The Ghana Association of Phonographic Industries (GAPI) has called on the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to capture the contribution of the music industry to the national economy so it would be clear how much the industry is contributing to GDP.
Project Coordinator for GAPI, Francis Twum Mensah told Adom News the music industry provided over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs and an estimated $300 million plus in taxes to the GDP every year and yet that was not clearly captured by the GSS. “When you look at the GSS annual reports there is not a single line that talks about the music industry and that is totally wrong,” he said.
Mr. Mensah noted that because the contribution of the music industry was not clearly captured, governments had not seen the necessity of supporting the industry until this year when the government budgeted some GHC2 million for it.
“It is sad that governments pump millions of dollars into sports even though sport does not make any significant financial contribution to the GDP but it is through that investment that we have big names like Michael Essien and the others,” he said. He argued that if the contribution of the music, creative and entertainment industries are captured and government supports the industry the country would raise big international stars in the industry too.
Mr. Mensah said the industry, led by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) requested for GHC5.2 million for specific and clearly defined projects, but government provided GHC2 million, which is a good beginning and the industry would apply it judiciously to prove that when it is supported it can be a big partner in national development.
Mr. Mensah said prior to the GHC2 million, GAPI had already stashed away some GHC50,000 of royalties as seed money for the proposed Copyrigth Fund to provide loans to musicians using their royalties as collateral.
He said part of the GHC2 million would, for instance, go into research to determine exactly how much the industry is contributing to GDP, adding that music centres would also be established across the regions to prevent the situation where musicians in those areas travelled all the way to Accra for their productions.
“We would also do capacity building so people will take over the administration of the industry and take it to the next level,” he said. Mr. Mensah said GAPI has already acquired 25 acres of land worth $1.5 at Berekusu to establish music studios, clubs, rest points and other facilities to move the industry forward.
He urged all the players in the industry to put their weight behind MUSIGA and its President, Bice Osei Kufuor to make things work for the industry.
“MUSIGA has the bargaining certificate for the industry so there is no need for any association to go look for their own bargaining certificate – we must all support MUSIGA to ensure the judicious application of the available resources for the benefit of all,” he said.
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