Ghanaian celebrity journalist and blogger Attractive Mustapha has dropped his first article for the year 2021, asking if 2021 will be a good year for the creative industry.
Mustapha Nii Okai Inusah stated some of the good and bad instances that have characterized the industry as a whole and suggested solutions to some of the problems.
Below is his full article
Will 2021 be a good year for the creative arts industry.
Ultimately, we are in 2021, a year that many have anticipated as the year of hope and good news, whiles the United Nations has also described it as a year of healing.
Certainly from 31st night, we have had many pastors and prophets prophesying about the good things that are likely to happen in 2021, but trust me, most of them will have nothing to say or predict to the creative arts industry which is the new gold apart from predicting death about some key personalities which has nothing to do with the kind of progress the industry needs in 2021.
Many are those who have entrusted their 2021 hopes and beliefs in the Ghanaian politician due to the new Creative Arts Bill passed by parliament which is supposed to serve as a framework to regulate the country’s creative economy, including music, film, advertising, PR, architecture, fashion, and tourism, among other related sectors.
Forecasting the year 2021, the big question is will it be a good year for people in creative arts? The answer to this does not necessarily need a clerical prophetic prediction since statistics and previous occurrences serve as a guide into the highly expectant days ahead.
2020 was not that bad for some divisions within the creative arts sector even though some quarters did not do well.
Indeed, many across the world have blamed the sluggishness of their creative industry on Covid -19 pandemic just like other sectors, but I will not agree with anyone in the Ghanaian creative space who blames the sluggishness of the Ghanaians creative space on the novel coronavirus.
Many branches within the creative industry have been struggling before the emergence of Covid-19. A clear instance is the movie industry which was literally dead before Covid-19 and still left with its racks left in the hands of a few industry players like Venus films, Kobby Rana, and others producing on contract for Televisions and the digital space.
Gone are the days Kumawood and Glamour movie producers were producing back to back.
Even though I am aware of the closure of the cinemas, beaches, and nightclubs most of the top yearly entertainment events within the creative industry were organised in the year 2020.
No doubt the music industry has always been on top of its game with regards to the creative space, with the main problems being copyright issues and attention being given to a few artists while others are left to perish their talents. With regards to our musicians struggling for relevance in the international market, some of our “A list Artiste” including celebrated musicians like Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Sarkodie among others did marvellously well in 2020 considering the circumstances.
I congratulate musicians and their managers for making use of the digital space and for monetary gains of their various performances and releases in the year 2020, hoping they will build on that and enhance themselves in 2021.
The tourism industry is one area that was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic because the industry relies mainly on people moving from one place to the other so the closure of airports, traveling restrictions and lockdown affected the sector.
The central Bank of Ghana in 2016 listed the sector as the fourth highest foreign currency earner after Gold, cocoa, and remittances.
In Africa, Ghana has been rated by many tourism experts as a country that could become one of the leading tourism destinations in the continent.
According to GTA's data, in 2017 the sector contributed GHS12.58bn ($2.7bn), or 6.2%, to national GDP. A total of 1.3m international tourists visited the country that same year, representing a 6% increase compared to 2016. In terms of employment, the World Travel and Tourism Council reported that the sector supported 682,000 jobs, or 5.3% of total national employment, in 2017.
Marketing, promotion, and development of our tourism facilities and services in the country has been very poor, for instance, the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum which is at the heart of the city has been left to deteriorate without proper maintenance, many are those who have called on the state to develop the place like the Mandela house in South Africa which can securely push the tourism sector to its peak.
I am aware that the government in collaboration with the private sector are developing a higher percentage of the coastline in Accra as part of the Marine Drive which is a project nurtured by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah but I believe that alone cannot do the magic for the industry so we must as well focus on developing other existing attraction sites.
Fashion, architecture, and other related sectors.
These sectors have seen rapid growth with increasing numbers of artisan skills, traditional textiles, some garment production units as well as creative jobs and attracting lots of local and international opportunities.
The fashion industry has become lucrative since most Ghanaians now fancy traditional wears.
The introduction of wear Ghana by government, and investments in local companies such as Dignity DTRT, Sleek Garments, Cadling Fashions, and Alfie Designs Limited during the pandemic and fashion awards have added to its growth.
But over the years many people in this sector especially the fashion industry have lamented about their inability to receive funding and grants due to the government’s refusal to recognize the fashion business as a cultural industry.
Most of them have on several occasions bemoaned issues bothering stolen ideas by competitors which they believe will ease with financial assistance from the government.
With all these achievements and challenges in 2020, I believe with determination and commitment from the government, industry players, and support from the citizenry, 2021 will be a very good year for people in the Creative Arts.
Happy new year