The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, has declined to mention how much the government spent on hosting the 2018 All Africa Music Awards in Ghana.
In an interview with Citi News’ Kwame Dadzie during the recently held Creative Industry Forum, when asked how much went into the programme, the minister said, the matter should be laid to rest.
She said “I think we need to forget about it [AFRIMA issue] and move forward,” she said.
According to her because the government terminated the three-year deal with the franchise owners of the award scheme after the first one was held in Ghana, she wished Ghanaians did not worry about how much went into the organisation.
During the period of the award which took place from November 21 to 24, 2018, the former Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku said Ghana had bought the franchise of the scheme for three years for GHc4.5 million.
“It is a three-year programme and the budget is 4.5 million dollars,” she ha said on Hitz FM.
A few months ago, the current Tourism Minister explained that the government was not going to continue with the deal because stakeholders in the industry had complained that it would not inure to the benefit of the industry.
She told Atinka TV in an interview that contrary to earlier information that Ghana committed $4.5 million to host AFRIMA for three years, the government only paid ‘something little’ for the programme.
“We didn’t pay $4.5 million. That amount was what was proposed but we paid them ‘something little’ and we took care of the arrangement cost. We only paid what would give us the right to host (AFRIMA) in Ghana,” she said.
When asked in another interview with Citi TV during the 2019 Miss Ghana beauty pageant at the Kempinski Hotel to state the real cost of the ‘something little,’ she was ‘silent.’
“I know that [AFRIMA] generated a lot of controversies and it was supposed to have been held in Ghana for three years. And upon assessment of the first year, we felt that we couldn’t go forward for the next two years and therefore we let it go and I think we should leave it at that,” she noted.
She was also not certain when the real figures of the cost would be made available to the public.
“I think there’ll be time for that,” Barbara said.
At the moment, most stakeholders of the creative arts industry are disgruntled about the unwillingness of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture to disclose how much the government committed to the AFRIMA hosting deal.