A stakeholder consultation workshop for the review of the 2004 Ghana’s Culture Policy has been held in Accra as part of efforts by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to revise the policy to meet current demands of the sector.
The workshop brought together stakeholders including representatives of the various ministries, academia as well as distinguished individuals from the creative and arts industry, to provide inputs to support the works of the Culture Policy Review Committee.
Some of the stakeholders seated at the event
The 20-member committee to review Ghana’s Cultural Policy of 2004 was inaugurated in Accra on August 22, 2023 to help redefine and reinforce Ghana’s cultural landscape.
Speaking at the consultation workshop, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, said the process marked a journey of reflection and renewal that held the potential to shape the cultural landscape of the country.
He said culture had a profound impact on identity, unity and national development, saying “It is our duty to safeguard and celebrate it, ensuring that it remains vibrant and relevant for generations to come.”
The 2004 Culture Policy, he said laid the groundwork for the promotion and preservation of cultural heritage. However, he added, times had changed and so had the challenges and opportunities.
“Today, we stand at a crucial juncture where we must assess, adapt and enhance our cultural policies to align with the dynamic and evolving needs of our society,” he stated.
He said, Ghana’s cultural heritage was a source of pride and a wellspring of creativity and through the policy review, they aim to bolster the cultural sector, ensuring that it thrived as a beacon of inspiration, innovation and economic vitality.
“Moreover, let us not forget the role of culture in fostering national unity and social cohesion. In a world marked by diversity, our cultural policies must be vehicles for inclusivity, respecting and celebrating the richness of our differences. We must leverage culture as a bridge that connects the various strands of our society, fostering understanding and harmony,” he stated.
He urged participants to actively engage in the discussions, share their experiences, voice out their concerns and propose innovative ideas.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Country Representative To Ghana, Mr Edmond Moukala, said it was important for efforts to be made get rid of false perceptions about culture.
Hence, the need to reinvest in new strategies and policies that would propagate culture in its very positive image.
“If possible, the government must allocate one per cent of the national budget to finance cultural activities,” he proposed.
He also proposed a national prize for persons or institutions who engage in literature and creative activities that promote culture.
The Chairman of the Cultural Review Committee, Nana Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, presented the reviewed policy and solicited for inputs from all stakeholders.
The policy when completed, he said would serve as a blueprint to promote Ghanaian culture and use same for national development.