We’ll create enforcement unit to address piracy – Afeku

Catherine Afeku, the minister-nominee for tourism, culture and creative arts, says government will ensure the setting up of an enforcement unit to deal with persons who pirate the creative works of artistes in the country.

She said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government will in its first term get a division in the fast track high court to create the enforcement unit and also draft a new legislation to protect the intellectual property of persons in the creative arts industry.

Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee during her vetting on Monday [February 6, 2017], she called on parliament to support the development of the legislation to ensure that the works of creative artistes are protected.

“Piracy is a real threat to the creative arts industry. The 1995 copyrights act is there; but needs to be beefed up to support the people in the creative arts industry. These are some of the well-intended thoughts and visions that we can start in our first term,” she said.

“Getting a division in the fast track court to create an enforcement unit for those who break the law by pirating the works and arts of our people are punished,” she added.

The former President of the Musicians Union of Ghana, Alhaji Sidiku Buari (MUSIGA) in an address in 2005 said the Union lost about GH¢2million the previous year through music piracy.

“If piracy is not checked, we would lose further billions of cedis to it because they do not pay taxes or royalties to the MUSIGA,” he said.

But Catherine Afeku said the ministry under her leadership will address the challenge.

She described as disappointing the phenomenon of foreigners illegally selling reproduced local programs and contents on CDs, pledging that the ministry will consider as urgent the development of the legislation for parliamentary approval to help punish the culprits.

‘We’ll create a fund for creative arts’

Catherine Afeku said she was ready to implement the NPP’s manifesto promise to create a fund to support actors in the industry to serve as a support mechanism for them.

‘Marketing Ghana’

She noted that, they will seriously consider the creation of a tourism bureau at the country’s  airport, to serve as the first port of call to foreigners visiting Ghana to get data and information about Ghana and the opportunities available in the country.

According to her, the ministry will tap into the opportunity of using Social media and foreign missions to also brand the country in a positive light.

She added that, Ghana had secured a slot with the American satellite television channel, CNN to be hosted for an interview as a way of promoting the country to gain worldwide attention.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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