The government is mainstreaming Culture into the National Development Agenda, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Culture and Creative Arts, said on Tuesday.
The Minister was speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people of Brong-Ahafo at the Regional celebration of the Festival of Arts and Culture (REFAC) in Sunyani.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare explained that government recognized social and cultural unity in diversity, and the move was to give creative arts a boost, so that it could serve as a vehicle for creating wealth for national development.
As a precursor to the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFAC) to be held in Sunyani on November 29, the Centre for National Culture, in collaboration with the Brong-Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council, organized the Festival.
It was on the theme: “The Creative Arts and Tourism Industry, A Platform for National Development.”
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare noted that since a vibrant culture could provide the platform for a rapid socio-economic development, and foster unity in diversity for national integration, there was the need for government to integrate it into the National Development Agenda.
She observed that Brong-Ahafo was steadily and gradually becoming a tourism hub, with its numerous tourist attraction sites, and that they ought to be developed, to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare was of the view that the Buabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Nkornza North, the Kintampo and Fuller and Waterfalls, the Tano Sacred Grove, the Buoyma Caves and Bats Colony, the Bono-Manso Slave Market, and the Kunsu Slave Transit Site, were tourist attraction sites, which when well developed, would boost eco-tourism in the region.
“What is critical now is how to brand and promote our various sites to make them more attractive for patronage, in order to boost our local economy,” she added.
Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, commended traditional rulers in the region whose hard work towards the preservation of the rich cultural heritage had earned the region the privilege of hosting the 2014 NAFAC.
He called for public and private investment in the culture and creative arts industries, to contribute immensely to national development.
This, Mr Adjei explained, would also generate cultural capital that could provide the creative industries with the requisite knowledge, inspiration, business and economic opportunities, to facilitate transformation of the economy.
Nana Kwasi Bosompra, Omanhene of the Goaso Traditional Area, who presided, appealed to stakeholders in the industry, to forge closer collaboration to take advantage of the emerging market, and embrace creativity to generate significant revenue for accelerated national development.
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