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Unconfirmed Reports Of Immoral Acts During Easter Offends Cultural Sensibilities Of Kwahu Indigenes
 
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26-Mar-2013  
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Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw constituency in the Eastern region, Eric Kwabena Kwakye Darfour
 
 
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Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw constituency in the Eastern region, Eric Kwabena Kwakye Darfour, is not amused about negative reports of immoral acts by the media said to characterize the celebration of Easter by Kwahu indigenes.

The Nkawkaw MP avers that such unconfirmed reports affects the sensibilities of the Chiefs and people of Kwahu and further casts a slur on the country's Cultural Heritage.

According to him, Kwahu is a disciplined community with high morals and people from that part of the country will be the last to either engage or encourage visitors to engage in any form of immoral act.

He has therefore warned the media against any such bad reportage and has also appealed to the Ghana Tourist Authority (GTA) to coordinate with stakeholders in the Kwahu area to ensure that the cultural sensibility and heritage of the Chiefs and people of Kwahu are not slighted, as Easter festivities draw near, pointing out that such unprofessionalism will not be countenanced.

Delivering a statement on the floor of the House ahead of the festivities which begin this Friday, Mr. Darfour urged the GTA to liaise with the Kwahu Traditional Council, MPs and Assembly Members within the enclave, Districts and Municipal Chief Executives so that they “the people are not allowed to be exposed to threadbare, more in the midst of the fanfare and enculturation”.


Peacefmonline.com reproduces a copy of the statement read by the Nkawkaw MP


STATEMENT ON THE KWAHU EASTER FESTIVAL DELIVERED BY HON. KWABENA DARFOUR; MP FOR NKAWKAW CONSTITUENCY

Mr. Speaker, Thank you for this opportunity to make a statement on this day to herald the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which in Biblical terms serves as redemption moment for mankind. This year’s Easter festivities will commences on the 29th of March ending on the 3rd of April.

Mr. Speaker, the Kwahu Ridge has come to the fore to be knitted to the celebration of Easter because the occasion presents moment for indigenes of Kwahu to embark on massive home coming; a home coming enabling citizens of Kwahu to confer with families, think about development agenda and then prefer means of overcoming problems.

Mr. Speaker leisure and fun have also become an integral part of the celebration.

The Kwahu Easter can be said to be, arguably the biggest gathering of revelers in the country. It has been upped to a festival status, and during the event, people from all walks of life throng the Kwahu Ridge to the extent that every inch of space is filled with revelers.

The Kwahu Easter has now assumed a major event in the annals of Tourism opportunities on the Ghana Tourists Authority (GTA) calendar. The festival has become bigger and better in patronage and its importance to the nation cannot be glossed over. Hitherto, the Kwahu Easter was seen as an occasion solely for the people of Kwahu who from all walks of life came back to their home town in a typical home Coming Fashion with the view to reuniting with families and making new acquaintances. The Festival has moved beyond just the mere Home Coming Fashion to be one of the biggest outdoor omnibus event in Ghana and arguably in Africa.

In 2005, the Kwahu Easter Festival received a major impetus, with the introduction of the Paragliding sport into the frenzy of the Easter Festival. Since its inception in 2005, the Kwahu Easter Paragliding Festival has attracted thousands of Ghanaians from all walks of life and foreigners alike. The paragliding festival was launched by the then Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora relations in collaboration with the Tourism Development Board and the Kwahu South District Assembly in 2005 at Kwahu Atibie. A Tourist Receptive Facility was built and a runway for the pilots was also constructed at the apex of the mountain. The paragliding sporting events which is held during the Easter festivities normally two days before Good Friday has become an integral part of the Easter festival, which attracts people from all walks of life

The advent of the Paragliding Festival dimension to the Ester festival has added impetus to the whole programme and thus assuming an International Dimension. For instance, in the 2012 Edition of the Kwahu Easter festival, a total of 21 pilots participated in the paragliding Festival. This also attracted hundreds of other nationals from Africa, Europe and America. At the launch of the 2012 edition of the Festival, the then Minister of Tourism Akua Sena Dansua reaffirmed government agenda to promote tourism internationally and domestically, adding that the paragliding festival at Kwahu was going to be a significant part of the development agenda of the Nation.

