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National Commission on Culture holds conference for artists and cultural professionals
National Commission on Culture holds conference for artists and cultural professionals
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National Commission on Culture holds conference for artists and cultural professionals

The National Commission on Culture (NCC) has held a conference for artists and cultural professionals in Cape Coast in the Central region.

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The event funded by the UNESCO-Aschberg Programme was attended by 75 individuals from the Central, Western North and Western Regions.

It was on the theme "Empowering artists through policy formulation and robust legal framework: An engagement with artists on inputs into cultural policy, copyright, and other relevant laws.”

The Acting Deputy Executive Director for the National Commission on Culture, Dr Richardson Commey Fio, explained that the conference aimed at empowering emerging artists and cultural professionals in Ghana by aligning their practices with Ghana's Cultural Policy.

He noted that similar conferences had already been held in Tamale for participants from the Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, North East, and Northern Regions, and in Kumasi for those from the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, and Ashanti Regions.

The conference in Cape Coast was the third in the series, targeting coastal regions, with the final one planned for Accra to include participants from the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, and Oti Regions.

Dr. Fio observed that many artists in Ghana were not well-versed in the legal frameworks and policies governing the culture and creative sector in Ghana.

He emphasised the importance of educating creatives on policies such as copyright laws, intellectual property rights, and the Ghana Cultural Policy.

During the conference, a national expert for the UNESCO Aschberg Program, Mr. Benjamin Oduro Arhin, urged participants to respect every culture, stating that "each culture has unique cultural features and traditions that give identity, self-respect, and pride to the people."

He also highlighted the importance of appreciating indigenous knowledge, which he said helped to give meaning to life and provides a sense of identity.

Mr Oduro encouraged participants to respect and appreciate Ghanaian names, music, clothing, food, and traditions.

He also mentioned that it was about time people stopped equating intelligence solely with the ability to speak English, asserting that English is merely a medium of communication like any other language.

He believed that intelligence should be measured through creativity, talent, skills, and hard work, and he emphasized the importance of knowing and valuing one's cultural roots and heritage.

 “I think that if you are smart you should be able to know who you are. The history of your people," he stated.

Intellectual property

Mr. Oduro also stressed the importance of protecting intellectual property by registering one's artistic works.

He explained that this would enable artists to defend their rights when their works are used without permission.

He advised artists to ensure that they receive proper compensation when their songs are used in advertisements or their movies and music videos are synchronized without authorization.

Mr Oduro advised artists to establish a pension scheme to ensure financial stability in their old age urging them to plan for the future to avoid financial hardship later in life.

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