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PlayGhana is a patriotic approach, no ill intent –Gyankroma
Gyankroma Akufo-Addo is the Executive Secretary of the Creative Arts Council (CAA)

PlayGhana is a patriotic approach, no ill intent –Gyankroma

THE Executive Secretary of the Creative Arts Agency(CAA), Gyankroma Akufo-Addo, is entreating players in Ghana’s music industry to drop the negative misinterpretation of the PlayGhana initiative.


Gyankroma and the team at CAA seemed to have courted the displeasure and criticisms of some industry players when the council held a stakeholder engagement in December 2023 to gather inputs from creatives and key players in the creative industry for the promotion of PlayGhana initiative. 

Interestingly, the PlayGhana initiative, which has been communicated as a means to salvage the declining trend of Ghanaian music on the airwaves wasn’t well received, generating backlash.

Particular among the criticisms was the motive to ban particularly Nigerian music from being played on our airwaves with critics arguing that such a move would backfire, rather hurting the growth of the Ghanaian musician. 

But speaking at a recently held DJs and Bloggers Forum-PlayGhana Initiative to solicit for views on making the project viable, Gyankroma expressed surprise at the reception of #PlayGhana, exclaiming that it was just a patriotic approach.

“It’s unfortunate that we started PlayGhana with controversy and misconstrued information with the core goal of the initiative being ignored. However, I want to give an assurance that the initiative is a patriotic approach.” 

“It is never to ban any other music, or to make Ghanaian musicians compete with other artistes. Far from that. What we are trying to do is just to push our artistes to the forefront, which will have a ripple effect on our industry.”

“We need more money in the industry. If people come and they don’t hear us, they won’t stay to give money. Yes, we can pass the law which is everything great on paper but how do we enforce it. How do we actually make sure that the radio stations are adhering to this law?” 

“How do we make sure that the nightclub owners are playing our music, DJs are playing our music on the airwaves and this is why stakeholder engagement with DJs and bloggers are relevant,” she said. 

PlayGhana is a campaign to build awareness and push local content on the forefront and to ensure that songs by Ghanaian artistes are played frequently to increase visibility. (Related articles: Don’t impose #PlayGhana on Ghanaians -Francis Doku DJs not key answer to #Play Ghana, let’s go back to producing authentic Ghanaian sounds –DJ Ashmen, Play Ghana pushes local music to holidaymakers)

Among a number of ideas put forward by the DJs present at the forum including the popular DJ Mensah, official DJ of rapper Sarkodie, were the need for musicians to ensure the language used was not a barrier to audiences outside Ghana and also have the mindset of selling Ghana’s music to the global market. That is, consumers of the music should not only be locally targeted.

To ensure the effectiveness of PlayGhana, Gyankroma noted that her outfit would be deliberate about having conversations with players including event managers, club owners on the need to play and help promote Ghanaian songs.

There will be a DJ’s exclusive roundtable on Ghana’s music airplay at the Creative Arts Agency Conference Room on Friday, May 3 to engage DJs about their role in the PlayGhana initiative and the impact of the Broadcasting bill amendment on their craft. 

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