Mrs Barbara Oteng–Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, has underscored the need for a new course that would make the Creative arts industry vibrant.
This, she said, would support the tourism industry and ultimately contribute to the economic growth of the through job creation and revenue generation.
Mrs Oteng – Gyasi made this observation at the creative industry stakeholders’ forum, held in Accra, which examined the current status of the creative arts industry and discussed the way forward.
The forum also served as a platform to enable stakeholders share ideas on the way forward regarding the creative industry and how they could help revive it fully and make it competitive.
She said a draft Creative Arts bill to be presented to Parliament was being finalized by the Attorney General’s Department pursuant to recommendations for amendment by Cabinet for submission to Parliament within the first quarter of 2020 to be passed into law to make the sector vibrant.
Mrs Oteng – Gyasi said after the passage of the law, the Council would then have a fully-fledged functioning body with Management and a Board to commence comprehensive operation in creating its legal mandate.
The Creative Arts Fund that derives its legal basis from the law would also be established to support various domains in the Creative Industry subsequently.
On funding of activities, she said the President, pending the establishment of the Creative Arts Fund,directed, Exim Guaranty Bank to make a GHC 10million facility available for members in the Creative Industry to finance their projects.
Preparatory work was done and a consultant will be engaged to take over as per the requirements of the bank to facilitate disbursement.
She noted that currently, there were about 35 associations identified under the Creative Arts Council, but this was envisaged to rise taking cognizance of other areas that have recently emerged within the industry.
It is for this reason that the Council was embarking on a national data collection exercise in consultation with the National Commission on Culture (NCC) and other stakeholders to collate all members within the association.
“A Road Map was developed to help guide the team responsible for the activity. The exercise is expected to last for a period of six months.
I therefore crave the indulgence of all gathered here, to make it a point to be part of this exercise and also send word round the various associations in order to get their various associations and individuals within the industry to get registered.”
She said the registration of members would enable government plan its support in terms of the allocation of resources and rolling out an insurance scheme to take care of members when in need, and especially during their old age, saying that discussions on the insurance scheme had been initiated with GLICO.
The sector Minister noted that plans were also underway to select a company that would help set up the technology for royalty’s collection, and digital platforms that would sell creative contents and resolve a lot of bottlenecks associated with the collection of royalties and ensure systematic flow of income.
“This also means that, there would be the need to deal with the copyright issues or the intellectual property violation within the creative art sector expeditiously.”
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said to promote culture in the form of music, drama and dance, the Ministry put up an ultra-modern large seating theatre in Koforidua and would replicate same in Kumasi and Takoradi.
“Efforts are also being made to acquire land for the establishment of a Film Village in Kumasi. The Ministry is making effort to form the Governing Board of the Ghana Film Authority, and engaging National Communication Authority regarding a local content policy within the licensing regime for the media to ensure that certain prime hours are reserved for local productions to boost demand and provide market access.”
She assured that the doors of the Ministry was opened to all industry players to come for discussions related to the industry, saying it was through dialogues that progress would be made and the benefits of the industry would be for their mutual benefit.
The Minister later named rapper, Sarkodie, known in private live as Michael Owusu-Addo, as the ‘Year of Return’ ambassador.