The President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, Naa Dikomwine Domalae, has admonished traditional authorities in the country to use culture as a tool for economic transformation towards national development.
He explained that the culture of the country was rich, striking and exquisite and so could attract the needed economic opportunities for the country if it was well packaged and marketed to the outside world.
Naa Domalae stated this at the launch of the 2021 Upper West Regional Cultural Week in Wa on Wednesday on the theme: ‘Revisiting our cultural heritage; the role of stakeholders.’
The launch which was jointly put together by Radio Progress, a community radio station in Wa, the Centre for National Culture (CNC) and the Regional House of Chiefs, was aimed at reviving the cultural heritage of the people in the region.
Naa Domalae stated that culture and tradition could serve not only as instruments for eliminating negative attitudes but also as potent catalyst for positive change towards economic transformation to promote national development.
He said the initiative to revisit the cultural heritage of the people of the region must be upheld and nurtured through preservation and promotion of folklore, local languages and traditional dance among other cultural elements.
“As part of our enviable leadership roles and symbols of our cultural identity for unity and national development, we will continue to promote the culture in our respective traditional areas”, he emphasised.
Naa Domalae said chiefs owed it a duty to ensure unity among citizens in the region through the promotion of their various cultures, understanding the value of cultural diversity, trust, tolerance, and reconciliation for national development, irrespective of one’s ethic affiliation.
He added that culture must be considered critical in the National Development Policy and urged the government to work closely with traditional authorities to research and document positive traits of the Ghanaian culture for posterity.
For her part, the Coordinating Director for the Wa Municipal Assembly, Pognaa FatiIssaka Koray, urged parents, traditional authorities, family heads, the government and individuals to jointly support the preservation of the region’s cultural heritage.
“Our dishes and dances are getting endangered; most of us have lost our traditional dance moves, our dance groups are going extinct and our local dishes have become rare in most homes so we need to revisit these aspects of our culture for our children to also learn from them”, she said.
FROM RAFIA ABDUL RAZAK, WA