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11.11.2008 Elections

New age for Ghanaian Arts and Culture More recognition for chiefs, Akufo-Addo pledges

By The Statesman

The next NPP government under Nana Akufo-Addo's presidency will put in place measures to ensure that traditional authorities play a more significant role in the administration of the nation, due to their indispensable nature in the scheme of affairs of the nation.

Among the important measures will be to ensure the speedy establishment of an Institute of Chieftaincy to train potential and new chiefs in conflict resolution, administration and ethics, and the provision of the necessary funding to improve the capacities of the traditional authorities and the Regional Houses of Chiefs.

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These were announced by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 2008 Presidential Candidate of the NPP, yesterday when he presented his policy statement on Arts, Culture and Development at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.

"I believe the time has come to give chiefs and chieftaincy more resources, a more significant role in governance and more accountability.

My administration will restore a role in the supervising and receiving of revenue from markets in their traditional areas,' the Presidential Candidate promised.

Nana Akufo-Addo added that he would further seek consultation with the appropriate stakeholders to introduce a legislation that will dedicate a certain portion of revenues accruing to chiefs for development of the area, for education and for posterity.

Dubbed, A NEW GHANA: A NEW PAGE FOR ARTS AND CULTURE, the policy spells out practical steps the next President of the nation seeks to employ to ensure a more effective contribution of the arts and culture to national development.

The event which attracted a large patronage of students was attended by party bigwigs, including Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Alan Kyerematen, both former presidential aspirants, Patricia Appiagyei, Mayor of Kumasi, Yaw Amankwah, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, among others.

The Presidential Candidate stressed the urgent need to strengthen the chieftaincy institution to make it play a more meaningful role in the socio-economic development of the nation, taking cognisance of the huge influence chiefs wield in their communities.

The Akufo-Addo presidency will also find the monies to revitalise the various forts and other structures that dot the shores of the nation and give the coastline an extraordinary profile.

'The revitalisation of these structures, together with investment in roads and accommodation, should give a significant boost to our tourist industry and lead to the creation of thousands of jobs,' Nana Akufo-Addo notes.

The Presidential Candidate also intends to develop museums to help conserve and display more effectively the various aspects of the nation"s history and culture, while empowering the Museums and Monument Board as integral part of the cultural agenda, 'for if you do not sow, you do not reap.'

Nana Akufo-Addo also intends to seek a public-private partnership for the establishment of a cultural village for the preservation and innovation of the nation's arts and culture, 'where traditional and modern architecture can be blended and taught to create contemporary Ghanaian homes of quality and beauty, where our folklore is displayed and researched, where contemporary methods of artisanship are taught and the requisite infrastructure is in place to enhance quality production of traditional arts and leather work.'

'It is a big idea and I am excited at the prospect of working with a Centre to bring it into being,' remarks the man who inspires Ghanaians to dream big in any field of endeavour they find themselves.

The film industry in the nation will also benefit from a targeted state support to promote its work, and to further improve the socio-economic circumstances of players in the industry, while strengthening the copy right laws to protect artists, and work with the nation's writers to help publish their works and find buyers for their works.

Nana Akufo-Addo called on all Ghanaians to proud of the nation's cultural heritage and patronise them, observing: 'Nothing demonstrate our faith in our country as much as our willingness to patronise our own-our businesses, our culture and our arts.

We cannot believe in Ghana and turn our backs on our arts, culture, customs, traditions and businesses.

They are the very embodiment of our nation. We can, while modernising, preserve the best of our traditional values-those of human solidarity and collective welfare, individual liberty and creativity, love of colour and laughter, generosity of spirit and warmth of hospitality.'