Until a couple of days ago it was difficult to tell whether we really appreciate the footprints in our local history. It did not look like we were interested in telling the story of yesterday to our children who would inherit the mantle of leadership when we are done with our contribution.
It was relieving, therefore, that the former Christianborg Castle – at a later time Government House but now Castle – has been designated a Presidential Museum.
The preservation of the relics of our past is something we have not been able to do well. Such relics have fallen into various stages of dereliction across the country, some of them almost buried under the surface of the earth waiting for archaeologists to bring them to the surface.
Countries which are not as endowed as ours make do with the little historical artifacts that they have in a manner we can learn from. It was good the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) stepped in with the designation of some of our many relics as world heritage sites.
This way we would accord such rare spots the deference and care they deserve.
The Museums and Monuments Board charged with managing such relics and sites is one agency hardly heard about, the reason being that Ghanaians are sadly not interested in local tourism.
Our historical spots are largely patronized by foreigners who spend their hard-earned cash just to come and set eyes on such important sites in our part of the world.
It is necessary to whip the interest of school children in local tourism so that with time the current negative trend would reverse. School authorities can organize such trips and make them compulsory so kids can travel outside their regions to other parts of the country on excursions.
We cannot continue on this tangent of ignorance about our country’s history: we must appreciate the contributions of our forebears to our current state of nationhood; and what better way to do this than raising the standards of our museums and even building new ones.
The addition to the limited number of museums in the country as represented by the Presidential Museum at the Castle, Osu, in Accra, is a fantastic development.
Those who thought the plan out must be congratulated on their vision.
The history represented by the structure itself is enough tourist attraction, let alone the stuff related to the past presidents which would be kept within it.
It is our wish that the necessary funds needed to keep the museum going would not be withheld by officialdom but rather released when needed so that the vision of creating the presidential museum would not be in vain.
The research facilities that would be provided in the Castle are worth the trouble. Many students doing research are handicapped in some instances by the want of relevant stuff. Scholars and writers are unable to trace important materials required in their various academic endeavours. This, the museum would address to a certain extent in as much as they relate to our past presidents.
It would be worthwhile to include our past colonial governors such as Gordon Guggisberg, Rowe, Rodgers and others.
The British Government would be kind enough to help us in this direction.
This important change in status of the Castle is the best that has ever happened to the former slave hold and later Government House.