Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has urged Ghanaians to take the COVID-19 vaccine when provided with the opportunity in their communities.
He said the exercise formed part of measures to curb the spread of the virus and bring an end to the pandemic.
Mr Awal gave the advice at a forum to mark the 10th Edition of the Ghana Cultural Day celebration.
The event, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on the theme: “The Relevance of Culture in our ever-changing Digital Space,” is an initiative of the Ghana Cultural Forum.
The Minister said the pandemic had transformed the way things were done, with technology playing a key role, and that culture, being the bedrock of economic growth, should be preserved.
Dr Awal encouraged Ghanaians to take advantage of the digital era to address challenges posed by the pandemic.
Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo of the African & Gender Studies, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, said technology provided both positive and negative effects but attention should be paid to the positive impact it provided.
She said the digital world provided countless opportunities, which bridged gaps in cultures and distance, saying: “My family from time to time do hold virtual meetings to share our history with the younger generation.”
Prof Ampofo said to have full benefit of the digital era, government needed to increase digital access, digital literacy, digital security, alignment of law, see to the preservation of both tangible and intangible heritage, and increase social media activism.
Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO, said the digital era had provided new and innovative ways to showcase one’s culture to the world.
He said Ghana was blessed with outstanding tourist sites, which must be made known to the world through such platforms.
Mr Diallo commended the Ghana Cultural Forum for the initiative and urged them to mark more cultural international days with the support of UNESCO.
Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer Ghana Export Promotion Authority, speaking on: “Using Digital Channels to Monetize Your Craft” said stakeholders in the Arts and Culture industry should take advantage of digital platforms to monitise their crafts by registering on multiple online marketing platforms.
She said the internet housed over four billion customers and was a good place to generate market beyond one’s community.
“Using diverse platforms would help keep you relevant and when one platform shuts down you don’t get out of business,” she said.
Dr Asare, who chaired the symposium, said the arts and culture industry could easily double or quadrupole its sales by using social media platforms and urged stakeholders not to be intimidated by the competition.
The Day was instituted in 2012 at the official launch of the Ghana Culture Forum – a membership-based civil society consultative and advocacy network of cultural practitioners, activists and organisations.
They united to affirm the cultural foundations of development and enhance the profile, value and impact of the cultural sector.