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Mahama promises inclusion of creative arts industry in government budgets

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Source: Myjoyonline.com

 

The 2024 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama has pledged to make budget allocations for the creative arts industry if he wins power in the upcoming elections.

During interactions with sector stakeholders on Friday, June 6, the former president expressed concern about the impoverished conditions many creatives face, particularly in their later years.

Mr Mahama also vowed to enforce copyright laws to protect the intellectual property rights of entertainers, ensuring better support and security for the industry.

“I do not want us to lament because we would be finding the solutions together. So, what I would say here are a few of the things that we think if we do, would make life better for the creative industry because the creative industry is a very important industry and has the potential to create millions of jobs.”

All our young people who are sitting at home, many of them are talented, but there is no opportunity in the industry for them to show their talents. So, if we are able to put the creative industry on a sound footing, it would create opportunity for many of our young people to find opportunities for work.”

Mr Mahama acknowledged the passionate advocacy of representatives of the creative industry.

He noted that, outside Ghana, some of the most successful and wealthiest individuals come from the creative sector.

“When you go to Beverly Hills, which is the richest part of Los Angeles, the houses there are owned by creatives, participants in the creative space. Here, we like to watch your movies, and we like to listen to your music.

“And the thing about it is that when we are happy, we watch your movies and listen to your music. When we’re sad, we watch your movies. We listen to music. When we are not happy or sad, we watch your movie, we listen to your music, and yet, you walk the streets, everybody recognises you, and you get the fans.”

“But the fans do not take cognizance of the fact that you did not have breakfast that morning because you could not afford ‘gobe’ [Gari & beans] that morning.”

The former president emphasised that creatives should be among the most successful people in the country.

He admitted that he does not have all the answers, but expressed a commitment to working together with the creative community to find solutions.

Mr Mahama also shared the sad news of the passing of musician K.K Kabobo, which he learned from the artiste’s family.

He highlighted that Kabobo struggled to afford medical bills, and he had to assist with the costs at some point.

According to him, this underscores the need for better support and resources for creatives in Ghana.

“So, I sent some money to take him to the hospital, and I visited him in the hospital; we paid the bills. Did all the tests and all that, and if money could buy his life, we would have saved him, he would have been alive today but at the time the intervention came it was too late and he passed.”

 

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