President John Mahama has urged Ghanaians to see their ethnic and cultural differences as a blessing rather than a curse, and admonished that no one ethnic group should perceive itself as superior to the others.
“Ethnicity is subtly misrepresented in our socio-political environment to create disaffection, divisiveness and rivalry amongst us. This does not have to be so, it is wrong. It diminishes our rich cultural heritage, and emphasises our differences instead of reinforcing the positives of our cultural diversity,” President Mahama said when he delivered the keynote address to open NAFAC – the National Festival of Arts and Culture in the Brong Ahafo regional capital, Sunyani.
He said: “Like the different strands of colour and texture woven beautifully by the kente or smock weaver into a unique and attractive pattern, we must see our cultural diversity as a unique platform for building our synergy into a common force for good.”
“You cannot weave a truly beautiful kente cloth or smock without mixing a variety of beautiful colours into the weave,” he likened.
“It is the same with our nation. It is our ethnic and cultural diversity that accounts for the strength of our country,” he observed.
The President said: “Fantes, Ewes, Nzemas, Dagombas, Ashantis, Gas, Bonos and all the diverse ethnic and cultural groupings of Ghana are not a source of disadvantage to us: indeed they are a source of strength and beauty of Ghana.”
“We are all the same people, with one nation and one common destiny, and Almighty God knows why he put all of us together in this beautiful country called Ghana.
“No ethnic group is superior to another and government will work to ensure the balance development of our nation as provided for by the directive principles of state policy,” he said.
The theme for this year’s NAFAC is: 'Creative Arts and Tourism - A Platform for National Development'. It is a biennial cultural event at which the nation's artistic and creative potentials are celebrated.
At the ceremony Saturday were performing artistes and visual artists, stakeholders in the culinary Arts and herbal industry, Hoteliers, Students and the general public.
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