Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, the Paramount Chief of Edina Traditional Area, said festivals were a source of a lucrative business, which needed to be well harnessed by enriching and marketing them well to attract large numbers of visitors and foreigners to the country and to patronize the hospitality industry for profit.
Speaking at the Launch of the 2023 Edina Bakatue Festival of the people of Elmina, he said the taxes accrued from festivals eventually goes into the Ministry's kitty, hence the need to release funds to make them more attractive.
Nana Conduah noted that assisting the various traditional areas with funds to enrich their cultural activities would not only attract and promote tourism but also boost local economies for the citizenry's growth and well-being.
On sanitation, Nana Conduah challenged the Municipal Assembly to enforce its sanitation bye-laws and punish defaulters to serve as a deterrent to others to ensure cleanliness remained paramount in the area.
He cautioned his people to keep their environment safe and clean to avoid the outbreak of unwanted environmental diseases in the area.
At Nana Conduah's instance, a minute-silence was observed for Christian Atsu, the Ghanaian Black Star player who painfully lost his life in an earthquake in Turkey early this month, for his service and dedication to the nation and humanity.
Touching on the significance of the Bakatue festival, Professor Anthony Annan-Prah, a Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), underscored the spirituality of the festival during which rituals were performed for the Benya river god and all the 77 gods of the length and breadth of Elmina.
The period, he stated, was also used to examine themselves as a people to right the wrongs and plan for the future as they paid tributes to people who in diverse ways contributed to the development of Edina.
Prof Annan-Prah said ‘Bakatue', (reopening of the Lagoon) was done every first Tuesday of July to lift the six-week ban on fishing that allowed the fishes in the sea to reproduce.
The launch was interspersed with rich cultural displays by various Asafo and Apatampa groups that had highly profiled personalities including Mr Ben Anane Nsiah, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority and Mr Solomon Ebo Appiah, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality attending.
Also, representatives from the Ghana Immigration and Police Services, Fisheries Commission, Executives of the Premix Board, Chiefs and others were present.
Bakatue is an annual festival celebrated every first week in July by the chiefs and people of Edina to invoke the gods of the Benya lagoon and their ancestors for blessings and a bumper harvest during the farming and fishing seasons.