Government To Establish A Council For The Creative Arts

The Government of the Republic of Ghana, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts wishes to inform the general public, especially players in the creative arts industry, that it will not renege on its pledge to establish a governing council for the industry.

In the year 2013, the then Ministry of Tourism was realigned by the Civil Service (Ministries) Instrument, 2013 (E. I. 1) to include culture and creative arts, in line with H.E. the President’s commitment to mainstream the subsector into the broad governance regime, and also recognise and salute the contribution of the sector to job creation, revenue generation, poverty alleviation, and as a vector of social change.

Endeavouring to learn from global best practices, the Ministry immediately recognised the need to put in place a committee to review the existing legal regime within the industry and with the view to coming up with a draft legal and regulatory framework for the sector. The committee has since submitted its report.

The report of the committee, if adopted, after stakeholder consultations and validation, will culminate in the laying in Parliament of a Creative Industry Act, which will consequently lead to the birth of the Creative Industry Scheme, and a Governing Council to administer the scheme.

The Scheme to be established will be akin to Arts Councils worldwide (or as they may be called in other countries), which are all established by enabling legislative instruments passed by their various Parliaments or Congresses. Examples include the Arts Councils of Singapore, South Africa (Act 56 of 1997), Canada (1957), Norway (1964), Zimbabwe, England, the National Endowment for the Arts of the USA (1965), among others.

It must be stated that the establishment of these councils did not and have not outlawed any individual, organisation, or advocacy group in any of the countries mentioned, and Ghana, as a shining example of African democracy, will not be the odd on out.

Emphasis must also be placed on the fact that the creative industry encompasses many subsectors such as cultural sites, visual arts, performing arts, indigenous knowledge institutions, literary arts, publishing, audio visual, design and creative services, collecting societies, among others. Music, though very important, is not a subsector on its own, but only one constituent part of the performing arts.

It will therefore be out of place for any music union to attempt to stampede and compel the Ministry, and for that matter, government, into accepting it as an oversight body, even when it does not even have the force of law. The coming into force of the council should not be a threat to any existing entity, as they can still continue with their advocacy and accountability and transparency campaign activities.

After all, the existence of the Medical and Dental Council, the Ghana Legal Council, the Ghana Tourism Authority, The Ghana Education Service, among others, have not led to the outlawing of the groups like the Ghana Medical Association, the Ghana Bar Association, and the Ghana Tourism Federation respectively.

The Ministry therefore wishes to assure all lovers of the creative arts industry that any steps it is taking in the direction of establishing the creative arts council is underpinned by globally acceptable best practices, and this move will not in any way undermine the existence of relevant, active, focused, results-driven and well meaning associations or councils already around.


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