.
He called for concerted efforts to promote the Ghanaian culture for national development and enhanced job creation.
He noted that the NAFAC and theme chosen met its expectations and commended the organisers, chiefs and the people of the Eastern Region for their participation.
Central Region is scheduled to host the 2020 Edition of the NAFAC.