The Ghana Culture Forum (GCF) has expressed worry over the country’s deepening taste for foreign goods and services, illegal mining (Galamsey), and lackadaisical approach to the concept of mainstreaming culture in national development.
A statement signed by Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah, Chairperson, GCF, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said on the local front, Ghana had only two listings, which included castles, forts and Asante traditional buildings when tangible remains of cultural/natural heritage (properties) all over the world were enlisted onto the World Heritage Lists by UNESCO.
World Heritage Day
The statement is in commemoration of May 5, as “World Heritage Day” since it was adopted in November 2015 by the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO as a day for people around the world, particularly Africans, to celebrate the continent’s unique cultural and natural heritage.
Currently, the statement said, a total of 1,154 world properties (cultural, natural or mixed) were enlisted and although Africa was touted as a cultural haven, it held only 12 per cent of the inscribed sites worldwide
“As if this is not enough dent on our widely-held cultural prestige, 39 per cent of Africa’s World Heritage List are in danger of being delisted,” it said.
The situation and data, the statement said spoke volumes of the African value today and called on all on the continent to protect and preserve the vast spectrum of cultural and natural elements/objects not only for their use but for the benefit of the African unborn.
Although the problems might seem numerous and humongous, the statement said Ghanaians and Africa at large, had hope in its sense of collectivism and communalism.
It called for positive cultural activism and participation coupled with governmental will and individual ingenuity, to make a positive impact on Africa’s cultural and natural fortunes.
“UNESCO defines our Heritage as our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage is irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration,” the statement said.
“Our cultural and natural heritage is the soul of our identity and being. How we approach it may have a paradoxical effect. We could exploit it for our good or to our destruction. We all witnessed the impact of the Year of Return initiative and Galamsey. The effect of these varied phenomena is merely a scratch on the surface.
“The power to choose lies with us. For us, the Ghana Culture Forum and the New African, we want to exploit our cultural and natural heritage for the good of all Africans. Be the new African for the new Africa,” it stated.