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Improved Creative Industries Soon

impTHE MINISTRY of Culture and Chieftaincy Affairs, the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industries (GAPI) and the Business Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund have taken concrete initiatives that promise better conditions for players in the creative industries soon.

This is contained in a document titled “A Brief Overview of The Medium-Term Development Agenda and The Role of GAPI”, made available to the GNA.

It indicated that globally the creative industries generated over US$2.2 trillion. In Ghana it generated some US$200 million every year, but very few of the core industry players benefitted from the financial benefits.

“The Ministry and GAPI had initiated moves to review the National Cultural Policy, with funds from BUSAC, to institute firm policy measures that would ultimately create wealth via creative works across the country and to give musicians, producers and other players in the creative industries value for money”, the document said.

GAPI is an association of music producers and BUSAC is a fund set up by DFID, USAID and DANIDA for business advocacy in Ghana.

The second edition of the country’s Growth Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II), and government Medium Term Development Agenda 2010 – 2013, promises to give creative industries the centre stage in the country’s development.

According to Mr. Francis Twum, General Secretary of GAPI, the production and distribution of creative works had assumed new dimensions with the advent of modern technology.

He said that GAPI was spearheading the review of the policy to bring it in tune with modern development and engender international investor confidence in the creative arts sector.

Mr. Twum noted that as part of the initiative, GAPI, through the help of BUSAC, was working with some partners in the Norway and Bach Technology and Artpages had commenced the digitization of music to be monitored online as well as the sale of Ghanaian music on major online music stores like iTunes.

“GAPI and its Norwegian development partners have also initiated the establishment of a Copyright Investments Bank (CIB) where creative artistes can secure finance by using their International Property Rights (IPR) as collateral over a period of time”, he said.

He noted that the establishment of the bank would ensure long-term financing for creative industries, something that had been lacking due to lack of proper policy that secures the potential investors.

Mr. Twum said the positive development towards better conditions for creative industries had allowed GAPI to be appointed as a strategic partner with the Ministry for the development of a 5-year strategic plan to holistically overhaul the cultural policy to ensure effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities in the industry.

He said GAPI and the Ministry were also considering a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to help use creative arts as a tool to create jobs and wealth to alleviate poverty.

A forum has been earmarked for the second week of November to give stakeholders such as musicians, producers, government, investors, regulators, and promoters, the opportunity to contribute ideas on how the cultural policy should be reviewed to benefit the entire country.

Mr. Twum said through the help of the World Bank, a Creative Industries Council had also been established with membership from the music, fashion, film, jewellery, acting and book writing industries.


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