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 Parliament, Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin has said.
He said countries on the continent, including Ghana must chart a new path to growth centred around its cultural identity because none of the developed countries relied on another's cultural identity to attain that status.
Mr Bagbin noted that 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 its way of life.
The Speaker made 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.
Tijaniya is one of the contemporary forms of the Sufi movement which came from the teachings of Sidi Ahmad al Tijani in North Africa but now increasingly prevalent in West Africa, predominantly in Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Niger, Chad, Sudan and Northern Nigeria. Its devotees are called Tijānī.
The delegation was in Parliament to among other things discuss issues of mutual cooperation and also congratulate Mr Bagbin on his elevation to the high office of the Speaker of Parliament.
The Speaker said Africa to avoid the tendency of using the benchmark of the western world to measures its development.
That, he said was not realistic or progressive and 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 said must be blamed on the kind of systems they had been pushed.
" 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 over the years given to the Tijaniya Muslim Council.
He appealed to the Speaker to continue to support the many initiatives and programmes of the council including thoes in the areas of agriculture, education and youth empowerment.