President for Foundation of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP) and general manager of Accra based radio station Accra F.M has time consciously pen down an open letter to the vice president of the republic of Ghana his excellence Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia concerning matters arising in the creative arts industry and how best it can be resolved.
The eight paragraph letter touches some key elements which are missing in the creative arts industry and the promises made by the ruling government in their manifesto and during their campaign. Take your time to read and share till it reaches the Vice President.
Dear Dr Bawumia,
I first, extend my deepest condolences to you and the family on the passing away of your mother. May Allah protect and keep her safe for us all.
My purpose of writing to you is to thank you for the help given to a celebrated actor in our time popularly known as TT, the taxi driver.
You put a smile on his face and the entire family as well with this gesture and we thank you very much.
It is sad how from day one, Creative Arts has never been prioritized like other sectors in the country but has instead, been shoved aside despite the role it plays the integral part of our lives.
The value of the creative arts industry in any nation goes without argument and therefore it is my hope that priority will be given to Creative Arts Industry.
Your gesture towards our TT, brings to mind the many loopholes and challenges confronting the creative industry which for me need not exist in this era.
I recall during the election/campaign period, anytime you had the opportunity to talk on creative arts, you hammered on available funds in the Creative Arts industry Act , 2020 (Act 1048) and indeed that Bill has been passed and we thank you so much for helping us see through this law.
The sad news here however, Mr Vice President, is that, it has been over 8 – 9 months since this law was passed and we still do not have an Executive secretary appointed by the President to run the day to day affairs nor even talk of the formation of the board. Just like we have the Ghana Tourism Authority, this current Act (1048) becomes the lifeline for the creative art industry.
We plead with you to help expedite action on this for us sir; though we have a ministry where both Minster and Deputy are positioned.
Mr Vice President, in December last year, the then Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Madam Barbara Oteng Gyasi during one of the “meet the press” series, said government will before the close of year (2020) launch the Creative Arts industry insurance Scheme for players registered in the industry. If this had been instituted, I believe making public appeals for financial assistance and other resources in their old age would have been curtailed. Yet, that promise has never seen the light of day.
Your valuable financial expertise is needed in this industry here also to help us build sustainable structures to limit the frustration and hustling in the industry. The effort put in making other sectors work in this country is equally required in our Creative Arts economy.
Respectfully, l desire to see you one day assure Ghanaians how Creative Arts has also helped cut down unemployment confronting the country and how it is injecting into the economy massively.
Mr Vice President, Im sure you know that every nation’s image, perception and strength, stands on the shoulders of the Creative arts. Talk of football, music, sculpture, visual arts, movies, fashion etc, these are all selling points of a country and needs maximum attention. We bare witness to how America, China, Japan and counting, through movies , music and the many other Arts, have made their marks and added value to their nations.
This is proof of how the creative industry is moving at a fast pace and improving the exotics of those who indulge it yet sad to say that, here in our own country, we cannot appreciate this need.
1- National Film Authority – (Act 935) established and since 2009, we are still fixing an office for them with no board instituted as we speak but an Acting Executive Secretary in place
2- A music research was done with tax payers money to establish how music contributes to both employment and GDP. Nothing has been done about this document.
3- We still have acting copyright administrator and our copyright laws need some changes to suit our current dispensation.
4- while a country like Zimbabwe is using its council to push an agenda for “tax free” on importation of Creative arts equipment and other instruments required in building the arts, we are not seen to be in that position to help.
5- We now on the verge of taxing the little levy that comes to the collective management organization (CMOs) for which an advocate like myself cannot see as happening.
6- The review of our cultural policy lacks attention against a promise from the 2016 manifesto and the agency to champion it (NCC) is poorly attended to.
With the above, Mr Vice President, we seriously need your intervention to see us through. The youth in this country are very TALENTED but with no hope for a great Career FUTURE in the creative industry because, the environment and opportunities are not favorable and l must be candid to say we cannot continue to massage the issues and paint a good picture when it is not.
We respectfully remind you of the manifesto promise of the NPP on Creative Arts. We have a long way to go Mr Vice President and little help you can initiate, would pave way for greater changes.
It has been rumored that you wish to contest as Presidential Candidate for the NPP and lead this country of ours. I cannot throw my support because it’s still not clear if you will; but should you take a final decision, l will come back with yet another open letter.
Congratulations so far Mr. Vice President.
Kojo Preko Dankwa
Foundation of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP), Media Personality.