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General News Mon, 26 Nov 2007

Kufuor lauds peace and security in the country

Kintampo (B/A), Nov. 26, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has said inherent in customs and traditions of various ethnic groups in the country were time-tested values including self-respect, diligence, honesty, tolerance, brotherliness and respect for human rights. He said over the years adherence to these values had not only given the nation peace and security but had also enabled the different ethnic groups to live together and to respect each other's traditions and customs.

President Kufuor said this in a speech read for him by Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs, at a durbar to climax the Kurubi festival of the Wangaras in Kintampo on Saturday. The seven-day celebration was under the theme, "Celebrating Ghana's golden cultural heritage".

President Kufuor said festivals were appropriate occasions to acknowledge the efforts of ancestors and past heroes who, in the case of the people of Kintampo traditional area, included many who were transported to the Americas during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. "Today, under the auspices of the African Union, measures are being put in place to facilitate the return of Africans in the Diaspora as residents, tourists or investors".

President Kufuor said the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations had formulated policies towards this end and advised the people in the Kintampo traditional area to consider this as an opportunity to re-establish the historic ties with the people in the Diaspora through tourism.

"Fortunately, the area is endowed with the relics of history as well as scenic landscape, beautiful waterfalls and other eco-tourism sites, which can be developed for a vibrant tourism industry to diversify the local economy, create secondary jobs and a vibrant market," he said.

President Kufuor urged the people of Wangara to preserve and document cultural traditions within and among their communities across the country and also take full advantage of the opportunities for educational advancement at all levels.

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"This will make you better prepared to exploit the vast potential of the tourism industry in your traditional area." President Kufuor presented 20 million cedis in support of the festivities.

In a good will message, Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama said the country needed more selfless and pragmatic leaders to quicken the pace of development and appealed to the youth to mould their character along these principles.

He said since the New Patriotic Party assumed political leadership, there had been a tremendous improvement in human resource and infrastructure development and that the government had demonstrated the qualities and moral functions of good leadership. Vice President Mahama said it was important to build the intellectual and technological capacity to make future leaders knowledgeable, innovative, proactive and relevant to the challenges of society.

"The important attribute of sacrifice is what we want the youth of today to cultivate and not condone widespread intellectual and moral docility, which may be convenient for some association leaders in the short term, but suicidal for the nation in the long term", he said.

The Vice President commended the people of Wangara for making history with the revival and successful organization of the festival and expressed the belief that as the years rolled by courageous and skillful leaders would seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Nana Fanyinama III, President of the Council of Wangara Chiefs, urged the people to approach national issues with unity of purpose and eschew all forms of hatred and antagonism to facilitate the rapid development of the area. He commended the government for elevating Kintampo North District into a municipality. Nana Fanyinama appealed to people who had not registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme to do so 26 Nov 07

Source: GNA
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