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Music of Tuesday, 24 July 2007


Music producers hold workshop

The former deputy chairman of the National Commission on Culture (NCC), Mr Hawkson has declared that the music industry in Ghana is being killed by lack of financing in the production of Ghanaian music.

According to him, the industry lacked 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 take supportive measures towards the long-term financing of the sector.

Addressing participants at a day’s workshop organized by the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry (GAPI) in Accra under the theme “Advocacy for Long-Term Financing for Ghana Music Industry”, Mr Ebo Hawkson, 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 it had been established that Ghana’s potential in making Ghanaian music unique was high and that efforts were being made to make Ghanaian music rise higher.

Mr John Mensah Sarpong, National Chairman of GAPI, said the industry was faced with problems of piracy, payment of royalties and long-term financing among others.

On his part, Alhaji Sidiku Buari, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), 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 at the opening of a day’s workshop of GAPI in Accra.

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 has 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 (GPRS II) identified strategies for composers and performers to implement to promote the establishment of public and private professional centres to identify and train talented youth.