The Ghana Culture Forum, a membership based civil society consultative and advocacy network of cultural practitioners & activists and organizations, has received quantities of books from the Ghana office of UNESCO to support its activities.

The books, Ghana: Where the Bead Speaks authored by Esi Sutherland-Addy, Ama Ata-Aidoo and Kati Torda Dagadu and A Panoroma of Ghana?s Heritage edited by UNESCO, were presented by Tirso Dos-Santos, Officer in Charge and Moji Okuribido, Regional Cultural Adviser, UNESCO, and were received by Professor Esi Sutherland Addy, Chairperson of the Ghana Culture Forum.

United around the common vision of affirming the cultural foundations of development and enhancing the cultural sector of Ghana, the GCF ?works for all of us, anyone whose work borders on anything cultural, that is, artists, architects, caterers, dressmakers, beauticians, agriculturists, indigenous medical practitioners, technologists, academics? We form the creative sector, and stir the creative economy,? espoused Prof Sutherland Addy. ?Considering that culture is the way of life of a people, it literally means every single one of us!? she added.

The creative economy is the complex interaction between culture, economics and technology, and the linkages between the industries ? which has ten main domains comprising cultural sites, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, performing arts, music, publishing, audio visuals, new media, design and creative services ? and economic development is now gradually becoming clearer.

According to UNCTAD, trade in cultural goods and services worldwide, was valued at $2.2 trillion in 2010, and continues to grow at 5% annually. In Ghana, in 2009, handicraft exports alone was valued at over US$3 million.

There is therefore a need to forge a holistic and integrated approach towards enhancing the economic viability of our cultural institutions and the resourcefulness of practitioners, and in the process revive traditional technologies, develop local markets and gain access to international ones too.

UNESCO, through this gesture to the Ghana Culture Forum is helping to lead the way. Hopefully, more international organizations and corporate bodies will follow suit.

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