We’ll create enforcement unit to address piracy – Catherine Afeku
Source: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana
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.
Akufo-Addo bemoans foreign books on Ghana; promises to promote local authorshipSource: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brako-Powers
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has promised to promote local authorship as one of government's many measures to boost the creative industry. He lamented the proliferation of foreign literature on the culture of Ghana, a development he blamed on the absence of a deliberate plan to empower local writers to tell the country's story.
“What define a country are his arts, culture, customs and tradition [and] without acknowledging them we stand unable to face the rest of the world,” the President noted. "We intend to support the book industry and promote local authorship."
Some of Ghana's finest composers, painters, film makers, writers, musicians, sculptures, actors and actresses are living a life of hardship and poverty.
They blame it on the non-patronage of their products by Ghanaians as well as the unauthorised use of their works for their predicaments. Some of them die without having a house to their names, a development that has demotivated young artists.
But the President who has described himself as a lover of creative arts said the artists are undeserving of a pitiful life considering their immense contribution to the country.
"In other parts of the world, creative artists are not just able to make a comfortable living on their works, but they are among the highest earners," he drew a comparison. He believes Ghana's creative artists deserve the same treatment. "It is time we create the enabling atmosphere for our artists to enjoy the fruit of their creative enterprise."
President Akufo-Addo it is to this end that his government is putting in place measures to promote the literary arts by "encouraging our writers and publishers to produce books that portray our rich culture."
He entreated Ghanaians to desist from piracy activities that are robbing the creative artists of benefits due them.
New GBPA Council Inauguration
A New Council of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) which was elected in November 2015 was inaugurated into of ce on 17th February, 2016 after the handing over ceremony. The inauguration took place during an extraordinary general meeting at the conference room of the Bureau of Ghana Languages. The swearing-in was administered by Rev. Canon Anthony Eiwuley. In his inaugural address, the new President and the CEO of Smartline Publishers, Mr. Elliot Agyare, called on all to rally behind the new leadership and support them to effectively steer the affairs of the Association.
The new President thanked members for their overwhelming support during the election. He pledged his commitment to help recapture the good image and relevance of GBPA in the educational sector and in the country as a whole.
Mr. Elliot Agyare, commended the old Council for their work and asked the new Council to work together to make the GBPA achieve its aims. He was happy that most of the members of the old Council were part of the new Council since the institutional memory they have will help make the Council’s work less dif cult.
The set of core mission of the new council was reiterated as follows: