A 30-member National Planning Committee has been inaugurated by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to plan activities for this year’s National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) slated for November 16-24, in the Eastern Regional Capital of Koforidua.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Empowering the Youth through Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts for Employment and Wealth Creation”, which is expected to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the country.
Some of the activities envisaged at the 2018 NAFAC include: public lectures, open fora, exhibitions and cultural performances, as well as sporting events, performing arts and traditional beauty pageant.
Addressing the members of the Committee at the Inaugural Ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, Madam Catherine Abelema Afeku, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, charged them to bring their expertise to bear on the programme in order to guide and steer it successfully.
Members of the Committee were drawn from various public and private institutions with diverse professional background including artistes, academics, legal luminaries and traditional rulers.
The Minister entreated the Committee to organise events that would resonate among the youth and inculcate positive cultural values in them so as to promote national development, unity and harmony.
She said the festival was an avenue to take stock and dialogue extensively on the country’s challenges, and explore ways of putting the youth back on track for employment generation and wealth creation.
“The Planning Committee has the mandate to put together programmes and activities that can bring the theme to bear positively on the target beneficiaries so that eventually we can boast of a society full of culturally alert youth,” the Minister stated.
Madam Afeku observed that culture constituted the fulcrum of the existence of Ghanaians and, thus, determined the basic necessities of lives of the people.
Therefore, there was the need to preserve it for the present and the future generations.
Madam Edna Nyame, the Executive Director of the National Commission on Culture, in her welcoming address, said the festival’s scope and focus had been evolving over the years depending on the economic and socio-cultural needs of the country.
She, therefore, urged the Committee to come up with programmes and activities that would effectively position tourism, arts and culture in the youth development agenda of the nation.
“The festival is therefore expected to create the enabling platform for stakeholders, industry players, communities, and government to dialogue on diverse ways that can be employed to create environment for job creation and instil in the youth our cultural values and appreciation and promotion of the Ghanaian culture and its relevance to our existence as a nation,”she added.
Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante, a Member of the Committee, on behalf of her colleagues, expressed appreciation to the government for the confidence reposed in them, and gave the assurance that they would do their best to ensure the success of the programme.
NAFAC, which is celebrated biennially, has a long history dating back to 1967, and has become a potent platform to showcase the country’s diverse cultural heritage, talents, spirit of national identity and promoted peaceful co-existence among Ghanaians of diverse ethnic background.