STATEMENT BY THE HON. ELIZABETH OFOSU-ADJARE, MINISTER OF TOURISM,CULTURE AND CREATIVE ARTS, REPUBLIC OF GHANA AT THE OPENING SESSION OF THE NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR AFRICAN CULTURAL RENAISSANCE FOR THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA ON THE 27TH OF MARCH, 2014 , ALISA HO

HON. MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
HON. MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
EXCELLENCES OF THE AU,
DISTINGUISHED COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVES OF AU COMMISSION AND UNESCO,
DIRECTORS OF THE MINISTRY AND ITS AGENCIES,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

Today marks an important milestone in the history of Ghana. This is because the country is playing host to this august gathering of eminent personalities from Africa - particularly the AU - and various dignitaries from Ghana for the National Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance for the Republic of Ghana.

Distinguished Guests, the aim of the Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance is to promote Pan Africanism, cultural renewal and identity as forming part of the shared values on the Continent.

The specific objectives of the Campaign are to:

1.    Ensure that African cultural values including African languages are promoted to maximum effect in order to reinforce a sense of identity among Africans.

2.    Promote the ratification of the Charter of the African Cultural Renaissance to ensure its entry into force.

3.    Popularise, and promote the effective implementation of the Charter at all levels of society through various activities that will:

(a)    Ensure the ownership of the Charter by Member States (MS), cultural stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and the public at large.

(b)    Ensure the preservation of our rich cultural heritage as well as positive traditional and cultural practices whilst also campaigning against harmful traditional practices.
It is against this backdrop that my Ministry attaches immense importance to this campaign. We believe that this campaign would invariably outdoor the rich splendour of African culture and its unity in diversity to the world at large.

Ghana is blessed to host this campaign because certainly no nation can progress if it does not place its culture at the forefront of its development agenda.

Our clarion call to galvanise our collective efforts in the implementation of the Campaign for African Cultural Renaissance, is in tandem with the expectation of the African Union, which among others include achieving the following:

a)    Sense of common destiny, identity and togetherness among the people of Africa promoted and enhanced.

b)    Increased number of Ratification of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance by Member States.

c)    Charter for African Cultural Renaissance popularised, well known and effectively, implemented by Member States thereby facilitating:

•    Harmonisation of cultural policies in Member States;

•    A process of cultural exchanges between peoples, countries, institutions and regions;

•    Development of a Practical Guide for Implementation of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance to assist Member States in their implementation of the Charter;

•    Programmes for the promotion and protection of African Culture implemented;

•    Active participation of cultural stakeholders in cultural events in the Continent enhanced.

Distinguished Guests, you would agree with me that the popularisation of the Charter of the African Cultural Renaissance, through this Campaign, is an important step towards its ratification and implementation.

Advocacy and sensitization will be conducted throughout the process. Equally, the promotion of African languages and Africa’s cultural goods and industries will form an important part of the Campaign.
I therefore share in the AU dream of pushing ahead a reform on the continent of Africa where culture is seen a capital for development and should therefore undergo rebirth to package it as veritable asset for African economic emancipation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the justification of the Campaign is embodied in Pillar three (3) on Shared Values of the 2009 – 2012 Strategic Plan of the African Union Commission.
I am specifically referring to Strategic Objectives 10, 11 and 13 of the Plan which are:

•    To promote African Solidarity;
•    To promote African Cultural Renaissance and Protection of African Cultural Heritage;
•    To promote the Ratification and Entry into Force of all Outstanding Legal Instruments adopted by the AU Assembly.

It is very significant to note that the Charter is a cultural tool which will empower Member States to promote Pan-Africanism, cultural renewal and identity.

It will also strengthen the national policies and other cultural instruments of member states. This will in turn contribute to the achievement of the continents’ socio-economic and cultural integration, building of sustainable peace and the winning of the fight against poverty.

Distinguished Guests, it is our strong conviction that Political and social mobilization, partnership networking and the establishment of a follow-up monitoring and reporting mechanism, should be the relevant pillars for the success of the Campaign as we move forward in our collective resolve to Promote the African Cultural Renaissance.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank the AU Commission for the initiative to launch the Campaign here in Accra, Ghana and for all of you for honouring our invitation. We look forward for the realisation of the desired goal of the launch of this campaign.

On this note may I conclude by wishing all participants fruitful deliberations in the ensuing presentations for this campaign.

Thank you and may God bless us all.

 

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