A six-day seminar aimed at enabling the International Conference on African Culture and Development (ICACD) to discuss issues related to the continent's general development has opened in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
The seminar, which is being held under the auspices of the ICACD Secretariat in Ghana, is on the theme 'Cultural Dynamics, Greasing the Wheels of Africa's Development'. Participants from the United States, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Belgium, Canada and South Africa are attending the seminar.
Addressing the opening session, Nana Boakye-Ansah Debrah, Chief of Asokore-Mampong in Kumasi, said the labelling of Africa as deprived, poor, full of diseases and engulfed by squalor among others was one of the most disturbing issues confronting the continent.
He said the continent was not, in real terms, poor but one of the richest in the world considering her rare and bountiful endowments of rich materials and human resources.
Nana Debrah said it was imperative that African leaders pursued the
development aspirations of the continent within the context of Africa's cultural heritage and identify to ensure the restoration of the dignity of the African people.
'We as Africans should be self-motivated to regard culture as the foundation of socio-economic development and to integrate cultural values in the continent's developmental goals to address present-day challenges', he said.
He said it was unfortunate that in the various programmes prepared to help Africa increase the pace of her development such as the Economic Recovery Programme, Structural Adjustment Programme and Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiatives the key role of culture was conspicuously missing.
Mr Kojo Appiah Kubi, Country Director of ICACD, expressed the hope that participants at the seminar would take stock of the status of culture on the continent and provide practical recommendation that would augment Africa's prospects in the recovery of the continent's cultural diversities.