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27.11.2007 General News

Asantehene Blames Africa's Under Development On Neglect Of Culture

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has blamed Africa's slow pace of development and poor economic conditions on the neglect and abandonment of the continent's culture and traditional heritage of the people in its governance and development process.
He pointed out that there was a cultural dimension that was acting as psychological block on Africa's development and attributed the present condition of the continent on lack of confidence in the culture and traditions bequeathed to the people by the forefathers of the continent.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu has therefore, suggested the infusion of traditional institutional structures, which had been developed over the centuries into the new democratic structures on the continent to make them more meaningful to the people.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu was speaking at the 5th convocation of the Igbinedion University, Okada in the Edo State of Nigeria last Saturday, where he was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in law by the University.
Igbinedion University, which is the first private university to be established in Nigeria, has eight colleges and considered as the first private university in Africa to graduate medical doctors. It was established by Sir Dr Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of the Benin Kingdom in Nigeria.
The University also conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Honourable P.J Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and a Doctor of Law degree on Alayeluwa Sijuwale Olubuse 11, Ooni of Ife kingdom in Nigeria.
The conferment of the degree on the Asantehene was in recognition of his exemplary leadership and promotion of education. A citation accompanying the degree said Otumfuo had won great admiration for his unique blend of traditional leadership with modernity and the establishment of an educational fund to support needy children in Ghana.
The Asantehene said in the pursuit of western democracy, Africa should not throw away its culture and traditions and surrender to everything foreign.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu, compared Africa's situation to that of Asia and said the culture and way of life had been the foundation upon which the so-called Asian Tigers, had built their work ethic and creative energy developed, adding that, that had sustained their self-confidence that whatever, anyone had done, they could also do and probably better.
'I suggest to you therefore understanding our past and our culture which identifies us as a people is important for our self-confidence and that self-confidence is an indispensable pre-requisite for our survival in the challenging new era', he stated.