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Festivals should build bridges of economic, social partnership – Minister

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Mr. Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture, has urged traditional authorities to expand the scope of celebration of their annual festivals beyond joy and merry-making to build bridges of economic and social partnership.

He said they needed to assess festivals with a view to re-packaging them to make them more appealing to potential sponsors and partners in development.

Mr. Asum-Ahensah was speaking at Prang at the wekend at a durbar to climax a week-long annual Nkyifie Yam Festival of the chiefs and people of Prang traditional area in the Pru District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

He noted that Yam festivals were celebrated by many traditional areas in the Brong-Ahafo Region because yam, as “the king of foodstuffs”, was cultivated in great quantities in the region.

He said currently yam was cultivated in large quantities to feed the people not only in Brong-Ahafo but other regions, adding that was why Brong-Ahafo was named “The Food Basket of Ghana”.

The festival under the theme, “Unity and Peace for Social-Economic Development” provided the people the opportunity to take stock of the past year’s achievements and chart a new course for the future.

He expressed the hope the Prang traditional area would continue to co-operate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in executing programmes to ensure the attainment of the goal of food security by the year 2015 under the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FESDEP II).

Mr Asum-Ahensah stated that it had been possible for a number of socio-economic development projects to be completed in the area by the District Assembly in collaboration with the Prang Traditional Council because of peace and unity among them.

He gave the assurance that government was committed to ensure that adequate funding was made available for the completion of more projects, including health and educational institutions, roads and other essential facilities.

Mr. Asum-Ahensah asked the people to work hard to maintain the peace and stability in the area since no nation or community could develop when there was no peace, unity and love.

Alhaji Mohammed Masawuud, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Pru, on behalf of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Alhaji Masawuud Baba Abdul-Rahman, presented a photocopier and five sets of desktop computers and accessories as well as a set of jerseys and two footballs to the Prang Senior High School (SHS).

He gave the assurance that the District Assembly would continue to cooperate with traditional authorities for the accelerated and holistic development of the District.

Madam Grace Ziida Hawah, Headmistress of Prang SHS, who received the items expressed appreciation to the MP saying that they had been presented at the right time because all their computers had broken down.

She said the computers would assist in enhancing teaching and learning of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the school.

Nana Kwadwo Nyarko III, Paramount Chief of Prang Traditional Area, in a welcoming address appealed to the Government to provide the Prang Vocational Institute with the needed human resources to raise the academic standard of the institution for students to go through effective skills training.

The paramount chief appealed to the Government to consider creating a new constituency out of the present Pru District or Constituency with Prang as the capital or headquarters.

He said it could not be over-emphasized that the creation of a new constituency was long overdue because the population of Prang and its environs had grown rapidly.

The paramount chief said the new political division could be Pru North Constituency with Yeji as the capital and Pru South constituency with Prang as capital.

Source: GNA

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