A Development Archaeologist and Heritage Expert at the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Wazi Apoh has expressed the need for the country’s museums and monuments to be given greater development attention.
He said these facilities played vital role in reviving and accelerating the development of the economy, therefore, conscious effort must be made to ensure that they were well developed.
Professor Apoh, said this during the re-opening of the refurbished Volta Regional Museum and said the indigenous economy would flourish if these facilities were properly maintained.
He said the fact that most of our museums were dead or not functioning well, meant that the local economy was suffering, and that the country stood the chance to gain a lot of foreign exchange, if these facilities were beautifully kept as places of attraction.
The Archaeologist said the Ministry of Tourism during the Year of Return gained millions of dollars and that was good in enhancing the growth of the economy, thus the need to develop the country’s heritage sites.
Professor Apoh said the less attention given to the museum industry was not helpful in the “socio-economic development of the grass roots and it is about time we change that dynamics.”
He said a lot of work had to be done in the industry to position it well, as most regional museums do not have the necessary artifacts.
“We should not just focus on big time tourist sites and hotels. We should look at how to develop the heritage and archaeological sites, that is what we should do, so that we give meaning to the subject of archaeology,” he said.
He described the re-opening of the Volta Museum as good news, saying, it would open up the region to tourism, create jobs for the people and expressed hope that the re-opening would spark a revolution in the museum industry in the country.
Professor Apoh said the facility provided great opportunity to the chiefs and leaders of the region to submit important artifacts or photos of them in their communities to be showcase in the museum.
He said there was the need for palace and communities museum in boosting the indigenous economy and called on traditional authorities to develop measures to establish such facilities in their areas to showcase their heritage.
Professor Apoh disclosed that his outfit was currently partnering with traditional authorities in Ketu South Municipality to open museums in three towns based on the history of slavery activities that took place in those areas.