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Second edition of ‘Cultural Oneness festival’ launched in Accra

Accra, Feb. 19, GNA – The Taste of Afrika (TTOA) in collaboration with the Harlem Tourism Board, African Tourism Board and the Ghana Tourism Authority has launched the second edition of the Cultural Oneness Festival in Accra.

The four-day festival is on the theme, “Leveraging on our strength for shared growth and prosperity as one people,” is scheduled for November 13 to 16, 2024, in Tamale, in the Northern Region.

Launching the festival, Nana Otuo Owoahene Acheampong, Executive Director, National Commission on Culture (NCC), said the launch of the festival could not have happened at a better time as it was one of the several events that fell within the mandate of the Commission.

He said festivals were occasions that brought peace and social cohesion among diverse ethnic groups and as the country geared up for the general election, the NCC had the responsibility to promote cultural oneness and national harmony.

He said the NCC was mandated to manage from a holistic perspective the cultural lives of Ghanaians; be it social, political, economic, spiritual, religious or whatever, however the public perception about culture was reduced to only music and dancing.

“Our culture goes beyond dancing, drumming, and music. It is an embodiment of who we are. That gives us an identity and can separate us from one community to the other, or one religion or country to the other.”

Nana Owoahene noted that “for the country to make any meaningful progress as a nation, there was the need to embrace our culture and all its manifestations whiles at the same time welcoming contemporary initiatives but with caution.”

“We are aware that today, globalization has rendered a lot of cultures around the world susceptible to pressure from foreign cultures, forcing many cultures to be on the brink of extinction, but we need to embrace our own, love to speak our local dialect, elevate and lift whatever has become of our culture to another level, so that we can continue to push our agenda of ‘Beyond the Return’.

He urged Ghanaians to believe in themselves, be unique in their respective cultures, in other to build the nation together from all angles.

Jira Buipewura Abdulai Jinapor II said the launch of the festival showed the level of commitment in promoting, projecting, and redefining the cultural landscape of the desired creative pursuits.

He said “as a people we must remain resolute in our commitment to celebrating cultural diversity, promoting dialogue, and harnessing the profound potential of culture to effect positive change. Together, the Cultural Oneness Festival will become the sage of Africa in future.”

The Paramount Chief commended the organisers and partners for the festival, saying “Let us carry forth the spirit and vision of the festival into the days and weeks ahead. Indeed, I see the festival growing into higher heights.”

Mr Tengol K Kplemani, Co-Founder, TTOA said the festival which was also in collaboration with the Northern Development Authority, Ethiopian Airlines and the Diaspora Affairs Unit, Office of the President, aimed at celebrating and showcasing the rich cultures of diverse communities, promoting cultural awareness and unity, unique traditions, arts and music.

He said it was expected to contribute to fostering mutual understanding and consolidating the Ghanaian unity, while developing and growing the tourism industry and attracting investments.

Mr Kplemani noted that activities lined up for this year’s celebration included a business forum, root tours, concerts, fashion show, fusion durbar, and street carnival.

Dr Cuthbert Simphiwe Ncube, Executive Chairman, Africa Tourism Board, said the festival marked a pivotal moment in the continent’s narrative, where the African diversity, unity and the profound richness of African culture was celebrated.

“The festival holds a deeper and wider significance as a catalyst for social cohesion fostering understanding and dialogue among our diverse communities in a world often marked by divisions, so let us in the spirit of unity celebrate the rich diversity of our African culture and embrace the beauty of our shared vision.”

Hafsa Obeng