President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged players in the film industry, such as actors, actresses and film makers, to ensure they reap the necessary benefits from the industry.
“Too often our renowned artistes, who entertain us and give us some of our best music, drama and films, have not been adequately rewarded financially,” he said
President Akufo-Addo, who expressed concern over the issue, therefore called for the strengthening of the copyright laws to protect artistes in the country.
The President was speaking at a maiden Africa cinema summit in Accra yesterday.
The three-day summit is being attended by stakeholders in the industry from Ghana, Africa and across the world.
President Akufo-Addo said the government, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the National Film Authority, had established an initiative involving producers, distributers, marketers and investors to the tune of $25 million to improve the local film ecosystem in the country.
He said the project, which was in line with the job creation agenda of the government, was expected to generate some 6000 jobs in the country.
The President said the government was also retooling NAFTI to enable it to provide the needed training for the people as efforts were made to make Ghana attractive to international film productions, as well as the hub of film production in West Africa.
“Also, a 45 million Euro has been approved to reform NAFTI into a world class training facility.
The university is also introducing specialised courses in script writing, as well as the business of film,” he said.
The President added that NAFTI would be issuing its own degrees as part of the University of Media Arts and, therefore, entreated the youth, particularly women, to take advantage of the opportunity.
President Akufo-Addo further said every aspect of the African life told an imaginative story.
“We tell stories through our fabrics, every kente design has a narrative, every cloth has a name.
Our crafts, music, films and festivals all tell stories about our lives and our beliefs.
“Our country has forts and castles, national parks, historic palaces, wild life and festivals that could be filmed or used as background for films and marketing for tourism purposes,” he said.
The President also said the consistent favourable rankings of Ghana by the World Economic Forum as a politically stable country with a safe and secure environment made the nation a preferred film and tourism hub which should be leveraged by industry players.
He said a favourable fiscal and tax regime for cinema projects would be launched soon to provide another tangible reason for the choice of Ghana as a film production country.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Film Authority, Juliet Asantewaa Asante, who is the convener of the summit, urged stakeholders to leverage the youthful population of Africa by creating contents that would be appealing to them.
She said the establishment of more cinemas would also attract investment, create jobs and increase economic activities in the country.
Ms Asante said without the screens, the African continent would continue to remain spectators.