According to the Minister, with the passage of the Tourism Bill by Parliament, which is awaiting presidential assent, Tourism development will be taken to another level. But Mr. Speaker, one year on after this important statement, little efforts have been done towards bringing this concern into fruition.

MR. Speaker, The Paragliding festival enriches the local economy since facilities such as hotels and restaurants experience increased patronage during this time on our Tourism calendar in the Kwahu Enclave. Mr. Speaker, I would, therefore, encourage stakeholders in the industry to continue to nurture the Kwahu Easter festival and other domestic tourism programmes to attract participation from both local and international visitors as Ghana prepares to move into a phase of accelerated development and modernization agenda

Mr. Speaker, The Kwahu Easter has become more pronounced than ever and this development therefore calls for a more pragmatic approach in Developing the Kwahu Enclave into a 21st Century Tourism Site. Mr. Speaker, I speak with a heavy heart in making this statement as the roads leading to this enviable Tourists site is really in a bad shape and impedes Ghana’s approach to developing Tourism potentials in the country. The road is rough, not motorable, steep, and dangerous and sometimes an anti-climax to revelers who throng the Festival grounds.

Mr. Speaker, I must say that my constituency; Nkawkaw, serves as the gateway to the Kwahu Mountain and a starting point of the Festival,. but many a time, the Ghana Tourist Authority gloss over the Nkawkaw Township in the branding strategy of the Festival; in fact the people of Nkawkaw are Kwahu and must be included in the sharing of the tourism cake for the people of Kwahu.

Another challenge to this Festival is ready availability of hotels to accommodate the anticipated ever increasing patronage of the Festival. I will therefore, encourage the private sector especially estate developers to venture into building such facilities to comfortably accommodate these tourists who patronize this omnibus festival. Again the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism must work closely in making sure this anomaly and defect is rectified and improved upon.

Mr. Speaker there is the need for the Ministry of Tourism and the Ghana Tourism Authority to continue to expand their hold in searching for more tourism potential in the Kwahu enclave, so far, the paragliding is the only event that has taken monopoly as side attraction during this festive occasion, but there are others too that can be harnessed to boost tourism in the area. As I speak now, there is a natural Volta lake that stretches to the Kwahu Adawso where the pontoon docks and transport people to the Afram Plains. The lake presents a veritable opportunity to be developed for tourist attraction eg. Boat regatta.

Mr. Speaker, the growth of tourism in a place comes with its attendant effect as many a time the cultural value of the indigenes could have the propensity to be compromised. It is against this background I call on the Ghana Tourist Authority to liaise with the Kwahu Traditional Council, MPs and Assembly Members within the enclave, Districts and Municipal Chief Executives to ensure that the cultural sensibility and heritage of the Chiefs and People of Kwahu are not allowed to be exposed to threadbare, more in the midst of the fanfare and enculturation.

Mr. Speaker, I recall, the media were replete with bad reportage of immoral acts characterizing the last year Festival. These publications did not go down well with the Chiefs and people of Kwahu as reports of these immoral acts cast a slur on our Cultural Heritage as Ghanaians and we would not countenance that.

Mr. Speaker, Kwahu is a disciplined community with high morals and would be the last to either engage or encourage visitors to do that.

We call on all to find courage and truth, and to desist from engaging in this business to purposely taint the hard won reputation of the good people of Kwahu.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to use this medium to officially invite the Speaker and the entire Members of Parliament to this year’s Kwahu Easter Festival where it promises to be more exciting, bigger and better. I hope it will live up to its billing as Nananom and the good people of Kwahu would once again showcase the rich cultural heritage of Kwahu. Let’s make the Kwahu Festival a showpiece of Ghana’s tourism developmental agenda. I hope my other colleagues in this house would join me in maintaining our good heritage in the wake of influx of people from all walks of life and its attendant effect. Let’s make good use of the Festival and harness the growth of Tourism in the Kwahu enclave in particular and Ghana as a whole.
 
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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