The Creative Arts Ministry was established in 2013 and a 33 member interim Creative Council Board consisting of representatives from all the domains under the Creative Arts Industry was inaugurated in September 2016 at Coconut Groove Hotel by the then Minister, Hon Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare.
Their mandate was to see to the passage of the Creative Arts Bill which will then legalise the Council and proceed to establish a legal secretariat.
Fortunately or Unfortunately after the 2016 presidential elections the party in power lost to the opposition party and unfortunately the new government infested our Arts with their politics.
Arts Unites and Politics Divides so the last thing we were expecting from them is exactly what they did.
The 33 member board which had travelled the length and breath of the entire country with the Creative Arts Bill and was almost done with the passage of the Bill in parliament was DISSOLVED and replaced with just a 3 member Council/Secretariat/Committee comprising of the Presidents Daughter and 2 party foot soldiers in March 2017.
The new committee’s mandate was to constitute new members for the board within 3months so they can see to the passage of the law and this to many of us did not make sense since that was already being done and therefore politicising it was just senseless especially when most of the old members were the heads of the various domains under the Creative Arts.
Doctors do not go for carpenters to come and run their associations for them so we have always advocated for our own people to manage our own affairs legally.
Unlike Ghamro that deals with individual Rights the Creative Arts Council is completely different and the only way it can be established is by bringing the heads of the various recognized associations together. You can’t re-invent the wheel.
It’s been almost a year since the 3 Party members were put into office and not a single Job has been done. Surprisingly the primary focus for establishing that committee is gradually shifting and a typical example is the Minister Hon Catherine Afeku telling us that the Presidents daughter is now overseas engaging in Arts exhibitions after there were rumours that Madam Gyakumah had vacated her Post. Madam Minister for Christ sake that is NOT the reason why you appointed her.
The Secretary to the the 3 member committee Madam BB Bright is also at home now nursing her new baby.
Now the only one left is the Ministers appointed President Mr Okraku Mantey and gradually all hope is being lost since he alone cannot do the Job.
It’s been a wasteful 1 year and there seems to be no hope in sight since the President of the committee put in place has no clue where to start from.
The shocking part was when Mr Okraku said on Akwesi Aboagye’s Entertainment Review show on Peace 104.3fm on the 27th of Jan 2018 that he did not know Akunu Dake and has never met him before even though Akunu Dake claimed on the same program that someone from Mr Okraku’s office called him.
You see Mr Akunu Dake a convener of the Culture Forum and former Chairman of GTA is one of the Key persons who worked hard to put together the Creative Arts Bill Draft that he Mr Okraku is suppose to be working on so if Mr Okraku who is suppose to constitute a board comprising of the key stakeholders does not even know those who Drafted the Bill then I can confidently say that he has thrown away the bill and we are in deep annals.
I believe the Arts Sector have been taken for granted for far too long and it’s time we get serious with it.
How can the current appointed President of the board be fully employed at a private media house and yet nobody is complaining of conflict of interest. Fact is the Creative Arts Sector has a lot of domains under it and therefore anyone put in charge should really be in charge to be able to get effective results and not someone who will be flirting with the position.
The Minister is also worsening our plight by putting her hopes in Mr Okraku who is like I said just flirting with the position.
All the Minister knows is about tourism and nothing about Creative Arts so she needs to make the right decisions after all there was a system in place so what was the need to Dissolve it and replace it with the mess we are witnessing currently.
The budget was read and all that was mentioned on Creative Arts was Feasibility studies.
Just a couple of days ago the Minster met the press and all she could say on Creative Arts was Agya Koo and Daddy Lumba TV as if that’s what we need.
Instead of going back to the drawing board and making the right decisions the Minister is rather complicating the issues with new born bad decisions like appointing an individual recommended by the President of the Nation to collect data for the whole film industry.
My harmless question to her is that was the contract sole sourcing or open to others for biding?
It’s sad to Note that a smaller organisation like Musiga was able to open up for various organisations to bid for the contract to research into the Music industry which eventually was won by a world recognised institution like KPMG yet a whole Government and its Minister decided to sole source an individual who has NO track record in Data collection and Research and then go ahead to endorse this confusion at the meet the press.
According to the Minister their Data collection man has finished with one region ie HO and he is suppose to go to all the 10 regions so you can imagine that by the time Mr India is done with all the regions it will be time for elections and the Minister would have deliberately wasted our time with these bad decision which will eventually yield No results.
The shocking part is that we have institutions like the National Commission on Culture and the Statistical Services whose responsibilities and mandate is to undertake such research and collect Data.
Fact is the Minster at the recent meet the press did not give us any timelines for her Creative Arts Committee she set up and we can’t also afford the luxury of having a temporal committee as permanent.
I strongly believe that the Ministry is too huge for the Minister to handle effectively or she must sit up but moving forward it will be prudent to seperate the Arts from the Tourism so that we can have a Minister solely for the Arts and Culture who can then concentrate and deal with our issues effectively.
Until that is done we will continue to move in circles with these comedy of errors.
I have deliberately left out the Deputy Minister Mr Ziblim since the little said about his role the better.
Let’s take the politics out and seperate the Arts from Tourism so that we can speed up with the Laws and policies to Grow our beloved Creative Art & Culture.
Long Live the President of Ghana
Long Live the Minister for Tourism
Long Live the Creative Arts & Culture
Long Live Ghana.