The Gambia’s minister of Tourism and Culture, Benjamin A. Roberts, has stated that the world needs African culture to wake it up. Describing it as a continent with well-nourished culture, he said Africa was challenged to rise up to expectations.
He made these remarks while delivering a keynote address at a sensitisation workshop on ‘mainstreaming culture and creative industries’ interests into the Trade Policy of The Gambia’. The event was organised by the National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and its partners.
Minister Roberts said African culture has more ethics and values with competitiveness, noting further that Africans have assets that they can sell to the world “because there are talents in Africa and we need to support them as everyone needs to be proactive.”
The minister expressed his satisfaction over the remarks made by other speakers and also saluted the collaborative spirits of the ECOWAS member countries involved, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, in the initiative.
He acknowledged the support of the European Union through the EU-ACP partnership and the EU-ECOWAS for the support they are rendering to these four countries on aspirations set down for themselves. By extension, he commended the Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in The Gambia for his effort and support to the country.
Furthermore, he stated that the proactive stance of these four countries to facilitate the development growth of culture and arts within the sub-region is a noble and worthy enterprise
“If you overlook your way of life you are bound to fail and doom with time. The challenges confronting the world today is the ignorance of one’s culture,” he affirmed.
“As it is time for action, everyone should be proactive and the private sector should also support the course because they are crucial and important as government cannot do it all alone.”
Baba Ceesay, the director general of NCAC; Babatunde Obalana, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Theater Arts Practitioners (NANTAP); Vesta Adu Gyamfi, director of the Center for Cultural and African Studies (CeCast); Gibriel Bah, services expert, and Binta Jammeh-Sidibeh the executive director of the Gambia’s Women’s Bureau among others all made presentations at the session.
by Yunus S. Saliu