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The Government Neglects Ghana Music Industry
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Music of Friday, 26 March 2010

Source: richmond adu-poku/pinnaclegh.com

The Government Neglects Ghana Music Industry

In 1999 the British Broadcasting Cooperation conducted a survey on the music industry in the UK following fears that the industry was in decline. The survey revealed that the industry as at then was worth some 3 billion pounds.

The year before then the industry had contributed some 3.2 billion pounds to the UK economy and was also a significant net earner overseas. In 2009 the United States of America has reported a 12billion dollar lose to the state through piracy. The entertainment industry was recently reported to be one of the top earners for the United States Government.

As at June 2007, the UK Entertainment Industry was just as valuable as the finance sector according to Mail online. The Entertainment industry is the 3rd largest earner for the UK Government. The story is however very different in Ghana following years of neglect. Attempts to get official figures on the industry proved futile, mainly because the industry is a non earner. Its contribution to the economy is insignificant.

This follows years of neglect by successive governments. The Nkrumah Administration paid some attention to our entertainment industry however governments after him have not done some. One is sometime tempted to think that the neglect is probably out of ignorance. But there have been too many knowledgeable people in governments to think that ignorance is the case.

Interestingly political parties and governments have always used artistes and other notable individuals in the industry on campaign platforms and at state functions. The government should look at structuring the industry well as it could be a major earner some time to come. The same Industry earns more for other governments than the total debt of the Ghana government. Instead of putting in place proper mechanisms to make the music, film and other art and cultural forms to thrive, we would rather play down on the industry and use derogatory term for the players of the industry.

Some 1.8million people are employed by the UK entertainment industry. If the industry is structured well it could reduce Ghana's unemployment problem. According to Diana Hopeson, President of MUSIGA, the music sector employs some 21,000 people.

If the industry is structured well and receives the necessary support from government it has the potential of earning the nation more many than we get from Gold as most of the revenue from Gold goes to multinational companies and not the government.

The Neglect of the Industry id further epitomized by the fact that other Nations have to put their Tax payers money into developing our Arts and culture. The support programmes available for the arts industry are established by the European Union and other international organizations or countries.

The government should be more proactive in setting the development agenda in the industry. Set up proper structures and pay more attention to the entertainment industry in Ghana.

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