Translate cultural policy into dialects – Director

Mr Emmanuel Quao, Director of the Volta Regional Centre for National Culture, has called for the translation of the National Cultural Policy into the country’s major dialects to increase its usage and understanding among the people.

Mr Quao made the suggestion in a Paper on the; “Successes and Challenges in the Implementation of Ghana’s National Cultural Policy,” at a cultural consultative forum in Ho.

It was organised by the Centre for Ewe Language and Cultural Research, and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.

Mr Quao said the National Cultural Policy had traversed a tortuous and frustrating road from the days of the “African Personality” of President Kwame Nkrumah at Independence in 1957.

“Though we seem to have a policy which is charting the way forward, there has been plenty of words and less action,” he said.

He said Ghana’s Cultural Policy takes its roots from Article 39 of the 1992 Constitution which recognises “culture as a necessary tool for national integration and development.”

Mr Quao said the Article enjoined governments to encourage and integrate appropriate customary values into the life of the citizens through formal and informal education, introduce cultural dimensions to relevant aspects of national planning, develop Ghanaian languages, and preserve and protect artifacts and places of interest.

He said the success of the Policy would be measured in its ability to make the citizenry appreciate and maintain “our cultural continuity in a rapidly changing world, set out the peculiarities and benchmarks for individual and collective identities, inspire the citizenry to widen their social and cultural vigilance and be masters of our own and tell our own stories.”

The Policy should also be able to attract creative individuals who have headed for the Western World to re-trace their steps back home and for the citizenry to come to a full realization of their Ghanaian identity and adopt a new and positive attitude.

Mr Quao said through their cultural policies, countries of western democracies had been able to weave a web of cultural dominance around countries such as Ghana in very subtle and seemingly harmless ways, to the extent that those countries had forgotten their own cultural values.

Some of these, he said,  include the establishment of cultural centres such as the Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institute, Russian Cultural Centre and the Martin Luther King Library.

He said examples of cultural influences from abroad are through scholarships to study abroad, the signing of cultural agreements and exchanges, the media, cuisines like fast foods and hamburgers and music and films.

He said the National Cultural Policy came at a time when “we are having an encounter where there is an overlap of age old traditional knowledge and human behaviour in conflict with ideas and attributes coming to us from elsewhere.”

“Ghana’s National Cultural Policy does not come easy if one does not reflect on the fact that we are no longer at ease on matters pertaining to our culture as Ghanaians.”

He urged government to provide adequate funding for institutions of culture to enable them to influence the citizenry to appreciate and adopt the country’s rich and diverse cultural values.

Source: GNA

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