Koforidua, Nov. 4, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Yaw Barimah on Thursday said the media had a major role to play in marketing Ghana's cultural products because democracy could not develop at the expense of the people's cultural heritage.
He therefore, called on the media to educate the people to appreciate the economic worth of their cultural heritage both as an avenue to alleviate poverty and to reduce morbidity rates. Mr. Barimah who was addressing the opening session of the third Eastern Region Cultural Week at Koforidua, said abandoning the nation's cultural heritage had created in-sanitary conditions in the communities making the country to spend about 865 billion cedis annually on malaria control.
The week is being celebrated under the theme "Harnessing the cultural and tourism potentials of the Eastern Region for accelerated economic growth."
He noted that such huge expenses could be avoided had the people kept the environment free of filth based on sound environmental cleanliness from cultural heritage.
"Our culture is based on healthy respect for sanitation to promote good health, Mr. Barimah added.
Mr. Barimah expressed concern about the adoption of foreign culture that had affected the morality of the youth and appealed to the media not only to use culture to promote understanding among the people but to develop linkages between cultural heritage and practices to promote tourism in the country.
Nana Ankamah, Eastern Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture, stressed the need for more attention on culture to make the tourism industry Ghana's number one foreign exchange earner by 2007. He explained that marketing of cultural related artifacts could earn the nation more revenue than timber and gold.