Tamale, Nov. 21, GNA – President John Evans Attah Mills had directed all Regional Administrations to begin work on the setting up of regional museums, art galleries and exhibition complexes to redeem the nation’s culture. He said that these institutions would be used for the collection of arts and artifacts for preservation and also constitute important complementing centres of education for the acquisition of knowledge on arts and crafts for historical purposes. President Mills gave the directive in a speech read on his behalf by the Professor Kofi Awoonor, Chairman of the Council of State, at the opening of the 2010 celebration of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC), in Tamale on Saturday. The week-long event is being celebrated on the theme: “NAFAC-Promoting Unity, Technology and Wealth Creation for a Better Ghana: the Role of the Youth in Nation Building”. The festival attracted chiefs and cultural groups from the various parts of the country who would showcase their rich cultural heritage. President Mills said the creative industry cover various creative activities in traditional arts and crafts, publishing, music, visual and performing arts and technology-intensive and services-oriented artistic industries. He called on Ghanaians to take a serious look at folklore expressions, which constitute the bedrock of African intellectual artistic being and creative energy, adding that “We need no expert to tell us that we have a rich intellectual heritage, which should be harnessed”. President Mills said that over the years, the festival has undergone changes both in structure and content to underscore the important role diverse cultural manifestations play in the development of Ghana. Mr. Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture, said since its inception, the festival had undergone changes in structure and content, initiated by different administrations. He said a National Planning Committee was tasked to change the focus and direction of the festival towards development and self-employable training skills, to promote government’s agenda of building a better Ghana. He said 2010 NAFAC was departing from the usual stereotyped celebration with emphasis on drumming and dancing and delight and enjoyment of the general public to the promotion of grassroots participation. Mr. Asum-Ahensah expressed gratitude to the chiefs and people of the Northern Region for their reception and support for the NAFAC celebrations. Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, said the Region had rich cultural and traditional heritage that must be well-packaged. Several organisations are exhibiting products and pictures of the nation’s past heroes and memorable occasions.

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