Africa must immediately put in place the right mechanisms to promote its cultural identity, including indigenous languages, to help propel socio-economic development, the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin, has said.
He indicated that countries on the continent, including Ghana, must chart a new path to growth centred around their cultural identity because none of the developed countries relied on another’s cultural identity to attain their current status.
According to Mr Bagbin, Africa was behind in socio-economic development because its countries had, over the years, followed the ideas and value systems borrowed from other cultures that do not conform to her way of life.
“There’s no country that has developed following other peoples’ way of education and development”.
“There’s no country that has developed using somebody’s language,” he noted.
The Speaker made the call when a section of the leadership of the Tijaniya Muslim Council of Ghana, led by Sheik Muhammed Mutawakil Iddris, paid a courtesy call on him in Parliament.
The delegation was in Parliament to, among other things, discuss issues of mutual cooperation and also congratulate Mr Bagbin on his elevation.
The Speaker said Africa must avoid the tendency of using the benchmark of the western world to measure its development.
In his view, the status quo had contributed to the underdevelopment of the continent.
“The poverty in Africa is not the poverty of wealth or property but rather it is the poverty of the mind,” he said.
The Speaker called for a more radical approach to sway the minds of Africans, particularly the youth, into embracing and promoting their own culture as their contribution to the development of the continent.
The youth, according to Speaker Bagbin, were always tagged as being less patient, emotional and more prone to violence, but that, he noted, must be blamed on the kind of systems they had been pushed into.
“We must see a paradigm shift,” he said.
The leader of the delegation, Sheik Muhammed Mutawakil Iddris, expressed gratitude to the Speaker for the support he had given to the Tijaniya Muslim Council over the years.
He appealed to the Speaker to continue to support the many initiatives and programmes of the council, including those in the areas of agriculture, education and youth empowerment.