Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture has said it was urgent to develop youth creativity as a crucial source of national competitiveness in the fastest-growing, innovative sector of the global economy.
She said the Tourism, Arts, and Cultural sector-based entrepreneurship development programmes should not be seen as another programme designed to tackle mass unemployment.
She said the sector served as a central part of a mainstream economic development strategy that could transform creativity and human capital into early growth and sustainable.
The Minister made this observation at the opening of the Community Youth Cultural Centre (CYCC), and observation of the 30 anniversary on the theme “CYCC at 30: Towards a sustainable creative arts economy and youth empowerment” in Accra.
She said in 1989, the National Commission on Culture and the Ministry of Youth and Sports embarked on a Community Youth Cultural Programme to develop the creative abilities of the youthful population to contribute to national development.
She said the programme was motivated by the need to create conditions that would enable the youth to develop their creative abilities through mentorship and training for the creative industry in Ghana.
Mrs Oteng Gyasi said the CYCC’s annual flagship programme which was the-summer vacation camp provided free training and vocational skills development for the youth within the catchment area of Maamobi, Nima, Ruga, and 37 Military area, among others.
The training is in Fashion Designing, Catering, Basketry and Beadwork. The Performing arts – music, dance, drama, puppetry, and Sports facilities such as; football, basketball, and volleyball and are provided at no cost to the participants.
She said creativity was the biggest asset for young people to take calculated risks in the early stage of their lives and careers when a whole range of possibilities existed.
She said the absence of opportunities for young people to experiment on new ideas and take on risk usually differentiated a creative, flexible, entrepreneurial society from another in which institutions were becoming rigid, hierarchical and risk-averse.
She called on corporate Ghana to partner government to support youth programmes to help in the development of the nation, saying an economy’s future structure is determined by today’s investment in human capital and new skills to galvanize society toward growth and prosperity.
She said even though CYCC, could not embark on this year’s creative arts and vocational skills training programme, due to COVID-19; it was the collective responsibility all stakeholders to protect themselves by observing the safety and preventive protocols which was the surest way to reduce the negative impact of the virus in their lives.
The sector Minister also called on benevolent societies and individuals both private and public to open their doors to the management of CYCC should they call them for support and to visits the centre at Kawukudi in Accra.
Madam Janet Edna Nyame, Executive Director, National Commission on Culture said the commission as part of its mandate, together with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 1989, embarked on a community youth cultural programme.
She said the programme was designed to address the socio-cultural needs and aspirations of the young people of Ghana, hence the creation of the CYCC.
She said the project, which started with five disciplines at the Mamobi-Nima catchment area, now had 10 disciplines: sewing, basketry, sculpture/ceramic, batik making, tie and dye, drama, traditional drumming and dancing, catering, graphic design, puppetry and also expanded to cover Tema and Kasoa.
Over the years, the Centre trained and mentored youngsters to take up responsibilities, but its operations had not been an easy journey.
“The Centre’s major challenges include; lack of funds, inadequate training materials and equipment, in inadequate staff and logistics, computers and accessories. The Centre needs renovation and expansion of its facility,” she said.