The Kumasi Centre for National Culture (CNC) has launched a programme to train all cultural officers and directorate staff from the metropolitan, municipal and districts assemblies in the Ashanti Region to bring them up to speed with the history and “cultural effectiveness” of the organisation.
It is aimed at “polishing up cultural officers to let them know their duties as well as their subject matter in the changing world”.
The officers were taken through the importance of culture, proposal writing, customer care within the cultural business and working effectively with Nananom to help equip them with the requisite skills and knowledge.
The Kumasi Cultural Centre, now rechristened the Centre for National Culture, was established in 1951 through the instrumentality of Dr Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen, father of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Allan Kyerematen, to project and promote the Asante culture ahead of the Europeans.
As a beneficiary of an Asanteman Council scholarship to obtain a PhD in Anthropology at the prestigious Cambridge University, Dr Kyerematen returned to Ghana with the desire to have Asante’s history and culture told and taught by Ashantis and not Europeans.
To maintain and guard the original intent for establishing the centre, the Director of the CNC, Barima Kwesi Asumadu-Sakyi, said there should be regular refresher programmes and the production of more literature for its importance not to be lost on the people.
As the first to be established in the country before Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, ordered for it to be replicated throughout the country from 1963 during a visit in Kumasi on his way to the North, the director said it was important that Kumasi maintained its leadership role through the provision of essential and relevant services to the ordinary people.
Barima Asumadu-Sakyi said while it was important to embrace modernity, the pressure to remain relevant must not push the organisation to throw away its cultural identity and uniqueness. “This place must still be the referral point for all cultural knowledge and training. Our identity must not be diluted. We must remain original yet relevant and modern,” he said.
Barima Asumadu-Sakyi encouraged participants to take such periodic training seriously “because if we don’t build our capacities, the structure will be here but there will be no body with the requisite knowledge to impact society.”
He urged officers and directorate staff to take advantage of the programme to build themselves well.