The Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide has appealed to Ghanaians to show interest in tourism and culture by helping to develop tourist sites to become more attractive and competitive.
He said that the Ghanaian culture was an important element of the tourism sector, which provides means of enhancing, creating, supporting and strengthening the cultural heritage.
Mr Hadzide said these yesterday in Accra at the launch of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Heritage Month.
The event which was on the theme “Our identity our future,” brought together traditional leaders from the Greater Accra Region who were treated to cultural performances and local delicacies and ornaments on display, while some staffs also modelled in traditional attires from some selected regions in the country.
According to the Deputy Minister, the tourism sector had not realised its full potential largely due to low patronage particularly from Ghanaians.
Mr Hadzide stated that the tourism sector contributes significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) thereby calling on Ghanaians to protect tourist locations and destinations.
He said it was unfortunate that tourist sites such as the beaches which were meant for relaxation, enjoyment and pleasure had been turned into refuse and dumping sites by some persons.
The Deputy Minister indicated that the Ghanaian identity is rapidly eroding adding that foreign culture was taking a toll on Ghanaians thereby breaking down value systems and rendering families non-functional units within the communities.
“It is sad to say, our local delicious and nutritious dishes are being replaced with foreign and continental dishes. Ghanaians, especially our children are gradually losing the taste for our ampesi, fufu, tuo zafi, nkontomire stew, aboloo, my favourite eworkple and aborbitadi and a host of other local delicacies,” he added.
Mr Hadzide encouraged the media to use their platforms to sell Ghana’s culture to the outside world, adding that it was important to have local content on our airwaves.
He said the Ghanaian media could not continue broadcasting foreign content on television and radio which had no bearing on our culture thereby calling on GBC to use the heritage month as a testament of their commitment and respect of the Ghanaian cultural values, which represent our identity and future.
The Director General of GBC, Prof. Amin Alhassan said it was prudent for the younger generations to appreciate and inculcate the Ghanaian identity into their everyday lives.
He said in a world where change was inevitable, it was prudent to use technology and all possible outlets such as the traditional media to promote the true Ghanaian identity.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU AND VIVIAN ARTHUR