GHANA’S culture and heritage was showcased last Friday, when hundreds of people hit the streets of Accra to take part in this year’s Ghana Carnival.
The participants, drawn from all 10 regions of the country, marched through the principal streets of the city, amidst singing and dancing.
Among the participants were students of all levels and over 60 cultural groups, officials of the Tourism Ministry, including the sector minister, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, corporate Ghana and foreigners.
The 10-kilometre march began at the Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, through the Ring Road and the ever-busy Oxford Street at Osu, before ending at the Independence Square.
On display were traditional dances from across the country, including kpanlogo, agbadza, borborbor, adowa, kete accompanied with brass band tunes, acrobatics and bicycle displays.
The walk, which lasted over five hours resulted in traffic congestion, but drivers caught up in the traffic were not worried, as some tooted the horns to cheer the crowd, as the police took up additional responsibility to manage the traffic situation.
With six long vehicles serving as makeshift platforms for cultural performances, onlookers along the streets cheered the excited participants, taking pictures of them with their smart phones.
On the theme, ‘Promoting the Ghanaian culture and identity through carnivals’ the Ghana Carnival, instituted in 2013, is a national celebration to develop and promote the indigenous cultures into an instrument for developing the nation, while advertising opportunities in the tourism sector for employment.
Addressing the participants at the Independence Square after the march, Mrs. Ofosu-Agyare said the idea behind the Ghana carnival was to create our own unique carnival with our rich heritage and culture which would be recommended and patronised by many countries.
She said carnival, around the world, had become avenues to market tourism potentials and Ghana should not be left out of that wave.
The minister noted that tourism was an important contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and said there was the need to support tourism initiatives for national development and cohesion.
She reiterated the government’s commitment to the development of the sector, assuring of the continuation of the festival.
Some of the participants who shared their experiences with The Ghanaian Times gave thumbs-up to the organisers, and urged them to do more to increase the number of participants.
Juliet Amoah, a Second Year student of the Accra Polytechnic, described her journey on the carnival as “fun filled” and pledged to be at subsequent carnivals.
Joseph Asamoah, who claimed to have participated in the Seychelles and Columbia carnivals, said “we are not far from what happens in Seychelles and Columbia. What we need to do now is to advertise it well, and get the whole country involved”.
By Julius Yao Petetsi