Nkrumah initiated sound cultural policy - Lecturer
Tamale, Nov. 15, GNA - Ms. Elsie Amina Gombilla, Assistant Registrar of the University for Development Studies, (UDS) has said that Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, initiated a self-reliant and self-sustaining development of the country, which was underpinned by a sound cultural system.
She said through the vision of Dr. Nkrumah, the country had realized the importance of culture and arts in its development since independence.
Ms. Gombilla, who was delivering a lecture to commemorate the centenary celebration of Dr. Nkrumah, in Tamale, noted that "people of Africa now have a consciousness of their cultural identity and possess a definite pride of culture".
The Cultural Initiatives Support Programme (CISP) under the auspices of the
National Commission on Culture organised the lecture with sponsorship from the European Development Fund (EDF) of the European Union (EU).
The lecture was on the theme: "Nkrumah and the promotion of Arts and Culture in Ghana. "
Ms. Gombilla said through Dr. Nkrumah's initiative, Professor (Emeritus) J.H. Nketia fashioned out a "Cultural Policy Document for the country soon after attaining nationhood in 1957.
"This modern policy was adopted by UNESCO and since then successive governments have used it as a reference point.Nkrumah's vision is relevant today," she said.
Ms. Gombilla said Dr. Nkrumah inaugurated the Institute of African Studies in 1963, which he regarded as an intellectual wing of the pan-Africanist Revolution.
Dr. Nkrumah, she said, also had a personal interest and enthusiastically supported the arts and cultural institutions, including the Ghana Museums, Arts Council of Ghana, Research Library on African Affairs and the Ghana Film Corporation.
She explained that Dr. Nkrumah's intention was to bring activities in areas such as literature, cinema, theatre, music, visual arts, as well as symposia and conferences of specific topics with "African significance."
Ms. Gombilla said Dr. Nkrumah helped popularize the Northern smock and Northern Architecture, noting the Tamale and Yendi Senior High Schools, Bagabaga Training School and the Tamale Polytechnic, still had the "round huts" as dormitories for students.
She said Dr. Nkrumah promoted mass education and encouraged the use of the Ghanaian Language including, Dagbani, in the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation's news cast and other programmes.
Ms. Gombilla noted the importance of Arts and Culture in development and said these were the areas in which the disparities between the developed and developing countries were greatest adding: "We therefore need to take culture and the arts into account in our development discourse".
In a welcoming address, Mr James Adabugah, Northern Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture, said the centenary celebration should rekindle in Ghanaians the spirit of patriotism, which would inculcate in the youth higher values of selfless services and commitment to the ideals of nationhood beyond material possession and power for self gratification.
He said: "We must celebrate the life of Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah not for the sake of celebrating it but because he was not just an individual but an institution in Africa and the Diaspora as well."
"He fought selflessly and gallantly for the emancipation and independence of not only Ghana but for the total liberation of the African continent," Mr Adabugah added.
Mr. Adabugah noted that Northern Ghana benefited immensely from the policies and programmes of Dr. Nkrumah, mentioning the free educational policy for the three Northern Regions, which he said was the best legacy the first President of Ghana bequeathed to the people as education was the bedrock of development.
Mr. Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, Programme Co-ordinator, CISP, said the European Union (EU), through its European Development Fund, (EDF) provided a two-million Euro Grant to support the programme under a Ghana Government/EU agreement signed in 2007.
He said the programme had five main objectives, namely: Development of Knowledge, Information and Analysis Capacities; Reinforcement of Competences and Skills; Improvement of dialogue; Sensitisation and Mobilisation of groups of stakeholders in issues of culture and the realization of relevant cultural initiatives.