The National Commission on Culture has launched the 2022 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) with a call for patriotism and nationalism among citizens to expedite national development.
This year’s celebration also marked the 60th anniversary of the week-long festival on the theme: “Reviving patriotism, peace and unity through cultural diversity for sustainable development.”
The launch, which was interspersed with breathtaking cultural performances, also officially unveiled the logo for the 60th-anniversary celebration and swore in various committees to superintend over the festival.
NAFAC is an annual event which provides a platform for Ghanaians to advertise their rich heritage and showcase the diversity in their ethnic and regional cultures to stimulate unity and development.
This year’s celebration will be held from Friday, December 9 to Saturday, December 17 in the ancient city of Cape Coast and Ghana’s tourism hub which is expected to host hundreds of Ghanaians and foreigners as the festival promises to be a global showpiece.
In view of that, a raft of activities has been lined up for the event and they include a cultural and business exhibition, a conference, regional exhibition days, women and girls’ day, float with masqueraders, a pageant, International Friendship Night and storytelling.
Madam Janet Edna Nyame, the Executive Director of the Commission, explained that the theme for the festival had been strategically selected to awaken the consciousness of citizens about their moral duty towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She said an effective implementation of the SDGs could curb the scourges of poor sanitation, environmental degradation, nepotism, corruption, dishonesty, and disrespect for elders which were a blot on the country’s cultural values.
She further intimated that NAFAC could consolidate its gains in 60 years and attain an international status if the country adopted the all-hands-on-deck model for pursuing the SGDs.
“Thankfully, from intangible through to the tangible aspects of culture, Ghana is endowed with a fascinating repository of many cultural elements that show prospects for investment.
“We, therefore, have a good reason that when NAFAC is raised to an international status, it will lead to a substantial improvement in its celebrations thereby creating opportunities for Ghana to generate some revenue,” she added.
Madam Nyame stressed that the nation could only make progress and be recognised among its peers as trekking on a sound development trajectory if citizens took what belonged to them seriously, packaged it well and presented it to other countries.
“In achieving this, concerted efforts will be required of all stakeholders to lend their support to help drive such laudable initiative through to success,” she emphasised.
Osagyefo Kwame Akonu X, the Vice President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs and Paramount Chief of Enyan Abaasa Traditional Area, said the unique cultural features and traditions gave the country identity, self-respect and pride.
He observed, however, that Ghanaians had shunned altruism for unsustainable development agenda through various adverse environmental practices at the expense of children yet unborn.
He, therefore, urged citizens to eschew all forms of negative actions perpetrated against the State and embrace cultural and moral values that engendered growth.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, the Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, urged residents of Cape Coast to get actively involved in the festival to make it historic.
“From now to the D-day, let us be up and doing and make sure this celebration will be the best. It will not be the responsibility of the staff of Centre of National Culture but me and you to lend our support.
“Let’s all get involved and show the world that we are in full support of what is going to happen in Cape Coast,” he charged.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, indicated that any country that did not endeavour to preserve its culture was bound to fail because the people were likely to lose their identity and respect in the comity of nations.
“We do this not only to celebrate our country amidst the pomp and the pageantry but also, to capitalise on the experiences and lessons learned to further enrich our cultures,” she added.
She commended the organisers of NAFAC for putting together the yearly celebration and urged members of the various committees to bring their experiences to bear to give the country a memorable showpiece.