Posted: Tuesday 25th March 2014 at 9:30 am

Minister Calls On MUSIGA To Account For GH¢2M

The Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Madam Dzifa Gomashie, revealed on Radio XYZ’s entertainment programme that government has not released its budgeted allocation to the creative art sector or industry.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, according to what the media learnt from its PRO, Mr. Prince Boakye Boateng, last year, is that, any money for the creative art industry released from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, shall be released into the ministry’s account for disbursal.

On Saturday 22nd March, 2014 edition of Celebrity XYZ on Radio XYZ, Madam Dzifa Gomashie, the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, was asked if the government had released its budget allocation to the creative art industry.

“No, as we speak, government has not released the money to the ministry for the creative art sector” Madam Gomashie said. When asked how the GHC 2M the government budgeted for the creative art industry in its 2012 fiscal budget was used, she said “well, I can’t say much about that money, because I or my minister Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, were not in office. There’s not much I can say about that.

I recall it was MUSIGA that received it so if anything, MUSIGA, Obour and his team are the best people to answer this question. They should account for that money. So I suppose I’m not the one to say if I have anything concretely to share with you.”

For the first time in many uncountable years, the creative industry was duly recognized by the Government of Ghana with the budgetary allocation of GHC2million to the sector, but the anticipated merry-making, rather turned into bickering, finger-pointing, accusation and counter-accusation over which group has the right to lay claim to the money.

Below Are Evidence of The Confidential Proposal Letter MUSIGA Sent To The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning concerning the GHC 2million before its release.

Hon. Dr. Kwabena Duffour
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning
MoFEP
Accra

Hon. Dr. Duffour,

October 20, 2011

Budget 2012 – Proposal for Music Industry

As a follow up to our very encouraging meeting on Wednesday October 19, 2011, we wish to first and foremost express our profound appreciation for the attention you and your staff gave us. This gives us hope and the belief that we will not be left out in the pursuit of the Better Ghana agenda.

On your advice, we have managed to put together the attached proposal for your consideration. Given that this is our very first time of doing this, we shall be glad to make any amendments and corrections to ensure our proposal is in conformity with normal budgeting practice. Our total submission for the 2012 Budget Year is GHC5.5 million.

In order to be ready for implementation, we have put together a team of experts (including creative industries consultants and experts in finance, budgeting and auditing) to flesh out the details of the various items in this proposal, to be submitted against disbursement.

We shall also be glad to work with you to choose qualified professional auditors to ensure diligence, accountability and value for money.

While anticipating your most favorable response, please be rest assured that we the players in the music industry are ready and willing to contribute our quota toward all efforts of national development.

Yours sincerely,

Bice Obour Osei Kuffour
President, MUSIGA

BACKGROUND PAPER ON THE PROPOSALS FOR THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

SUBMITTED BY MUSICIANS UNION OF GHANA (MUSIGA) – OCTOBER , 2011

Creative Industries

Background

The creative industries are generally construed as a range of economic activities that deals with either the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information. It is defined by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the United Kingdom as “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.”(DCMS 2001, p. 04). Eleven creative sectors are recognized in this definition, namely:

Music
Film, video and photography
Visual and performing arts
Craft and antique markets
Design
Designer Fashion
Software, computer games and electronic publishing
Publishing
Advertising
Architecture
Television and Radio

The above list may further be reduced into two as follows: a) the core cultural industries and b) the text or cultural artifacts industries. The former encompass the advertising, marketing, broadcasting, film, internet, print and electronic publishing, video, computer and music industries.

The latter refers to those industries that create ‘texts’ or ‘cultural artifacts’ and which engage in some form of industrial reproduction. The Creative Industries may also be classified, at various stages, according to who owns what copyrights during the production and distribution of a creative content (WIPO). This is very true of complex creative properties (e.g., films), for which the production requires diversely skilled inputs that must be present and performed at some minimum level to produce a valuable outcome. It is also the case where the products are differentiated by quality and uniqueness (e.g., works of creative writing, whether poetry, novel, or screenplays). It is also true in products where skills are vertically differentiated. Artists, for instance, are ranked in accordance to their skills, originality, and proficiency in creative processes and/or products since small differences in skills and talent tend to yield huge differences in financial success.

Globally, trade in creative goods and services have remained largely robust despite the financial and economic meltdown following the world financial crisis. Global trade in services and products of creativity continues to register an impressive annual average growth of 14 per cent (Creative Economy Report 2010: A Feasible Development Option). Global exports of creative goods and services between 2002 and 2008 reached nearly US$600 billion with developing countries accounting for 43% (i.e., US$176 billion) with an annual rate of growth of 13.5%. Nigeria’s share of this market is sizeable where the country’s $2.75 billion film industry is the third largest in the world after the United States and India. That country’s creative industries produce more than 1,000 films and music products annually and create thousands of in-country jobs. The creative industries are now the second most important industry after oil. To reposition the industry, the Federal Government has recently invested in the film, music and artifacts industries, and reformed policies and provided critical training to actors and players in the industry.

There is no gainsaying that Ghana can also benefit immensely if it begins to tap her creative economy particularly those of the music and film industries. This is because if well-nurtured, along with the traditional and the oil & gas sectors, the creative economy can be a source of enormous growth, job creation, innovation and trade. Fortunately, Ghana has many styles of traditional and modern music, due to its multiplicity of ethnic groups and its cosmopolitan geographic position in West Africa. The best known modern genre that originated in Ghana is Highlife with its latest rendition being the Hiplife. Highlife incorporates elements of swing, jazz, rock, ska, samba and soukous.

Boosting the Music Industry

MUSIGA, which acts as the main umbrella trade union body of the country’s music industry, serves as the main work horse of the Ghanaian music industry. To reposition the music industry will require strengthening the institutional structures of MUSIGA. This will involve rebranding MUSIGA to render it more attractive and lucrative to songwriters, performers, composers and publishers, internal and external industry players like event organizers and the country’s policymakers in particular. It will also involve undertaking deliberate programmes with local and foreign partners and government across the country to create needed vertical and lateral jobs and wealth for industry players.

One important programme that will be pursued is the continuous development of all the professionals within the industry through seminars and workshops to acquire the needed skills. To this end, MUSIGA would set up world class Music Industry Development Centre to promote and market its creative products both locally and internationally. An annual Music Fair is also in the pipeline to serve as a platform for promoting music as a viable business endeavor. If this proves successful, in subsequent years, it will be organized internationally outside the borders of Ghana.

In conformity with current international practice, there is an urgent need to establish a national music council which will serve as an umbrella body for all players in the music industry. To this end, MUSIGA, working in collaboration with other industry players will purse ongoing efforts towards the establishment of the National Music Council by the end of 2012.

To implement all of the above for Ghana to reap the full benefits from the music industry requires ample investment. While MUSIGA is stepping up efforts to enhance its own income generation, like all other industries, it would need support from the Government, and it is the fervent hope of the entire musical fraternity that, as part of the Better Ghana agenda, and for the first time in the history of Ghana, the music industry would be given the full attention and support it deserve, by being catered for in the 2012 national budget.

Bice Obour Osei Kuffour

President, MUSIGA

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