By Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Tanchara, (U/W), Dec. 17, GNA-The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) will in 2021 establish a cultural heritage centre at Tanchara in the Lawra Municipality of the Upper West Region.
The centre, when established will not only promote and revitalize the intangible cultural heritage and food systems of the people of Tanchara, but will also serve as an inter-generational learning centre for both community members and outsiders alike.
Mr Ben Guri, the Executive Director of CIKOD at a community consultation meeting at Tanchara, said the idea of establishing the cultural heritage centre was part of the implementation of the Seed, Soil and Culture Project being funded by the Seed, Soil and Culture initiative by the New Field Foundation.
He said the project seeks to establish a network of indigenous seed producers in the Upper West Region and beyond for them to produce and support farmers to increase production of indigenous foods in the country so that it does not die out.
Mr Guri said they believed that all continents that had developed did so building on their indigenous knowledge systems, their culture and heritage, noting disturbingly that in Africa, indigenous knowledge systems had been discredited due to western civilization.
This, he said was the bane of Africa’s underdevelopment, hence the development of the concept of endogenous development, which was about building on the culture of every community, their belief systems and knowledge base as well as their world view whilst also learning from other cultures in order to build a resilient cultural heritage and cultural competence amongst the people.
Mr Daniel Banuoku, a Deputy Executive Director of CIKOD noted that agriculture and cultural heritage were both interlinked, hence the emphasis on reorganizing the cultural heritage of the Tanchara people to better position them in a way that would enable them engage in agriculture in a manner that would bring about cultural, economic, and food and nutrition prosperity.
He said the heritage centre when completed would provide the opportunity and space for the youth and the elders of the community to interact in order to enhance their cultural knowledge.
Mr Banuoku disclosed that heads of traditional homes within the community would be supported to model the traditional architectural system that could help support sustainable food production whilst reducing post-harvest losses by way of creating appropriate storage technologies at the household level.
He noted that the heritage centre, which would be constructed by the community people themselves using low cost local materials with support from CIKOD and partners would afford the youth the opportunity to learn about their culture and food systems in a way they could grow to inherit and ensure its sustainability.
As a way of promoting endogenous development, indigenous materials and information at the centre would be digitized to make it youth friendly and also make the learning of indigenous knowledge incentivizing to them.
Mr Atta Mente, the Landlord of the community, lamented that today’s youth were so detached from their culture and belief systems.
He said it was the right time to act to protect what they had and therefore expressed appreciation to CIKOD and its partners for the move to establish the centre.
The Landlord believed it would reconnect the youth to their culture, their beliefs and their indigenous food systems, which according to him, was important for their true and sustained development.