Ghana: Get Down to the Ground - - Gaad Charges Tourism Minister

The Ghana Association of Audio and Audio-Visual Distributors (GAAD), has charged the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Madam Catherine Afeku, to get down to the trenches and work to salvage the dwindling fortunes of the creative industry.

Public Relations Officer of GAAD, Yaw Agyapong Britwum, popularly known as Osunku, tells Showbiz the Minister's "diplomatic way" of discharging her duties has not helped the industry.

"The President appoints sector Ministers to seek the welfare of jurisdictions under their control. The likes of the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has done a good job fighting galamsey because he gets down to the ground to get firsthand information but our case is different.

"Our Minister seems to be missing in action because she doesn't come down to the ground to know what is really happening and help us fight our problems.

"It's been two years since this new government came to power and interestingly, we are yet to meet the Minister when we are one of the most important branches of the creative arts sector," he said.

As a major distribution outlet in the country, GAAD has contributed significantly in growing the careers of musicians and filmmakers through the sale of CDs. However, the advancement of technology and piracy are affecting sales.

These challenges among others, are what Osunku says Madam Afeku needs better information on so she can find solutions to them. He believes it is only those on the ground who will be able to give the Minister the accurate information.

"It is quite interesting to hear people make comments that the sale of CDs is old fashioned. Who determines what is old fashioned?

"For me, such arguments can't hold because there are people in the hinterlands and other towns who can't get access to effective internet to buy songs online.

So how will they get access to these songs if not for the availability of CDs?" he queried.

"We shouldn't underrate the works of Kantamanto distributors as irrelevant because of new ways of distribution that technology has introduced.

We are rather serving the interest of the masses," he added.

Osunku was also very concerned about how radio stations abuse the works of artistes without any proper remuneration.

"We live in a country where radio stations in their "test transmission" stage play music for a long time.

"If I'm not exaggerating, these radio stations do test transmissions which can take as long as six months before they start proper transmission. All the while, music holds the fort until they find their feet," he said.


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