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A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ROLE ON CULTURE IN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF GHANA (CASE OF BRONG AHAFO REGION)

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A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ROLE ON CULTURE IN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF GHANA (CASE OF BRONG AHAFO REGION)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

From a variety of views, development as a multidisciplinary idea has been championed. This is due to the fact that experts from many fields have expressed differing opinions on the subject based on their theoretical backgrounds. Indigenous knowledge has been recognized by modern social scientists and academics as important in accelerating the growth of developing countries, notably in the third world. Indigenous knowledge is the knowledge that enables a society to make decisions regarding activities that are acceptable to them, such as agriculture, education, and health. Indigenous knowledge, along with western-based knowledge, aids in the development of culturally acceptable development solutions for a certain society (Puffer, 1995).

Previously, such knowledge was ignored, and development solutions were devised that were neither economically possible nor culturally acceptable for the society receiving assistance (Puffer, 1995). Indigenous knowledge can thus be characterized as knowledge that provides the foundation for agriculture, environmental conservation, education, health, infrastructure, and social well-being, as well as a variety of other activities unique to a specific group of people. A nation state, a community, or an ethnic group are examples of these human groups. Indigenous knowledge is passed down through the centuries by oral tradition, and it is a part of every human group (Puffer, 1994: 20). As a result, culture is an important component of indigenous knowledge. Taylor (1959) defined culture as "the whole of conventions, traditions, values, and standards that are passed down from generation to generation." According to Bocock (1992), a "distinctive way of life, shared values and meanings common to different groups and historical periods" is best defined as a "distinctive way of life, shared values and meanings common to different groups and historical periods." This generally accepted concept implies that cultures differ from one society or social group to the next because they share common meanings that are distinct from those shared by members of other groups. It also implies that, in different historical circumstances, cultures and the meanings associated with their practices and ideals differ. What must be kept in mind is that, while cultural meanings may have changed over time, it would be incorrect to conclude that there is a complete break up in cultural meanings because there is also continuity. Given the diversity of cultures in the world, and particularly in Ghana, it is necessary to use all of these unique and diverse cultures as a national development tool.

Since Todaro and Smith (2009) defined development as a multi-dimensional process encompassing fundamental changes in social structures, public attitudes, and national institutions, as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the decrease in inequality, and the eradication of absolute poverty, A social structure is a regular social organization in society that emerges from and is shaped by individual actions. The main social institutions should change, according to the definition. In essence, development must encompass the entire range of change through which an entire social system, tuned to the diverse basic needs and desires of individuals and social groups within that system, moves away from a situation or a condition widely regarded as unsatisfactory and toward a situation or a condition widely regarded as materially and spiritually better.

According to Yogesh (1980), developing-world development strategists and social scientists have been criticizing the Western development paradigm and promoting the necessity of endogenous development. Endogenous development, according to Alechina and Loubser (1982), involves development goals based on the basic continuation of people's cultural traditions and the emergence of endogenous inventive groups or institutions. In many ways, Korea's socioeconomic development differed significantly from that of the West. Korea lacked what the West possessed, such as viable natural resources, capital accumulation, technological superiority, an industrial foundation, and the rationality of the West (Yogesh Atal, 1980).

However, Korea possessed characteristics that the West lacked, such as its own development principles, human resource management, government-business partnership, and a diverse cultural milieu. In order to achieve the goal of socioeconomic growth, certain specific Korean cultural values were used in the mobilization and organizing process (Yogesh Atal, 1980). As a result, the importance of culture in the socioeconomic growth of particular countries is highlighted. Thus, Korea's socioeconomic progress can be seen as the result of a combination of traditional cultural values, modern science, and technology, on the one hand, and a combination of non-rationality and rationality in terms of Western usage, on the other.

We know from experience that development attempts that overlook local technologies, local knowledge systems, the culture of the people engaged, and the local environment fail to achieve their goals. The utilization of indigenous knowledge as a way of achieving socioeconomic development is intertwined with the establishment of appropriate institutions that will promote the importance of such institutions in achieving the desired outcomes. As a result, indigenous development can only be realized if the appropriate institutions are in place to offer the framework and atmosphere for the development. Endogenous development, defined as development from a local perspective that considers the entirety of people's lives, can be realized provided suitable institutions are in place to support indigenous values in the development process. This emphasizes the importance of national institutions in Africa's socioeconomic progress, particularly in Ghana.

Institutional development is increasingly being acknowledged as a critical component of effective development initiatives. Institutions play a critical role in establishing the correct environment for integration, which has been widely recognised. While there is agreement on the importance of a clear vision and well-defined institutional building blocks for socioeconomic development, the reality is that certain institutions have not gotten the attention they deserve to help them accomplish that development (Chang, 2002).

