The Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, opened the 2019, National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) with an appeal to the Media Practitioners in the country, to prioritise local content in their programmes.
He said the choice of selecting a very good local content programmes helps in the shaping of a meaningful National discourse for the country.
Hon. Yaw Osafo- Marfo expressed these sentiments during the NAFAC 2019 celebration in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region, which took place from 8th to 15th November, 2019.
The week-long Festival was under the Theme; "Empowering the Youth Through Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts for Employment and Wealth Creation".
He implored the media in Ghana to endeavor to use their space as a matter of priority to add culturally inclined programmes, since they help sustain Ghanaian Culture in all diverse spheres.
According to the Senior Minister, we must hold high the values of this country and help entrench them in our youth and also teach our children about our cultural values. In effect, we need to organise our culture well and live by it.
He hinted that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, (MoTAC) has received support from the Japanese Government to undertake a Training Programme at the Regional Centre for National Culture for Youth Development.
Hon. Osafo-Marfo outlined the various vocations such as woodworks, traditional pottery, ceramics, textiles, fashion and design, leatherware, basketry, jewellery and bead-making amongst other things, which are geared towards empowering the Ghanaian youth with economic livelihoods.
He further emphasized that the Government would embark on the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project to open up Ghana to investors in Ghana's tourism Sector, to further create jobs and wealth for Ghanaians.
The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi(MP), on her part stressed that there was an urgent need for all and sundry in the country to protect our Ghanaian norms and cultural values from adulteration and foreign influence.
Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said Ghana's Tourism Sector has enormous potential, given that it is the fourth-highest income earner for the country.
She assured the unwavering commitment of the Government under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo's administration to help realise the Ghana's Tourism industry to its fullest potential.
According to her, the "Year of Return" flagship programme organized by her outfit, has seen an immense benefit to the country, considering the influx of diaspora communities into Ghana.
She assured the citizenry in the country, that all available effort would be made by the Nana Addo's Government, to further sustain the feat chalked in Ghana's Tourism landscape.
The Vice-President of the National House of Chiefs who also doubles up as the Paramount Chief of the Abeadze Traditional Area in the Central Region, Daasebre Kwebu Ewusie, appealed to the Ghana Education Service to pay critical attention to the country's culture by promoting cultural education in schools.
On his part, the Paramount Chief of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Professor (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, called for an aggressive youth-based initiative that would enable them to become employable.
Meanwhile, the activities billed for the NAFAC event included a colloquium, Regional Days, Music and Dance performances, Miss NAFAC beauty pageant and a day dedicated for the Youth A trip would be organised on the last day to some attraction sites in the Eastern region.
NAFAC is a biennial event which offers a common platform for all sixteen (16) regions of Ghana to display their rich culture and traditions.
The event is being organised by the National Commission on Culture (NCC), which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC).
The dignitaries who were present to grace this all-important and colourful event, were the Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng- Gyasi, The Deputy Tourism Minister, Hon. Dr. Ziblim Iddi Barri, TheDeputy Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, The Chief Director at the Tourism Ministry, Alhaji Abudulai Yakubu, and some Heads of Agencies under the Tourism Ministry.