HOSTED BY THE GHANA CULTURE FORUM AND UNESCO MISSION IN GHANA
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The Ghana culture forum with support from UNESCO and the National Commission on culture held its annual Ghana Culture day celebrations on the 12th of March 2020.
The celebration was concentrated on a symposium with the theme – Culture – Translating Values into Economic Opportunities. At the end of the symposium, there was a suggestion to celebrate May 21 which is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.
At the time of the symposium, the first cases of the covid-19 pandemic had just been discovered in Ghana and the situation was not as dire as we have today.
The emergency measures currently in force were not anticipated. Today, the whole world outlook has been enveloped by this pandemic and virtually all social and economic activities have been disrupted.
The Creative industry has not been exempted from the consequences of this catastrophe. It is not surprising that most countries have been very quiet in all aspect of their life. The reason being that Culture, the underlying energy for life has been affected.
In Ghana for instance, the emergency restrictions announced by government banned all social gathering and mass activities and this negatively affected entertainment, events and conferences and all cultural events including funerals. The creative practitioners and others in the larger cultural domain – musicians, film makers, performers, artists, publishers, writers, event organisers and allied groups such as those in the heritage sector have all been grounded. The lifeline to sustenance for these artistes and practitioners have been greatly affected.
There is the need to have this online discussion on the importance of May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and the emerging realities, identify the challenges, share experiences and contribute solutions to the unfortunate situation into the future.
Critically, the necessity of defining and accessing support mechanism to sustain livelihoods and creative activity is paramount at this time.
We also would like to have practical solutions and initiatives that could create opportunities for the arts and culture in Ghana with the emerging realities.
The emerging realities are
Lives of the practitioners within the cultural space of Ghana have been affected gravely by the pandemic.
The majority of people who have been working in the creative industry have been exposed as vulnerable and the current situation have worsened their lives.
We do acknowledge the fact that government have focused on policies that are intended to mitigate the difficult circumstance that the citizenry find themselves but we respectfully believe that a special dispensation will have to be instituted to support the creative industry.
As an industry, we must start the discussion on how to shape the future after covid-19, looking at investments that may lead to a rebuilding of the industry focusing on the long term effect of the pandemic and how to strengthen our resilience.
This rebuilding effort must be spearheaded by agencies of the state responsible for the creative and cultural industry even though we admit that there is an important role for the private sector and civil society organisations such as the Ghana culture forum.
The world cultural diversity day is an important day and we must collectively encourage the need for cultural tolerance and inclusivity.
Managing partner Cynthia Quarcoo is an experienced Corporate and Finance lawyer in Ghana and the United Kingdom. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of CQ Legal and Consulting, where she currently heads the Banking and finance, Energy/Power and Infrastructure Entertainment, Sports and Media Practices. She is an experienced corporate/commercial and finance lawyer with specialization in the energy, financial and infrastructure , Entertainment, Sports and Media sectors She is also Founder of AFRICA 1 Media a multi-functioning professional services firm with a unique focus on providing business and legal counsel, Africa 1 Media supports creatives in their efforts to advance their talent whilst paying close attention to national and international legal frameworks and protocols which guard and regulate their industries and sectors.
MRS SERWAA NEEQUAYE TETTEH
Ama Serwah Nerquaye-Tetteh is the Secretary-General of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, a multi-sectoral government agency that works with the ministries of Education, Culture and Tourism, Youth and Sports, Environment Science and Technology and Innovation, Communication and other governmental and non-governmental agencies to foster UNESCO’s ideals in-country and as a member state.
PROF KODZO GAVUA –
Kodzo Gavua is an archaeologist and ethnographer who holds a PhD and a Master of Arts degrees from the University of Calgary, Canada. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Archaeology and Philosophy from the University of Ghana. Kodzo serves as an Associate Professor of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon and researches the effects of cross-cultural interactions on Africa’s cultural heritage and economic development. He engages in public archaeology, anthropology of tourism, economic anthropology, art history, material culture studies, and museum studies.
MR. ABDOURAHAMANE DIALLO
Mr. Diallo Abdourahamane, Head of Office UNESCO -GHANA
MADAM EDNA NYAME
Janet Edna Nyame, Executive Director for the National Commission on Culture at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts,
MODERATOR: ASARE KONADU YAMOAH
GHANA CULTURE FORUM CHAIRMAN /PRESIDENT GHANA PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION