This year’s National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC), has been launched in Accra on the theme: “Reviving Patriotism, Peace and Unity through Cultural Diversity for Sustainable Development.”
The launch of the festival follows nearly two years of hiatus due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s which is scheduled be held in Cape Coast between November 1 and 5 will also mark the 60th anniversary of the coming into being of the festival.
Performing the launch, the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Mr Mark Okreku-Mantey, said the theme for this year’s celebration was to awaken the consciousness of the Ghanaian about their moral duties towards the country.
He said the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which was set by comity of nations was intended to adopt an “all hands-on-deck approach” towards the realisation of the peculiar needs and aspirations of member countries.
He said as NAFAC celebrated its 60th anniversary, this approach could be a model to consolidate the gains made down the line.
Mr Okreku-Mantey said the partnership approach could be devised as an innovative strategy to specifically raise NAFAC to an international status.
He explained that in trying to achieve this, concerted efforts would be required of all stakeholders to lend their support to help drive such laudable initiative through to a success.
“Let me underscore the fact that as a nation, we can only make progress and be recognised amongst our peers as trekking on a sound development trajectory when we take what belongs to us seriously, package it well, and present it to others,” he said.
He added that from the intangible through to tangible aspects of culture, Ghana was endowed with fascinating repository of many cultural elements that showed prospects for investment.
“We therefore have good reasons to believe that when NAFAC is raised to an international status, it will lead to a substantial improvement in its celebrations thereby creating opportunities for Ghana to generate some revenue,” he emphasised.
The minister explained that NAFAC served as a platform where diverse Ghanaian cultures converged to showcase their ethnic and regional cultural prowess, as a single driving force to unite the country around common beliefs and ideals.
On her part, the Executive Director of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), Janet Edna Nyame, explained that at the closing ceremony of the 2019 festival, it was proposed that the next festival would take place in 2021.
However, the Commission could not organise the festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic constraints.
Ms Nyame said NAFAC had been a flagship programme of the Commission for six decades now, adding that “We therefore extend our warm appreciation as a Commission to the initiators of this festival and all those who have contributed in diverse ways to sustain the festival.”
She said NAFAC over years had contributed to artistic development, peaceful coexistence, unity in diversity, creativity, and socio-economic development of the country.
She said the theme for this year’s festival generally enjoined all Ghanaians to situate their culture, norms, values and practices at the centre of the development agenda.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL