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Finally, the Eastern Regional Centre for National Culture project which was initiated by the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1964 has been completed and commissioned in Koforidua

The Eastern Regional Theatre which is a Public-Private Partnership project was supposed to be completed and inaugurated ahead of the National Festival of Arts and Culture – NAFAC in November 2018 was on Friday, January 18, 2019, commissioned

The Chairman, Baffour Nyantakyi Tutu Boateng, Krontihene on behalf of Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area in his inaugural speech expressed how the theatre will be an essential preservation project that has far-reaching positive cultural connotations for the people of the Eastern Region as well as the entire nation

“The completion and the eventual inauguration of this important theatre edifice today, will signify another great milestone in the history of the National Commission on Culture and for that matter the Eastern Regional Centre for National Culture in contributing to ensuring that the country’s revered cultural heritage continues to remain sacrosanct, safeguarded and actively used in remembering and immortalizing not only our history but also sustaining the traditions that have shaped our unique national identity and unity,” he stated

Krontihene, Baffour Nyantakyi Tutu Boateng added, it cannot be gainsaid that the Ghanaian culture is replete with power and wealth. He, therefore, admonished that it should be the responsibility of all and sundry, to ensure that the youth more especially are reminded of these power and wealth embedded in the Ghanaian cultural heritage

“What prevails today is the unguarded adoption of western lifestyle or cultures by most people especially the youth in the name of modernity, leading to the adulteration of our beautiful culture. This has immensely contributed to the erosion of values, power and wealth of our cultural heritage as well as the histories of most communities,” he added

The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour in his solidarity message applauded the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for getting the theatre completed in less than two (2) years

“We have not only completed this edifice but also restored the creative space and created a conducive atmosphere for the performance of arts where talents, innovations, enterprise and performing arts among others can be demonstrated,” he said

Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour was optimistic the completion of the Eastern Regional Theatre will in no doubt create employment for many people and contribute to the wealth creation for our youth in the region and beyond

The Regional minister used the opportunity to invite the general public to patronize the theatre facility for conferences, workshops, and training as well as seminars and lectures

Hon. Darfour however appealed to the duty-bearers to develop comprehensive maintenance schedules to preserve the theatre and keep the facility spick-and-span.

“Do not allow it (theatre) to deteriorate with the mentality that it’s for the government and ‘government has no relative’,” he added

Hon. Dr. Ziblim Iddi, MP and Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture in his address on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture reiterated the government’s commitment to complete the Regional Cultural Centers at various stages of completion spanning several decades

The Deputy Minister is however of no doubt that the culture and the Creative Arts sub-sector is bedecked with a lot of infrastructural problems. He identified the lack of appropriate cultural infrastructure continues to hinder all efforts to achieve the cardinal objectives on which the Cultural Policy of Ghana is premised particularly in the regions and districts

“The lack of infrastructure has led to a virtual collapse of the culture and creative arts in the industry. Performers have no decent halls to put up drama or musical concerts or for rehearsals and Fine artists from all categories also lack studios and craft shops to create their works or distribution outlets and exhibition halls to market them,” stated

Hon. Ziblim Iddi emphasized that the multi-faceted effects have compelled the NPP Government under Nana Akufo-Addo to lift the arts and culture sub-sector from the doldrums by responding to the infrastructural needs and bottlenecks hampering the prolific growth of the sub-sector

In spite of the myriad problems, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture promised that the Kumasi and the Takoradi theatres will also be completed in eight (8) months

Asiwome Tei-Mati |

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