Mr Quao was delivering a lecture on the topic, ' Successes and challenges in the implementation of Ghana's National Cultural Policy,' at a cultural consultative forum organised by the Centre For Ewe Language and Cultural Research, with funding from the Commonwealth Foundation Ho last Thursday.
He said the nation was experiencing an encounter between an overlap of age-old traditional knowledge and foreign influence and until the nation resisted the encroachment of the values imposed by colonial authorities, the march for socio-economic development would always be slower than expected.
'It is a paradox that even though African resources, including African brains, have served to create foreign prosperity, we ourselves have not set up viable support bases for own development,' he noted.
The Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Francis Ganyaglo, said meaningful development thrived on a strong cultural foundation, and the implementation of the cultural policy called for strong collaboration between both public and private sector players to properly harness the benefits.
He said Ghana's cultural policy, no matter its shortfalls, was designed to bring some advantages to those in the cultural industry, with the advice that industry must articulate the policy to make the best out of it, as well as help to resolve identified deficiencies.
Mr Ganyaglo said the government was committed to energising the cultural sector so as to give a new direction for effective delivery, hence the realignment of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts for maximum gains.
The Executive Director of the Centre for Ewe Language and Cultural Research, Togbe Yao Adiko-Mensa, said Ghana's policy on culture had remained cosmetic over the years, as several proposals for a real rejuvenation had remained in cupboards and on shelves.
He announced that a network known as Cultural Engineering for Sustainable Development Network would be formed to spearhead the crusade on culture input for sustainable development, hinting that a stakeholders conference had been proposed for Kumasi, Tamale and Accra, as part of the process towards achieving the goals.
The Executive Director of Robert Ndor Memorial Project (RONJECT), Mr Delali Ndor, said the dynamics of culture were saddled with the 'opaque-box syndrome,' poor maintenance culture, get-rich-quick attitude, and blame-game syndrome, and that unless these negative tendencies were demystified, all efforts to eradicate confusion on the cultural front would result in nothing.
The Executive Director of Justice Makers Initiative of Nigeria, Mr Patrick Dunkwu, said there had been several misconceptions about culture, although it was simply an encompassing way of life that could be used as an instrument in diversity for development.
By Tim Dzamboe/The Mirror/Ghana