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Ghana News

Conserving Ghana’s Heritage: Our Responsibility for Sustainable Development

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Ghana Heritage and Conservation Trust (GHCT) urges Ghanaians to preserve the country’s cultural, natural, and historic heritage to maintain its identity and promote sustainable development. The historic monuments and natural sites not only hold economic value but also signify the resilience of Ghanaians through the struggles of their ancestors and inspire optimism for the future. Sadly, some heritage sites have gone extinct, while some existing ones are diminishing in value due to threats such as climate change and uncontrolled development. Hence, there is a need for urgent action to protect these treasures.

The African heritage is a treasure that must be passed down to future generations. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our heritage sites and cultural traditions are protected and preserved for the benefit of all. Mr Isadore Armah, the Executive Director of GHCT, highlights that while Africa is underrepresented on the World Heritage list, about 39 percent of the listed facilities are endangered. Many of Africa’s world wonders risk losing their universal value due to contemporary threats such as climate change, uncontrolled development, poaching, civil unrest, and instability.

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Despite efforts by the Trust and its allied agencies to save the country’s legacy, they are hindered by numerous obstacles such as inadequate funding and resources, insufficient governance systems, and a lack of political will. It is crucial to raise awareness among citizens about the significance of the country’s heritage. Educational activities, cultural events, and heritage tourism can help achieve this objective.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on heritage sites, and many have suffered significant damage and deterioration due to decreased tourism and the closure of cultural institutions. Mr Armah suggests establishing international corporations and partnerships with other African countries to safeguard one another’s cultural heritage. Heritage site management conservation should include creating and implementing effective conservation programs and monitoring and evaluating the state of our sites to ensure they are adequately maintained.

For the most part, there is a need for more funding to keep the castles and forts in their acceptable state. It is expensive and difficult to get original materials to replace damaged parts of the facilities, requiring a lot of money and research. Nevertheless, the Board is committed to managing and maintaining the facilities under their care in the best possible way to engender the maximum benefit. Ghana’s heritage sites are essential to the country’s identity and should be preserved for the benefit of future generations.

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