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The absence of some key ministers of state at the recent National Festival of Arts and Culture was heavily felt, prompting concerns from the Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, Professor George Hagan.
For instance, only four regional ministers attended the national event to address their respective regional day celebrations while the others were either represented or not present in any way at all.
The absence of the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture throughout the 10 day festival for instance was the most disappointing as the festival was directly under his ministry.
“It is a shame that some ministers of state failed to attend NAFAC under the pretext of pressure of work or very busy schedules,” Professor Hagan lamented as he addressed the closing ceremony at Wa over the weekend.
The festival which was under the theme “Culture- vehicle wealth creation,” attracted artistes, cultural troupes and exhibitors from all the 10 regions whose ministers were scheduled to address the respective regional day celebrations.
Ironically it was only the Northern, Upper East, Brong Ahafo and Volta regional ministers who turned up for the festival.
The Eastern and Western regions were represented by their deputy ministers while the others were represented by either district chief executives or regional directors of the Centre for National Culture.
The festival was billed to be opened by either President Kufuor or Vice President Mahama, but neither of them was able to make it, presenting the Harbour and Railways Minister, Professor Ameyaw Akumfi, the duty of reading a speech on behalf of Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama at the opening ceremony.
“When it is your turn, you would want others to come, but when it is your turn to attend you would not, Professor Hagan remarked and added. “The practice is negative and runs counter and contrary to the spirit and letter of nationalism which NAFAC seeks to inculcate in Ghanaians to enhance speedy growth, progress and development”.
He announced that a crafts museum was to be established in the region to encourage and enhance wealth creation among the craftsmen and women and added that an open air theatre would also be built as a legacy of NAFAC 2005.
He hoped that the funds would be released soon for the commencement of the projects as part of the country’s Jubilee celebration.
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