The Ministry of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, has begun discussions with industry players, including the Exim Bank, on the management of a GH¢10 million Creative Arts Fund.
To give legal backing to the fund, a draft bill, put together by the ministry with recommendations by the Attorney- General, had already been submitted to Cabinet for approval.
The sector minister, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said this at a Ghana Creative Arts Industry forum in Accra last Thursday, on the theme: “Reviving Ghana’s creative arts industry”.
The participants also discussed ways to chart a new path to make the sector more vibrant.
The minister expressed the hope that upon assessment by Cabinet, the bill would be forwarded to Parliament for approval within the first quarter of 2020.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said once the bill was passed, it would pave the way for a functioning body to manage the fund for the intended purpose of accelerating the growth of the industry in the country.
She explained that it was to prepare the grounds for a legal status for the fund that an Interim Creative Arts Council was set up to harmonise the various associations in the sector and also support in the preparation of the bill.
“After the passage of this bill, the council will have a full functioning body with management on board to commence comprehensive operations,” Mrs Oteng-Gyasi added.
According to the minister, funding remained a critical challenge in the industry and it was to address that difficulty that the government, with the support of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, established the fund to provide support for the development of the sector.
“Funding in the creative arts industry has been a critical challenge and due to that most creative ideas are not able to materialise.
We have created this fund to invest in the industry and support all creative ideas to ensure that they become a reality,” Mrs Oteng-Gyasi added.
The setting up of the fund was announced in the 2018 Budget presentation to Parliament on November 15, 2017, by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, as part of the government’s effort to make the industry more vibrant.
“The government will continue its initiatives to improve the creative arts sector with the establishment of a fully functional Creative Arts Secretariat and the commencement of feasibility studies to set up a Creative Arts Fund,” he said.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the ministry was also in consultation with other stakeholders such as the National Commission on Culture on the establishment of an insurance scheme for members of the creative arts industry, and that when they reached a concensus, a national data of members would be collected for the initiative to take off.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Kwasi Agyeman, said there was a 26 per cent increase in the number of visitors to the country this year, adding that “most of the visitors came because of our music shows and movie premiers”.
He said the tourism sector was key to the development of the country and, therefore, urged industry players to ensure quality output and also unite to promote their agenda.
“You need to organise yourselves to have one voice and fight for a common cause. When that happens, we the authorities will take you seriously. You also need to have a very good brand and get a good management team to ensure proper business deals for you,” Mr Agyeman added.
Source: Graphic online