Professor Rosemond Boohene, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), says achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) hinges on global tolerance to cultural diversity. Addressing the opening session of the 12th biannual workshop on ‘Performing Cultural Sustainability’, Prof. Boohene, in a speech read on her behalf, said cultural diversity manifested through diverse modes of artistic creation, production, dissemination, distribution, and enjoyment of cultural expressions regardless of the means and technologies used. To her, cultural diversity was a valuable resource towards promoting various policies, particularly gender equality, education, and poverty eradication to improve the overall well-being of individuals and communities. The UCC is hosting the two-week programme on the theme: ‘Performing Cultural Sustainability in West Africa.’ Supported by the German government through the Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the arrangement seeks to explore cultural diversity to achieving the SDGs by an array of multidisciplinary postgraduate students. Among others, the forum will deliberate on pertinent issues such as peace and conflict resolution, gender sensitivity, managing literature, academic presentations and sustainable development that promotes inclusive and equitable societies. It is a collaborative training by the University of Hildesheim in Germany, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and University of Maiduguri in Nigeria. Both in education and professional environments, Prof. Boohene said cultural diversity benefited everyone and ‘paves the way for problem-solving, foster more empathy and compassion, deepen learning, and approaches the world from various perspectives.’ For that matter, she said, the SGDs remained a global call to transform the world by ending poverty and inequality, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoyed health, justice, and prosperity. She challenged the stakeholders to, particularly work diligently towards ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. ‘It is critical that no one is left behind,’ she stated. Prof. Boohene said the meeting was in line with the university’s internationalization agenda and a platform for cultural integration, learning, and adaptation. Pof Boohene said UCC was well positioned to uniquely provide quality education through the provision of comprehensive, liberal and professional programmes that challenged learners to be creative, innovative and morally responsible citizens. Explaining the rationale behind the engagement, Dr. Eric Debrah Octhere, Head of the Department of Music and Dance, said UCC had set the objective of formulating international research approaches in the field of cultural studies to achieve the SDGs. Since the commencement of the programme in 2016, he said, many postgraduate students from the participating countries had benefited from the initiative and UCC was no exception. During this year’s congregation, 12 of the products of the graduate school, who received support to complete their doctoral dissertations graduated, even though the graduate school did not offer full scholarship for its students. ‘So far, a total of 18 students with the UCC have received funding to complete their postgraduate studies from its three cohorts,’ he said. At the end of the programme, the participants would be taken to the Kakum National Park and Cape Coast Castle to better acquaint themselves with Ghana’s ecotourism and conservation strides and the cultural dynamics of the transatlantic chattel trade and its ramifications.
Source: Ghana News Agency