Ghana’s peaceful environment, rich heritage and attractive tourist attraction sites give the country an advantage to develop the film industry to an appreciable standard, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
“Our country has an abundance of forts and castles, national parks, historic palaces, wildlife and festivals that could be used as backgrounds for films and marketed for tourist purposes,” he noted.
Addressing the opening session of the maiden Africa Cinema Summit, in Accra, the President elaborated the Government’s commitment to work with stakeholders in making the most of what the country had to utilise its potential.
In furtherance of this objective, a favourable fiscal and tax regime for cinema projects was in the process of being elaborated, which will be outdoored very soon, he disclosed.
This is intended to build good infrastructure – making the country the ideal place and location to shoot films and contents in Africa.
The three-day Summit is being hosted by Ghana under the auspices of the National Film Authority, FilmHouse Group and Silverbird Cinema.
Aligned with the broader vision of the Ghana Cinema Agenda, the Summit aims to address critical issues such as infrastructural gaps and the cultivation of a robust cinema-going culture.
The objective is to drive the transformation and revitalisation of the African film industry.
The Summit is also serving as a platform for film stakeholders from across Africa to engage in meaningful discussions about the challenges hindering the sector’s growth, with a steadfast focus on finding sustainable solutions.
In attendance are film authorities, filmmakers, cinema investors, architects and builders, heritage center authorities, distributors and exhibitors.
“Every aspect of African life tells an imaginative story.” President Nana Akufo-Addo stated.
He stressed that the distinctiveness of the arts, culture and heritage of the African people was important as it connected the people to their past, reinforcing awareness of the present while charting a path of evolution for the future.
“It is a compass from which we can trace and examine our history, which creates a critical role in our modern society, politics, businesses and our daily realities,” he noted.
The President said Africa’s film industry had the potential to employ some 20 million people and contribute about US$20 billion to the economy of the continent.
“Africa will have about 70 per cent of the global youth population by 2050, indicating that both the cinema world and the continent need each other,” he said.
He lauded organisers of the Summit for the initiative, hoping that the participants would do well to bring into focus the pertinent issues impeding the film industry for redress.
Ms. Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Film Authority and Convener of the Summit, quoting from the 2021 UNESCO Report, underscored the enormous potential of the film and creative industry.
She, however, was saddened by the inability of the continent to fully utilise those prospects, noting that fewer than 1,700 screens serve the entire continent – home to approximately 1.4 billion people.
“This means that more than 80 per cent of the population has never experienced a cinema outing,” she lamented.
A flourishing film market, she said, held the promise of numerous opportunities for the industry, including job creation, economic growth, community development, and the global dissemination of the rich Ghanaian and African narrative.