• Ms Akosua Frema Osei Opare (middle), Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi (left) and Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh (right), Minister of Education, after the inauguration of the Ghana Heritage Committee. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Committee has been inaugurated to serve as an advisory body to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for it to be able to harness the country’s cultural, natural and heritage resources.
The committee, the first of its kind, is made up of representatives from various governmental institutions, ministries, civil society organisations (CSOs), the Ghana Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and other relevant stakeholders.
Dubbed the National Heritage Committee, it is tasked with the responsibility of helping the government tap, direct and transform Ghana’s cultural and natural heritage resources into major assets for the sustainable development of the country.
The Chief of Staff, Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei Opare, who inaugurated the committee in Accra yesterday, urged the members to work towards safeguarding heritage sites and the culture of the people.
“I am appealing to you to attach some urgency to your work to ensure that our heritage sites are protected for the benefit of our nation and the global community,” she said.
She further said the establishment of the committee was in line with the government’s agenda of ensuring that the country’s cultural heritage was preserved and promoted.
“I have no doubt in my mind that experts from diverse institutions identified to serve on this committee will develop strategies, policies and programmes on heritage conservation, preservation, presentation, interpretation and promotion to foster inter-cultural dialogue and the promotion of tourism for the sustainable development of the country,” she added.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, commended the Ghana Commission of UNESCO for initiating and facilitating the establishment of the committee, adding: “We wish to encourage the commission to continue with its liaison function of supporting the ministry in its activities.”
She explained that the committee would serve as a channel for gathering views and concerns from stakeholders that would enable Ghana to carry out comprehensive stocktaking of its heritage resources for their inclusion in development policies and strategies.
She challenged members of the committee to collaborate with stakeholders to find solutions to the challenges confronting the sector and also create opportunities to propel growth.
She said although Ghana had a strong competitive edge in heritage resources and had made significant strides in their preservation, there were still some heritage sites and resources that were in a deplorable state.