Flag bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, says the culture and creative arts sector is one critical economic area that must be repositioned and well-packaged to push the nation’s socio-economic transformation agenda. He made these remarks on the side of a CPP interactive event with the creative industry held at Rockstones Office in Accra.
He said, “the creative arts sector needs aggressive investments and incentives as it is a critical economic area for job creation and revenue generation through tax revenue for national development”.
“We need to put in strategic efforts that will empower professionals in this viable economic sector as regards access to finance, less taxation on cultural products and services as well as the formulation of policies that will boost the profitability of the sector.”
The argument of the CPP’s presidential candidate is in sync with concerns from cultural activists and key industry actors that the culture and creative arts remains a dynamic and fast-growing sector that can contribute to the growth of developing economies.
The sector has also been touted as an economic enabler that can play an integral role in government’s efforts at economic diversification and poverty eradication.
And according to Ivor Greenstreet, the CPP has plans to outplay the culture and creative arts sector as that could lead to jobs and money-making opportunities for locals and expose the country to attract more revenue from tourism.
“The CPP as a party is ready to engage the people in the culture and creative arts sector. We believe those in the sector best know the frustrations that they go through and the policies, and laws that they want to be put in place to help make the sector more economically viable.
“By this means, we will be able to provide more employment, promote the growth of more indigenous businesses in the sector as well as improve the gains for professionals in the sector.”
Mr. Greenstreet admitted that the creative arts sector was at the heart of the founder of the party, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, “who had a thing for the African personality” and for that reason the CPP will continue in that vision to empower local businesses in the sector.
“Let’s look at how businesses in the creative arts sector are doing; music industry, film industry, artisans, models--there are so many people involved in the sector. At the moment, things are not moving the way they ought to be; things are moving in the interest of the huge multinational companies at the expense of local enterprises in the sector.
“We should be thinking about how we can create jobs for our main people and that is what the CPP represents,” he noted.
The culture and creative arts sector hosts varied skillsets including movie-makers, graphic designers, literary artists, artisans, fashion designers, models, musicians etc.
The CPP flag bearer also shared his thought on the current situation where there is more foreign content on the screens of local television stations, an act that puts the Ghanaian filmmaker and content producers at a disadvantage and puts the country’s rich culture to the back bender.
He said: “In situations like this, it behoves people who are in charge of decision-making in the sector to change that dynamic. We have a very rich culture and there are so many things that we can promote and that is what the outside world wants to see.
“The tourists will want to come to explore the rich cultures that we want as a country and not what they see in their home countries.”