Accra, June 29, GNA – The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Dr Ziblim Bari Iddi, on Friday paid a courtesy call on executive council of Ayawaso council of Zongo chiefs in respect of this year’s celebration of ZONGOFEST, in Accra.
The call was to show the Ministry’s full commitment and support for the event which is scheduled to take place on July 1, at the Kawokudi Central Mosque at Nima.
The event would be on the theme, “Cultural Diversity, a key factor for promoting peace, unity and development.”
He said the Ministry was leading the organisation in the celebration of this year’s ZONGOFEST, in partnership with the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, in conjunction with the Executives of the Ayawaso Council of Zongo Chiefs.
He said the event was aimed at promoting peace and unity of common purpose and continuous co-existing amongst various northern extractions and other Muslims nationals from the neighbouring African countries within the Greater Accra Region.
Dr Iddi said it was also to sensitise the Muslim population to appreciate the diversity of each other’s cultures and to also help inculcate in the good moral values to the Muslim youth, by promoting better understanding, inclusiveness and social cohesion.
“It is also to promote and market ZONGOFEST to attract both domestic and international tourists and help initiate development projects as well as help create employment opportunities for the Muslim communities in the Greater Accra Region, thereby helping to reduce unemployment, and poverty amongst Muslims in the region.”
He said the idea of the celebration was mooted two years ago by the Ministry to take advantage of the already organised annual event after every observance of the Eid-ul- Fitr celebration, by the various ethnic groupings from the northern extractions and other Muslim Nationals from the neighbouring African countries, who were currently residing within the Greater Accra Region.
“After carefully following the celebration over the years, the Ministry came into a firm conclusion that if properly packaged and well organised, the observance of the celebration can further help to promote and consolidate the harmonious co-existence by the various Muslim ethnic groupings in the Greater Accra Region and also help reduce some of the excesses that characterised what was supposed to be a colourful and peaceful event.”
Dr Iddi noted that some activities for the day’s celebration included; horse riding, display of horsemanship, showcasing of various cultural diversity amongst various Muslims ethnic groupings, drumming and dancing, amongst others.
He said as part of this year’s celebration, some distinguished personalities in the country would be honoured by the Ayawaso Council of Zongo Chiefs, for their relentless contribution to the socio- cultural and economic development of the Muslim communities in Ghana.
“The respective personalities include, President, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, Mr Boniface Sadique Abubakar and, Hajia Alima Mahama.
He entreated all and sundry, particularly the Muslims communities in the Greater Accra Region, to ensure a greater circumspection in the celebration of this year’s ZONGOFEST event, and wished them a happy celebration.
Chief Baba Issah, Chairman of Ayawaso Council of Zongo Chiefs, expressed appreciation to the ministry for their support and contribution towards the success of this year’s event, saying come Sunday all the chiefs would be fully ready to partake in the event.
He said all the chiefs representing the various ethnic groups had confirmed their participation and were taking steps to ensure a successful cultural out-dooring brought initiated by their forefathers.
“It is our responsibility to protect and preserve and pass on a strong culture to the future generation and we are grateful that the ministry has taken it upon itself to fully support it.”
Chief Issah thanked the Deputy Minister and expressed the hope that the collaboration would continue and benefit especially the youth by exposing them to the various cultural diversities as well as for other nationals to appreciate.