A festival to showcase Ghana’s diverse cultural heritage and to attract foreign direct investment for the country has been launched in Accra.
Previously known as the Ghana Parade Day, the Ghana Festival-New York is an annual event instituted by the National Ghana Parade Council (NGPC) to rally members of the Ghanaian communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and surrounding states and cities to showcase their diverse African cultural heritage and also make a case for why investors are better off choosing Ghana.
The festival offers Ghanaians living abroad the opportunity to experience the uncommon native drums and dance, contemporary music of Ghanaian origin, cultural displays, recitals, delicacies and socialisation which remain the hallmark of the Ghanaian culture.
The 13th edition of the festival would be held on August 13, 2022 and climaxed with a grand durbar at the Crotona Park in Bronx, New York, with performances from Wiyaala, Edem, Big Twins and others.
The President of NGPC, Catherine Cudjoe, stated that the festival was to engage the citizenry and to collaborate with private individuals and government agencies such as the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, among others, to hold trustworthy the foreign investors that the festival brings to Ghana.
He appealed to the government to pay particular attention to the needs of Ghanaians living abroad as they contributed immensely to the development of the country.
Ms Cudjoe, popularly known as Key Mama, called on parents, especially those living abroad, to speak their native language with their children.
That, she said, aside from enabling them to learn faster would also help the children to trace their roots to preserve the culture and history of their lineage.
“Our tradition and culture are the glues holding us together warmly as a nation so I encourage parents to speak your native language with your children otherwise you will have no history or background,” she added.
The Akwamuhene of Dormaa, Berima Oppong Sika, who launched the festival, commended the initiative of the council to promote and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the country.
He encouraged the use of practical solutions in educating the youth on their culture so they did not lose their African identity.
“It is up to you and me to re-inculcate into our youth and bring them to understand the principle that what we are doing in Africa is not different from what is being done in the advanced world, after all civilisation started from Africa,” he emphasised.
Berima Sika, however, called on individuals, private and government organisations to partner and support the festival to make it the best in Africa and the world at large.