Accra, May 18, GNA - Nana Kobina Nketia V, Chairman of the Ghana Museums and Monument Board (GMMB), on Thursday called for the amendment of the legislation that established the Ghana National Museums (GNM) to enable it to make the necessary and vital contribution towards national development.
He said in spite of the Museums' major function as an educational institution it had been shunted by legal instrument from accessing the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) thereby depriving it of pursuing its developmental goals.
Nana Nketia, who is also the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, was speaking at the launch of this year's International Museums Day organised by GNM under the theme: "Museums and Younger People".
He called on the Minister of Information and National Orientation to take a second look at the roles played by the museum to make the country's heritage active and also to preserve the past for future generations.
"The Museum is our heritage that embodies our national soul in the real mausoleum to delve into and learn and understand the nature and evolution of the spirit," he said.
Nana Nketia said this year's celebration was of singular interest because it had to deal with the youth, whose future lay in the commitment to their heritage and the museum.
"At times when I study what the young are doing, the future of the country becomes too ghastly to contemplate", he said, and commended the international body for zoning in on the youth.
He also commended the staff that had managed to keep the museum afloat under very trying conditions and poor salaries. "Today is also a day we should also use publicly to thank some of the nations such as United States of America that have supported the various projects concerning the GMMB this year and the Dutch whose interest in helping to conserve our heritage and using it to strengthen the mutual historical relations between our countries," he said.
Dr Kumi Ansah Koi, Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, who spoke on: "Ghanaian Youth and Cultural Decadence," blamed the media, the concept of globalisation and improper socialisation of the youth for the cultural decadence among the youth.
He cited the hype the mass media created around Valentine Day celebrations and the foreign films and music played on television and radio as dangerous to the development of the youth. "In the past, the youth were at the forefront in most of Africa's fight for liberation but what do we see today? Our youth today are confused, lack vision and are disoriented and do not know what they are about," he said.
Dr Koi said because the youth were made to understand that everything coming from Europe or America was the best, they resorted to promoting foreign culture to the detriment of their own cultural heritage.
He said decadence was not only at the level of the youth but in institutions, the economy and the society in general. Dr Koi said there was the need to move away from simplifying culture to mean only drumming and dancing to include soul, life, essence and basis for any development.
He said the youth formed the labour force and they made or unmade any country and care must be taken in assisting them to come out of any social vices.
Mr Joseph Prempeh Maise, Acting Director of GNM, said the theme was chosen to create awareness on how young people could participate in redefining mission and practices of heritage institutions in the 21st century.
He said the theme was also an indication of how museums could contribute to the shaping of tomorrow's society by interacting with young people to interpret things from the cultural perspective.