Article 21 of Chapter Five, of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana under ‘Fundamental Human Right’ allows every Ghanaian the right to public demonstration as part of our democratic effort.
Section (1) of the article states, “All persons shall have the right to – (d) freedom of assembly including freedom to take part in processions and demonstrations.” Successive governments for over 3 decades now have left the creative arts industry in the lurch.
Since African leaders have proved to themselves, their people and the world at large that demonstration is the only razz that draws their attention to the pressing needs and quandary of its people, what are players in the creative arts industry waiting for – LET’S DEMONSTRATE!
Successive governments in this country have failed in ratifying, implementing or supporting Bills, laws, policies, and institutions that are suppose to help grow the creative arts industry over the years. It’s been over a decade now since the Film Bill was said to have been drafted.
Till date, government has refused to make haste in finalizing and passing of the Bill into an Act. Meanwhile, the Film Bill, if passed into an Act, will solve most of the challenges breasting our film industry. The Broadcasting Bill too, is also going through a similar ‘ordeal’ as the Film Bill.
Due to the absence of the Broadcasting Act or LI, the National Cultural Policy of Ghana, which is suppose to promote our culture, values and believe systems through our creative works – music, movies, fashion, painting, literature, media, etc. is only on paper but can’t be enforced.
The Copyright Office of Ghana is suppose to effectively address piracy, copyright or intellectual property issues, train players in the creative arts industry on copyright issues, and other responsibilities in the interest of the creative arts industry.
The Copyright Office of Ghana is existing without much action, because, government annually fails in giving them their budgetary allocations on time – not to talk of the inadequate funds they receive for their project or activities.
The newly created Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts is also nicely erected but suffering from funds. Since 2012, the ministry has not received a dime from government. When at all will the creative arts industry become one of the priority areas to our political leaders?
From the Statistical Service of Ghana, Ghana’s Service Industry alone, in the year 2013, contributed 32% to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which the creative arts industry contributed largely. The service industry features keenly in Ghana’s employment index.
Yet, players in the creative art or showbiz industry are busy fighting themselves over issues which will not grow the industry. Instead of the ‘inside-fighting,’ why don’t players in the industry fight the government that has failed over the years to prioritize the industry in most of its national agendas?
Currently the economy is in shreds – inflation is sky rocketing, the Cedi keeps depreciating each passing day, electrical energy needed for both industrial, commercial or private use is in deep crisis, most communities even in the capital city do not have portable water to drink – yet people in showbiz are not using their star power to demonstrate against such economic privation.
Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, civil and public servants, and other professionals all do demonstrate and get results – what are the ‘showbizers’ doing or waiting for? Irrespective of political affiliations and colours, rise up!
Let’s not fail ourselves in this call, because, politicians will always come, enrich themselves and leave office – whist the industrial players and the industry continue to impoverish! The call is now or never. Until then…MOTWUM!!