index cultureGhana is hosting a three-day workshop to validate a report on an inventory of cultural properties across Africa, which was undertaken by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the European Union (EU). The workshop forms part of the Cultural Cooperation between the European Union and Africa under a Joint Africa-European Union Strategic Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights.
Participants would among other things discuss the draft report  and ascertain the accuracy and veracity of its data, as well as make suggestions and recommendations on the way forward in cultural cooperation between the European Union and Africa, arising from the report of the inventory.


Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, at the opening of the workshop yesterday, indicated that human societies since the pre-historic times had evolved through discoveries, inventions and exchanges, resulting in a wide range of artificial creations and productions among communities.

 She said some of these cultural items were of such outstanding universal value that nations had made it a duty to preserve them for posterity. She, however, stated that despite efforts of nations to conserve and restore these cultural properties, modernisation, marked by globalisation was putting their unique heritage under serious risk.

“This is the age and time when massive resources in men and materials are needed to rescue and sustain Africa’s movable and immovable heritage, which are currently endangered by environmental degradation, unplanned development projects, natural disasters, inadequate protective laws and administrative frameworks, warfare as well as conflict and vandalism among others,” she said.

According to the Tourism Minister, the global nature of the threats to these cultural heritages had necessitated global efforts to fight them, adding, “thus, there is the need for joint partnership among nations for the inventory and preservation of our heritage.”

Mrs. Ofosu-Adjare said Ghana was poised to mainstream culture for her national development, citing that the country abound in both tangible objects like the numerous immovable ancient Forts and Castles along the coast as well as the traditional palaces, walls and shrines in the hinterland.
She further indicated that these cultural properties also included the numerous movable artifacts exhibited in the various national and regional museums across the country that needed to be developed, but preserved to maintain their authenticity for educational and tourism purposes.

According to her, the Ministry was also spearheading the campaign to institutionalise local content in all human endeavours, with emphasis on the patronage of locally produced foods and clothing as well as the use of local raw materials for industrial and housing needs.

Mrs. Ofosu-Adjare expressed her gratitude to the organisers for choosing Ghana as a host country, stating that the workshop would serve as a critical milestone in the cooperation activities between Africa and Europe with regards to cultural goods.

Mr. Tirso dos Santos, UNESCO Representative in Ghana, explained that the Inventory Report was written after evaluating data collected from countries across all regions of the African continent, with details of historical facts on Africa’s engagements with international organisations, particularly UNESCO and the EU Member States.

He said the Inventory documented cooperation activities, listed items returned to the continent and activities in other aspects of professional training for different categories of staff working in the cultural heritage sector.

The report also made recommendations and suggestions for further work within the continent as well as towards the positive engagement in cooperation within the EU.

Mr. dos Santos expressed the hope that the move would ensure the protection of these cultural heritage from illegal trading, and pursue efforts to retrieve and restore other displaced ones to their rightful places.


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