The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Ebenezer Kwadwo Teye Addo, has underscored the need for traditional authorities to package festivals and other cultural practices to suit the development agenda of the country.
He said countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries developed their respective economies through packaging of their cultures and that propelled them to economic greatness.
Ghana, he said, must take a cue from them.
He, therefore, entreated Ghanaians to denounce fanatic cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, trokosi practice, banishment of alleged witches, killing of infants with deformities, forced marriage, widowhood rites and others that did not promote development.
Mr. Addo made these remarks at the re-launching of Kundum festival at Essikado to rekindle the celebration of the festival in the Essikado Traditional Area.
The festival would be celebrated on the theme, ”Kundum-Celebrating the Spirit of Africa”.
The people of the Essikado Traditional Area suspended the celebration of Kuntum due to the death of the paramount chief in the area, Nana Kobina Nketsia IV,
However, after the final funeral rites of the late paramount chief was held last year, it had paved way for the celebration of the festival this year.
There would be a number of activities such as fan games and other rituals and climax it with durbar on August 10.
The Regional Minister reminded Ghanaians to be proud of their cultural heritage since it portrays the identity of the people.
He chastised the youth for blindly copying foreign cultures and tasked them to learn their cultural values properly since it’s a recipe to promote development.
Mr. Addo charged the chiefs and people of Essikado traditional area to place development on top of their deliberations.
He commended the Omanhene of Essikado, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, for rekindling the festival and urged him to lead the crusade in inculcating the spirit of Africa in Ghanaians.
The Executive Secretary of PANAFEST Foundation, Rabbi Kohain Halevi, who highlighted on the theme, challenged Ghanaians to embrace our culture heritage and refrain from adoring foreign cultures.
He said Africans had indomitable and enduring spirit that had sustained us throughout the period of enslavement on foreign lands,
He, therefore, tasked the youth to learn their cultural values and refrain from maligning themselves since such attitudes would divide them and allow foreigners to influence us negatively.
“We should add value to our culture and show it with dignity and respect because if we hold our culture in high esteem nobody can influence us with their culture”, he said.
He said even though the imperial regime exploited Africa’s natural resources, yet it could not kill the strength, indomitable and enduring spirit of Africans therefore we should eschew selfishness, jealousy, slanderous attitudes and remain united in all situations so that we could take our destiny into our hands to develop the continent.
Kundum festival is celebrated by the Ahantas and Nzemas among 12 paramouncies in the Western Region.
It is believed that dwarfs originated the festival which serves as an occasion for celebrating bumper harvest.
It is also used to re-unite families, settle disputes and denounce wrongdoers in society as well as to plan the development of the community.