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European Commission pledges support to culture

By gna

The European Commission on Monday assured government of its continued support to help promote the country's cultural heritage for economic development.

Mr. Filiberto Ceriano Sebregondi, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation, said the EU considered culture as an important part of its cooperative programmes with Africa as a way to promote intercultural dialogue, cultural heritage, indigenous industries and improve access to European markets for ACP cultural goods and services.

Mr. Sebregondi said this when he paid a courtesy call on Mr. Alex Asuma-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, in Accra.

The courtesy call was to congratulate the Minister on his appointment, brief him on EU cooperative programmes in the cultural sector and to inform him that he (Sebregondi) would leave the country this month at the end of duty tour.

Touching on ongoing EU cultural support projects, Mr Sebregondi said the National Commission on Culture was receiving two million Euros to implement a Cultural Initiatives Support Programme aimed at strengthening the innovative and organizational capacity of cultural actors.

He said the programme which would end in 2010, would also support the country's national cultural strategy in areas of human resource development, employment, income generation, research and non-state actors in the sector.

He said the EU had also supported government to rehabilitate the Usher Fort, Elmina Fort and other heritage sites to empower the local people to benefit economically from such monuments, adding that, it also had a project that helped to develop the indigenous textile industry.

Mr. Sebregondi acknowledged the country's effort to promote its cultural heritage and urged government to continue to do more.

Mr. Asuma-Ahensah thanked the EU for its support to the cultural sector and pledged that government would do more to develop the sector.

In a related development, the Minister interacted with various heads of agencies and departments under the Ministry and called for their support to promote the sector.