Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, on Tuesday inaugurated a nine-member Board of the National Theatre with the call on them to strive to sell Ghana’s diverse cultural identity, and put arts and culture at the centre of national activities.
He said the National Theatre was the rich manifestation of the rich Ghanaian cultural diversity and it was important to put the theatre in shape, to be able to perform at both national and international programmes to sell Ghana to the rest of the world.
The Sector Minister said theatre was supposed to express Ghanaian culture in a conducive environment in order to make it attractive and so as a continuing board it was important for them to take steps to rehabilitate the National Theatre.
Dr Awal said in order to achieve the target of five billion dollars in terms of tourism drive every year, the National Theatre had to be at the centre of it.
He said in the last quarter of this year, the country was expecting a lot of tourists, and as such the Board must find ways to perform at various places and national events to raise money and sell authentic Ghanaian culture.
“Expo 2020 in Dubai is almost here and the whole month of January is the Ministry’s turn, so come out with proposals, and seize the opportunity to sell the Ghanaian culture and promote tourism, since 192 countries will be in Dubai to express themselves.”
Dr Awal tasked the Board to come out with a paper, outlining how with creativity and innovation, the goal of the Theatre could be achieved, and how the Theatre could contribute in making Ghana the most preferred tourism destination in West Africa.
Nana Fredua-Agyeman Ofori-Atta, Chairperson of the Board, said they were proud to have been re-appointed and given another opportunity to serve on the Board, but they would not be able to achieve their target, if they were not given the resources, respect and attention they deserved.
He said with their past experience in the last three years, culture and arts had never gotten the centre stage at the Ministry.
Nana Ofori-Atta said during their previous term, they were able to develop a strategic document and would be grateful if they would be resourced enough to be able to achieve it, saying previously they set up committees to do things to make them very dynamic, but resourcing was their major problem.
“The law that established the theatre does not state that you put up a building and be in it, but gives us the opportunity to reach Ghanaians and give them back what they give to the world, which is their culture.”
He said “we have the opportunity within the space that the president has given us to create more jobs within the performing arts industry, which in turn would create jobs for a lot of people and build the economy faster, and we would do just that”.
The rest of the Board members include Madam Amy Frimpong, Dr Misonu Amu, Mr Kofi Adu, Mr Adjetey Anang, Mr Abdulai Awudu, Mr Issahaque Serikpera Naa, Prof. Awo Mana Asiedu and Prof. Dzodzi Tsikata.