The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has called on the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, to institute measures aimed at preserving and safeguarding the country’s culture and heritage for future generations.
The Assembly made the call yesterday in a statement issued to mark this year’s African World Heritage Day.
The statement which was signed by the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, noted that the skyline of Accra is rapidly changing towards modern and western architecture and called on the sector ministry to collaborate with the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to identify and preserve ancient but historical buildings in the country.
Below is the full statement:
Today is African World Heritage Day
This is a day set aside to raise public awareness, among young people in particular, of the immense potential of the African cultural and natural heritage.
The day which had been celebrated since 2016, on 5th May each year was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its 38th session in 2015.
As we mark the day, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) would like not only to celebrate the richness of the African culture but also to use the opportunity to safeguard the city’s culture for future generations.
Some notable activities worth mentioning in this regard include, the Chalewote festival, the celebration of the Homowo Festival, maintenance of historical buildings such as the Forts (James Fort and Usher Fort), the Bible House, Franklin House, Brazil House (Former slave masters’ house) and Accra for Art celebration which was marked on World Art Day using arts to depict the rich culture of Accra.
The city is committed to safeguarding its heritage through policy initiatives intended to preserve both the tangible and intangible culture of the people of Accra in order to give it a function in the life of the community.
It’s easily noticed that the skyline of Accra is rapidly changing towards so called modern and western architecture sometimes at the expense of our historical buildings. This alarming phenomenon must be arrested through a clear comprehensive policy initiative by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism entreating all District Assemblies to identify and preserve ancient but historical buildings.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly through its project #AccraforArt is engaging young artist to beautifully paint open spaces in Accra to depict our culture whilst preventing people from indiscriminate poster pasting. The Kinbu SHS wall mural is just the beginning of many art locations identified in the city.
The celebration of African World Heritage Day also gives us the opportunity to thank all our partners who support us in our efforts to build capacity and preserve heritage.
The Assembly wishes to call on stakeholders and young people in particular, to become more involved, so that we can effectively accomplish this noble and promising mission of safeguarding our heritage.
MOHAMMED ADJEI SOWAH
MAYOR OF ACCRA