Entertainment of Thursday, 19 July 2007
Accra, July 19, GNA - Alhaji Sidiku Buari, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), on Thursday appealed to policy makers to pass the Legislative Instrument (LI) backing the Copyright Law to enable the law function effectively.
"It's about two years now since the law was enacted, but policy makers have failed to pass the LI to give full status to the law," he said when he opened a day's workshop organized by the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry (GAPI) in Accra. It was under the theme: "Advocacy for Long-Term Financing for Ghana Music Industry." He said due to the absence of the LI, financial institutions did not recognize the music industry as a viable venture for investment, thereby hampering quality work as well as securing intellectual properties against piracy.
"Music is one of the biggest businesses in Ghana and the world, but lack of funding opportunities have again undermined human and institutional capacity building to maximize the exploitation of the music industry."
Alhaji Buari noted that the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS11) identified strategies for composers and performers to be implemented to promote the establishment of public and private professional centres to identify and train talented youth. Mr Ebo Hawkson, former Chairman, National Commission on Culture, who gave an overview of financing needs of the music industry in Ghana, noted that the portfolio of banks failed to consider the music industry. He said just as the Small and Medium Enterprises were able to pay back loans, the industry was also capable of acquiring loans and paying back.
Mr Hawkson said there was lack of empirical data to show the contribution of the music industry to the Gross Domestic Product and therefore challenged government to collate data on the industry to enable them to take supportive measures towards the long-term financing of the sector.
Mr John Mensah Sarpong, National Chairman of GAPI, said the industry was faced with the problems of piracy, payment of royalties and long-term financing, among others.