‘Don't Rush GHAMRO Into Early Elections’
5/4/2012 4:30:37 PM -
Highlife music legend Jewel Ackah has called on music right owners to exercise patience and give the Interim Board of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), chaired by songwriter/producer and arguably Ghana's foremost copyright advocate Carlos Sakyi, adequate time to put proper systems and structures in place before going for elections.
According to Jewel, the board was set up by the consensus of music industry stakeholders, with all key bodies represented, and only began operating late January this year. It was thus unreasonable to rush them into elections without first ensuring proper grounding of the organization.
He pointed out that holding elections was serious business requiring proper modalities to ensure fairness, including removing fake names from a suspected bloated register, identifying real owners of musical works, building a credible database and providing adequate funding, apart from factoring in the impact of this year's national elections on the music industry.
It would be recalled that less than two weeks into the operations of the GHAMRO Interim Board, some stakeholders began agitating for early elections in a very confrontational manner that threatened to destroy GHAMRO's united front.
Jewel advised stakeholders to stop making speculative accusations and back allegations with evidence, as it was unhealthy and created division. He expressed confidence in the ability of the current board to bring prosperity and respect to the music industry.
He said composers had suffered for far too long and were tired of all the confusion that had only brought poverty, and now that GHAMRO had brought them together, it was time to focus on what united rather than divided them.
He called for priority to be given to combining forces to access the 2 million cedis granted by government to creators, adding that all must help GHAMRO to maximize royalty collection from users of music, and particularly fight piracy, the real enemy of the industry.
'We just lost international legends like Jerry Hansen of Ramblers fame and Dr. F. Kenya and it's not even headline news- very sad indeed! Let's encourage this board made up mostly of our younger colleagues who so far are doing well by working with them to transform and improve our livelihoods.
'Enough is enough! Let's stop doing things that divide us. It's time for unity and progress, and that must be the focus of all', Jewel Ackah concluded.