Culture Forum Meets Mahama
The Ghana Culture Forum (GCF) last Monday paid a courtesy call on Vice President John Dramani Mahama at the Castle to officially introduce the Forum to him and to initiate a dialogue on the place of culture in the nation’s development.
The discussion focused issues on mainstreaming culture in development, funding of the culture sector and the ratification of international normative instruments, principally UNESCO Conventions
The meeting was attended by the members the Council of Patrons and the Governing Council of the GCF. Professor Emeritus J. H. Kwabena Nketia (Musicologist) and Professor Atukwei Okai, (Literary Luminary) represented the Council of Patrons.
Other participants were key partners of the GCF such as the School of Performing Arts of the University of Ghana, the National Commission on Culture, the Institute of Music and Development, and the UNESCO Office in Accra.
Also present were the Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Education, Honourable Lee Ocran, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Akua Sena Dansua (MP), Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Justice Honourable Ebo Barton Odro (MP), the Director of Budget of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and representatives of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture and the National Development Planning Commission.
Professor Esi Sutherland Addy, Chairperson of the GCF supported by Vice Chair Akunu Dake, led the discussions on the agenda and appealed to the Government for its assistance in achieving the set goals.
In his response, Mr Mahama pledged the support of the Government to the development of the arts and culture indicating that the formation of the Ghana Culture Forum is timely and proper. He noted that apart from the First Republic, under Ghana’s First President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who underscored the importance of culture as critical to the philosophical foundations of the newly independent state, successive governments have only paid to lip service to the development of culture.
He emphasized the importance of culture to economic development and called for the exploitation of opportunities to derive the maximum from the potential of Ghana’s cultural industries. It is for this reason that the government allocated GHS2 million in the 2012 budget to support the industry. He indicated the readiness of the government to work with the relevant bodies operationalize the disbursement of the fund .