Ghana government reviews culture policy to safeguard heritage and propel development

Ghana government reviews culture policy to safeguard heritage and propel development: Ghana News
Mr. Mark Okraku, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture

The Ghanaian government is undertaking a comprehensive review of the country's cultural policy to safeguard cultural heritage and foster national development.

The move is seen as crucial for harnessing the nation's invaluable cultural assets, contributing to economic growth, preserving national identity, and enhancing social cohesion.

Speaking on behalf of Mr. Mark Okraku, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, at a UNESCO Regional Periodic Report workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), it was emphasized that a revised culture policy is essential for proper documentation and utilization of Ghana's rich cultural heritage.

The workshop, themed “Strengthening Capacities for Regional Periodic Reporting Under the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Ghana,” aligns with the Convention's requirement for participating countries to submit periodic data on safeguarding living cultural heritage.

Mr. Okraku highlighted the responsibility of submitting the report to UNESCO as a means to encourage the collection of information on the state of Ghana's ICH elements. He stressed the importance of documenting changes and impacts on ICH to enrich the country's history.

The Deputy Minister expressed the Ministry's commitment to the workshop, emphasizing that the knowledge generated would contribute to the proper handling of information related to cultural heritage.

He called on participants to support the National Folk Board (NFB) by providing information on the state of intangible cultural heritage for effective submission to UNESCO.

Mrs. Bernice Ann Deh-Kumah, Executive Director of NFB, underscored the challenges arising from the lack of information on the depth and breadth of ICH, stating that had supported Ghana in conducting a capacity-building workshop to disseminate information on ICH across the country.

She revealed that Ghana had compiled the first national register on ICH and submitted an application to UNESCO for the inclusion of traditional woven textiles, specifically kente, on a representative list of the cultural heritage of humanity.

Mr. Carl Ampah, the Representative of UNESCO Ghana, emphasized the importance of periodic reporting, stating that it allows the country to monitor the effective implementation of the Convention at the national level.

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