Institutions are usually assumed to include both private and public sector entities, such as businesses, governments, and civil society organizations, by definition. Institutions, according to North (1990), are the rules of a society's game, or more formally, the restrictions set by humans to govern human relationships, whether political, social, or economic. As a result, the National Commission on Culture is the primary subject of this study. This is a government-run agency that was created to create an atmosphere conducive to the nation's indigenous development by promoting the country's unique traits and cultural diversity. However, the researcher is perplexed by the following questions: has the National Commission on Culture's role yielded the desired result; what challenges has the institution faced in achieving this development goal; and, finally, how can the institution be used to re-awaken the Ghanaian cultural spirit for national development?

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Our culture's strength and cohesiveness, which we derive from our different cultural backgrounds, is one of its most remarkable characteristics. The people of Ghana must recognize that their culture is the foundation of, and the most essential factor in, the nation's human and material growth in the age of globalisation and present technical difficulties. As a result, our history, cultural values, and institutions must continue to have a significant impact on the nation's destiny and play an important part in the country's socioeconomic development. As a result, in our attempts to develop a peaceful Ghana, our culture should reflect the needs of the period and the ambitions of the people.

The Provisional National Defense Council Law 238 established the National Commission on Culture in 1990 to oversee the country's cultural life from a holistic perspective. The National Commission on Culture is mandated to support the evolution of an integrated national culture and monitor the implementation of programs for the preservation, promotion, and representation of Ghana's culture and values, among other things. The Fourth Republican Constitution (1992), which recognizes culture as a necessary tool for national integration and development, declares in the Directive Principles of State Policy (Article 39): "(1) Subject to clause (2) of this article, the State shall take steps to encourage integration of appropriate customary values into the fabric of the nation." (2) The State shall ensure that suitable customary and cultural values are adapted and developed as an important element of society's evolving requirements, and that traditional practices that are harmful to a person's health and well-being are eliminated. (3) The government must encourage the growth of Ghanaian languages and pride in Ghanaian culture. (4) The state must make every effort to conserve and protect historical sites and artifacts. "

This revelation from the constitution empowers the National Commission on Culture to carry out its mandate in that manner, assisting the country in moving toward endogenous growth that incorporates Ghanaian indigenous knowledge through the nation's rich cultural environment. Ghanaian culture encompasses the entire way of life developed by Ghanaians through experience and reflection in their efforts to create a harmonious coexistence with the environment (Ghana Cultural Policy, 2004). This dynamic culture brings order and meaning to the Ghanaian people's social, political, economic, aesthetic, and religious traditions. Our culture also contributes to our sense of self-identity as a people. Our culture is expressed through principles, ideas, beliefs, and values, as well as through folklore, the environment, science, and technology, as well as the structures of our political, social, legal, and economic institutions. It can also be seen in the aesthetic value and humanistic component of our literature, music, drama, architecture, carvings, paintings, and other forms of art.

Given the constitution's elaborate role for the National Commission on Culture, there is a scarcity of information on the extent to which the National Commission has performed its duties, the challenges that are preventing the Commission from fulfilling its constitutional mandate, and public awareness of the commission's role in Ghana. The thrust of this study is dictated by the problems that are preventing the Commission from fulfilling its constitutional mandate.

1.3 OF THE STUDY OBJECTIVE

The overall goal of the research is to:

1.        Examine people's understanding of the National Commission on Culture's function in their community.

2.        Assess the public's understanding of the National Commission on Culture's performance.

3.        Examine the challenges that the National Commission on Culture faces in carrying out its responsibilities.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions guide the objective of the study:

1.      How well do people understand the National Commission on Culture's function in their community?

2.      What is the public's understanding of the National Commission on Culture's performance?

3.      What are the challenges that the National Commission on Culture faces in carrying out its responsibilities?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

A study of this sort is important because it will raise awareness of traditional values and foster pride and respect for the country's history. This study will also promote national unity among Ghana's numerous ethnic groups by encouraging cultural engagement and inter-ethnic understanding through programs that provide a conducive atmosphere for national development. Furthermore, the research would raise awareness of the modern relevance of Ghana's customs and cultural legacy, as well as aid local communities in mobilizing cultural resources for human and material development. Furthermore, the study will contribute to the current literature in this field and will also serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students who may want to do future research on this topic. Finally, the study will contribute to the current literature in this field and will also serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students who may want to do future research on this topic.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study focuses on examining people's understanding of the National Commission on Culture's function in their community, assessing the public's understanding of the National Commission on Culture's performance, and lastly, examining the challenges that the National Commission on Culture faces in carrying out its responsibilities. The Brong Ahafo region of Ghana was used as the case study for this research.

1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY

The study was limited due to the short time frame, budget and the inability to cover all regions of Ghana.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

National Commission: Set up by their respective governments in accordance with Article VII of the UNESCO Constitution, the National Commissions operate on a permanent basis for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental bodies in education, sciences, culture, and communication with the work of the Organization.

Socio-Economic Development: Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. Socio-economic development is measured by indicators such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy, and levels of employment.


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