The Upper West Regional Centre for National Culture (CNC) under the leadership of Mr. Yahaya Jamal-Deen today had a historic visit of the Indian High Commissioner to Ghana in the person of H.E Sugandh Rajaran to their regional office in Wa. The visit was to allow deliberations on how the Centre for National Culture and the office of the Indian High Commission can collaborate for the growth of arts, culture and tourism in the region.
On his part, the acting regional CNC director stated that the Upper West Region houses some of the magnificent cultural sites in the country which includes; the Wa Naa Palace, the Gwollu Slave Défence Wall, the Nanvile Ant Hill, the Nakore Ancient Mosque, the Wichau Hippopotamus Sanctuary, among many others and that the region is the home of the popular ‘Bawa Dance. He further stated that the region is a repository of peace, making it a trusted fertile ground for investment. The CNC started in 1983 as Arts Centre with the late Hon. Anthony Bondong as the first director who instituted several policies key among them was the Craft Shop, this was established with the senior staff provident fund with the aim of training the youth in textile hand weaving (northern kente) and smock making. This was an attempt to create employment for the youth with the goal of leading to the alleviation of poverty in the region.
Mr. Yahaya equally used the opportunity to share some of the many challenges the Centre faces to include; inability to replace/repair worn out equipment for training artisans, inadequate funding to provide training equipments and starter – up capital to trainees, inadequate logistics, woefully inadequate staff and transportation inhibits the centre in performing its mandate of promoting and preserving the culture in the region. Mr. Yahaya also bemoaned the absence of a regional theatre as a bane to the advancement of cultural activities especially performing arts.
The acting director expressed great interest in learning from the successes of India in their cultural promotion efforts. Mr. Jamal concluded by thanking the Commissioner for his historic visit and wished India a happy 75th Independence celebration in advance.
The Indian High Commissioner expressed sincere thanks for the warm reception and entertaining Bawa cultural performing group that welcomed and ushered him into the centre. He stated that India is an ancient civilization country and it is more than ten thousand years old in this regard. He added that, India is rich in its traditions, beliefs and philosophy just like Ghana. Indians and Ghanaians are cultural loving people and close friends. He said this is his first visit to the Upper West Region and his goal is to know the region in all perspectives. The High Commissioner stated that His office will strengthen and nurture the bond of our cultural ties between the two countries. He said India has been sending artist for cultural exchange performances in Ghana, and he is looking for a time where Upper West will also benefit from such opportunity. H.E Sugandh also said that he will like to see some of the regions artist travel to India to showcase our rich and thrilling cultural performances in India. He added that he is in talks with the Hon Minister of Arts and Tourism to see how they can strengthen cooperation between the two countries countries in tourism, museum preservation and capacity building, which can lead to the realization of a lot of tourism potentials. The High Commissioner after the event visited some notable tourist sites with cultural significance in the region which included the Nakore ancient mosque and others.
The High Commissioner was accompanied by his special aide, Mr. Tusharkk Uniyal, James K. Donkon, an assistant director at the Regional Coordinating Council and Mr Cletus Awuni, Public Relations Officer at the RCC.
The National Commission on Culture was established by the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) law 238 in 1990 to manage from a holistic perspective of the Cultural life of our country Ghana. It is an implementation body under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture charged with the responsibility of ensuring the implementation off the culture policy of Ghana
Acting Regional CNC Director dressing the High Commissioner in Smock
The Indian High Commissioner in his beautiful cultural smock
H.E Sugandh Rajaran takes a picture with bawa dance cultural group