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MUSIGA launches fund to cushion members
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The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) on Friday launched a fund to develop and promote Ghanaian music and welfare of its members.

To be managed by the FirstBanc, the MUSIGA Fund will receive contributions from members for use in future and thereby guarantee them long-term financial independence.

The move is to prevent the current phenomenon where musicians become virtually paupers after spending their days in the spotlight.

Mr. Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, announced the Presidency would soon put before Parliament the Copyright Law for fine-tuning to it make functional and effective in the payment of royalties to musicians and other cruial matters.

He said government was working tirelessly but cautiously on the clauses to ensure that all stakeholders in the industry benefited from their creative efforts.

He said the National Development Planning Commission had included the creative industry in the country's Medium Term Development Framework for 2010/2013 adding," government's wish was that MUSIGA focuses on building the requisite internal structures to ensure the progressive development and expansion of the local music industry."

He said government was following with keen interest the developments taking place within the MUSIGA especially in the area of contracts and agreements and commended the Union for its handling of issues concerning members.

He described the launch as historic saying it would go a long way to secure the future of musicians in the country.

Mr. Asum-Ahensah appealed to MUSIGA executives to embark on an awareness drive so as to get more of its members to subscribe to the fund.

Mrs. Diana Hopeson, President of MUSIGA said by launching the fund, the Union was living up to its responsibility to ensure proper remuneration as well as social protection and support for musical activities were available to Ghanaian musicians.

Mrs. Hopeson said the Union had refurbished and provided adequate equipment and resources to all its regional offices across the country to ensure effective data management and administration.

She appealed to government to reintroduce the teaching of music at the basic school level to make the pupils develop interest and talent in music and thereby ensure the sustainability of the industry.

Representatives from the musicians unions of South Africa and Nigeria as well as the Trades Union Congress of Ghana delivered goodwill messages to mark the launch which also coincided with the MUSIGA's 10th Anniversary celebrations.
Source: GNA

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