Running mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, has assured that their government is bent on making the most out of the creative industry in terms of policies, infrastructure, training and funding.
She said this at a forum dubbed: "Conversations with Naana," on Thursday, November 26 at the Dubois Centre, Accra when she met some representatives of the creative industry.
“The creative arts should be part of the digital economy. From poets, animators, etc., this sector contributes to the economy and we need to move in that direction with that in mind.
“However this industry needs to be more productive and that is why as part of our plans, we are looking at making NAFTI (National Film and Television Institute), a full fleged university where practicals will be matched with theory and with that training, things will be better.
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"This is a sector that we should not take for granted, something like literature tells us who we are and should not be downplayed. Writers, poets, filmmakers tell us what our identities are, they are the basis of culture, we cannot leave them behind and think we have arrived. It has become a crucial part of a country and it plays a lot of roles,” she said.
Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang also outlined some steps her government will put in place for the creative industry when given the mandate.
“We will be supporting young artistes by working on giving them a good foundation. We also will implement the welfare and provident funds for the needy and set up a functional film authority.
“We will implement programmes to support job creation, we will also look at how creative works can be patronised, strengthen connections between content creators, organise writing and poetry contests at regional and district levels while legal aid for creatives to fight intellectual property theft among others would be worked on etc.”
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Prof. Opoku-Agyemang however noted that before all the above can be achieved, Ghanaians need to have a change of mind and heart.
“We have to start telling our own story, I am looking forward to a day that some other country will be showing a telenovela produced by us transcribed into other languages. We should not think creatives do not matter, they are the real deal,” she said.
Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang with the representatives of the creative industry
After her submission, Sadiq Abdulai Abu and Rex Omar, NDC spokespersons on the creative industry also made submissions, reaffirming how prepared they are to make the sector great again.
“Among other things, we will work on the National Film Fund and for marketers, we will create training programmes that will turn them into distributors in the digital age,” Sadiq Abdulai said.
Rex Omar added, “We will take the economic, entrepreneurship aspect of the creative arts industry serious, not just the culture bit but the business aspects well.”
Some of the representatives of the creative industry that were present included Lododo, GHAMRO, Ghana Dance Association, Film Crew Association, National Film Authority, Women In The Arts, MUSIGA, Ehalakasa and Film Producers Association of Ghana.