Ghanaian actor, Adjetey Anang, popularly known as “Pusher” has reacted to President Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address delivered on February 21, 2019, concerning the Creative Arts issue.
The award-winning actor who was dissatisfied with the State of the Creative Arts address delivered by the President regarding the theatres told Kojo Preko Dankwa, host of Kasapa Entertainment, Government should step up and do more for the arts industry.
According to him, if the Government has shown a keen interest in the Arts industry, the evidence of its passion for the industry must evidently show in the infrastructure projects they promised.
“Let’s do something concrete. The talk is just too much. With all the passion or desire for the Government to help build the arts industry, we want to see something concrete to give us the hope that what we’re doing will give us the ground to move forward. We need the ultra-modern theatres to facilitate our work as film stakeholders.
“We’re putting in our bit as film stakeholders so we’re pleading with Government to also do its best to push the arts industry.”
Commenting on lack of support from Government for Ghanian movies honoured or nominated in International Awards scheme projecting the country, Adjetey Anang said he gets irritated when the government refuses to assist in such great achievements.
“I get pissed off when people, especially from Government, criticise filmmakers for the film they produce without facts. It’s sometimes discouraging for some of us who struggle to invest our own resources without support from Government.
“If we’ve gotten this FESPACO platform to project the country, the government must see the need to support the filmmaker of that project because it opens up the film market.”
Talking about ‘Keteke’ Movie, Adjetey Anang expressed excitement featuring in the movie.
Keteke, a Ghanaian drama movie released in 2017, portrays the Ghanaian train transportation system was nominated for the Gold standard of Yennenga, which is the overall best film category at the festival.
Peter Sedufia becomes the second Ghanaian director after the legendary Kwaw Ansah of Heritage Africa fame to be nominated in that category in the 50-year history of FESPACO.
Speaking with the director, Peter Sedufia, told the Kasapa Entertainment host Kojo Preko Dankwa he was honoured by the nomination but was not pleased with Government turning deaf ear to this great achievement for the film industry.
READ BELOW PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO’S STATE OF THE CREATIVE ARTS.
Mr. Speaker, we are continuing with initiatives to improve the Creative Arts Sector. We have also worked to finalise the Creative Arts Bill, leading to the setting up of the Creative Arts Fund.
For the first time, in 2018, Government provided support to the Creative Arts Council, and the Creative Arts Masterclass, to build capacity of Creative Arts practitioners, has also commenced. The Eastern Regional Theatre has been completed, and work is currently ongoing towards the construction of the Kumasi theatre.
Mr Speaker, considering how often Ghana is in the news usually for good reasons, we have not been able to attract as many visitors to our country as we should. We are making a special effort from now onwards to attract tourists into our country. Under the See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana campaign, the Ghana Tourism Authority recorded a 20% growth since its launch to over six hundred thousand visitations to various tourist sites. The World Bank has approved a US$40 million grant to support the Tourism Ministry and its agencies to help upgrade tourist facilities.
In September 2018, in Washington D.C., in front of the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States Congress, I proclaimed 2019 as the “Year of Return”, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first 20 West African slaves in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in what was to become the United States of America. We intend to use the symbolism of this “Year of Return” to bring together Africans, persons of African descent, and all well-wishers and lovers of freedom to strengthen the commitment to ensuring that the blots on our history, i.e. the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slavery, never reoccur.
In response to this proclamation, some seventy (70) African-American Hollywood celebrities visited Ghana in December 2018. The year-long campaign, being coordinated by the Ghana Tourism Authority, is expected to increase arrivals considerably.
Training across the entire tourism sector is also receiving priority. The Hospitality Training Institute has been renovated, and re-opened in July 2018 to provide needed training in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Under a Tourism Attractions Upgrade Project, several tourist sites, including Elmina Heritage Bay, Axim Fort St. Antonio, Assin Manso Slave River, Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm, Bunso Arboretum, Kintampo Water Falls, are undergoing upgrades. A draft Legislative Instrument (LI) on Sites and Attractions is currently undergoing final stakeholder consultations. This will ensure world-class standards are set and maintained at all our tourism sites and attractions. Mr. Speaker, the greatest attraction of our country is its people. Yes, we have castles and forts, we have waterfalls and dramatic mountain ranges, we have breath-taking beaches, and historical sites that reduce visitors to strong emotions, but it is the people of Ghana and our welcoming attitude that are the strongest attraction to visitors.
We should never forget that we all have a responsibility to make visitors to our country feel welcome. In this “Year of Return”, when we have invited the world to visit, I would urge each one of us to make a special effort to make a visit to our country a memorable one. Our music, our foods, our clothes and the quintessential akwaaba smile will make a visitor to our country come back again and again.
Mr Speaker, but there are things that many of us do that would put off any visitor from visiting our country, no matter how attractive the geography or the history might be. I refer, especially, to some of our sanitation habits.
Mr Speaker, public resources must be channeled into ventures that generate wealth, and not spent on avoidable expenditures. The cost of clearing and cleaning up our cities and towns after those who litter has become prohibitive. The littering habit seems to be more predominant in the cities and urban areas, and, mercifully, largely absent in the villages.