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Govít echoes support for creative arts sector growth   
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Mrs Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Deputy Minister of Culture, Creative Arts and Tourism has echoed government’s commitment to support and reposition the Creative Arts sector as a frontline contributor of economic growth.

She noted that artists contribution to the country’s economic growth agenda had not been given the recognition it deserved in spite of their important role in poverty reduction.

Speaking at the just ended Arts and Culture seminar in Accra, Mrs Gomashie suggested that it is necessary for industry players to dialogue with governments and relevant bodies on the role culture played in sustainable economic development.

She said the sector is high on government agenda and the administration would continue to see it as a priority sector with enormous growth and revenue generation potentials.

She said the government would invest in the sector and intensify its crusade to raise awareness of the significance of the area to job creation and income generation to individuals and the national economy.

A representative of UNESCO in Ghana, Mr Carl Ampah called on developed countries to grant preferential treatment to artists and other cultural professionals in visa acquisition to perform and market their cultural goods and services in the European Union (EU) enclave.

He also called for new policies as a result of trade agreements, such as the EU-ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreement whether at individual, institutional or industry levels to help achieve a more balanced flow of trade in culture goods and services between West Africa and Europe.

Cultural cooperation between ECOWAS and EU countries under the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) would help foster cultural diversity and exchanges between the blocs.

The culture sector suffers from a number of challenges, which hampers its development and growth.

The area lack requisite policies to support its growth, the weak capacity of Culture and Arts Intermediaries to organise them to advocate policies and regulations to support their members.

A two-day conference organised by the Centre for Culture and African Studies (CeCast) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in collaboration with Arts and Culture Stakeholders from the West African Region seeks to address the gap.

Participants shared experiences and best practises from countries and regions on ways to enhance the growth and development of culture and arts.

The seminar aimed to promote and enhance knowledge amongst culture sector stakeholders and also to engage governments to influence trade agreements such as the World Trade Organisation or EPA in support of the growth of the arts and culture sector in the ECOWAS sub-region.

Rrepresentatives from the National Culture and Arts Council of The Gambia, Sierra Leone Film Guild, and the National Associations of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners participated in the conference.

Others included the National Culture Commission, UNESCO, Ministry of Culture Creative Arts and Tourism, Ministry of Trade, the ECOWAS Commission, Film and Theatre Producers Associations, Independent Film Producers, Designers, University of Ghana School of Performing Arts, Parliamentarians and Civil Society Organisations in the Culture and Arts Sector.

The conference was organised with the technical support and assistance of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Cultures Plus Programme.
Source: GNA

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