|Tourism Minister, Ms. Elisabeth Agyare|
Ghana is said to be among the few African countries in the sub-region with many ethnic groupings but with diverse cultures and traditions ranging from marriage, naming ceremony, funeral performance, festival among others.
These cultural differences are what make Ghana stand out as a unique country for many European and American nationals to visit for holidays, honeymoon and conferences.
Some of the few places where these diverse cultures of Ghanaians are promoted or showcased to indigenes and most especially foreigners are their many Centres for National Culture (CNC) and the National Theatre.
In each of the ten administrative regions of Ghana, there is a CNC for people to visit on daily basis to listen to traditional music and storytelling, watch performances of traditional dancers, drama and also buy artifacts to decorate their homes and offices.
Sadly, due to lack of adequate renovation over the years, some of these centres like the Tamale Centre for National Culture built in the 60’s, is beginning to look very deplorable and unattractive to visitors.
Malfunctioning air conditioners and ceiling fans, filthy washrooms, dilapidated theatre, leaking roofings, insanitary premises, broken furniture and poor drainage systems among others, stare at the face of any first time visitor to the Tamale CNC.
Besides, the facility is poorly resourced and the few office equipment available for administrative purposes are also obsolete and malfunctioning most of the time.
According to the Administrator of the Centre Abubakari Saeed, although the Centre had few sources of revenue generation, the amount of funds generated was inadequate to be used to renovate the place and buy the necessary equipment needed to enable the facility fully functional.
Mr. Saeed appealed to the Northern Region House of Chiefs and other proponents of northern culture and tradition to use their influence to prevail on government to restore the place to enable it function well.
He observed that, the Centre was part and parcel of the cultures and traditions of the chiefs and they would not be promoted enough if the Centre was left to deteriorate to levels where it had to be closed down completely.
Adding his voice to the call, an ardent advocate of Ghanaian culture and former Governing Council Chairman of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr. Abdulai Baba Salifu, said if urgent steps were not taken, the Centre was likely to be closed down.
He observed that, the current state of the Centre was not befitting the status of any traditional ruler in the Northern Region and wonder if people especially foreigners would continue to patronize services there in few years to come.