A delegation from the Endeavour Group Holdings from the United States of America has called on the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to deliberate on how best to promote African stories and artists to the world.
The Group is a private American holiday company responsible for talent representation, marketing and sponsorship, inspiring industry change in events and licensing and helping reshape the digital landscape.
Mr Akwesi Agyemang, GTA Chief Executive Officer, told the delegation that the authority started investment drives towards the creative arts industry.
He said the arts space, had received little attention in the past, but “we are working around the clock to change that phenomena and ensure that the art space is given the needed impetus to project the country”.
Mr Agyemang noted that the Endeavour Group’s visit to Ghana was a perfect opportunity to start the conversation around building some collaboration, whether on music events, content and productions, merchandising, and the literary side of everything related to art space.
“We feel it is a perfect opportunity for GTA and the Endeavour Group to initiate a platform for dialogue. We need to understand the global business trends in the art industry, and how we can jointly push out quite strongly Ghanaian content to the international space. This is what today’s conversation is about,” the GTA CEO stated.
Mr Agyemang said Ghana was going to see a lot of global stakeholders in the art, creative culture and entertainment space over time as a result of the; “Beyond the Return,” project which was not meant only for people coming and going.
“We are creating opportunities to project the country and have direct discussion with the business community to understand the business opportunities within the culture, tourism, entertainment, arts, production, or agriculture sector.
“Whatever sector it is, we want the “Beyond the Return” to have that kind of impact because the kind of feedback that we had from the “Year of Return” where people came in and felt that this was the right place to be and asked how they could get involved,” he said.
He said, this is also about consolidating the gains that were chalked during the “Year of Return” and making sure that when people come here, they were engaged and get the right people to talk to and the right answers are given.
The Group which is the largest media and entertainment company in the world, and have decided to bring their expertise to Ghana and to understand the business opportunities available here especially within the media and entertainment space, Bozoma A. Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer stated.
She said clearly, there were so many stories and artists in the Ghana that could be broadcasted to the world, but must be done in such a way that would provide great opportunities to Ghanaians.
She said; “for me this is a personal pursuit given the work that I have done in the “Year of Return” and now “Beyond the Return”, but how do I turn this into more of a business opportunities for the artist community in Ghana”.
She stated that in the USA and the UK, most of the entertainment content were distributed through traditional and old models, but everyone was jumping to digital.
She said since Africa had the youngest demographics anywhere in the world, and “we are a digital and mobile first community and society, literally it is an opportunity for us in the entertainment industry to figure out how to monetize that.
“How do you take the content and make sure that it is distributed in the digital space as broadly as it can be. This is a real opportunity for us to tell our own stories not just from an European or American point of view, but how do we create our own stories using our own creators and businesses to do that”.
Commenting on the “Year of Return”, she noted that it was quite difficult to put into words and to articulate how successful it was and to talk of creating a formula for that to be replicated in other countries.
She said from a Pan-African stand point, the narrative of Africa as a total community needed to evolve and that could start with Ghana in this magical moment with the right amount of popular platforms and people, the right leadership who believe and invest in it, the right media to promote the content.
“Beyond the Return is within our control to make sure that we are not just doing this for this moment and time but we are seeding plans for the future,” she said.
Ms Saint John said the “Beyond the Return” was not a year-long programme but a next generation programme and so we have to think of how to build for the next generation to evolve Africa’s generation