Ghana to establish trust fund to support creative industry


ACCRA, Nov. 22 — Ghana’s minister of Chieftaincy and Culture Alex Asum-Ahensan said Thursday the government was set to create a Cultural Trust Fund to support the creative industry.

“The Trust Fund is to harness resources for the promotion of the arts and culture for development,” he said here at an encounter with the press.

The Fund is expected to address the poor funding of the sector that has inhibited the vast potential of the sector from contributing to the socio-economic development of the country over the years, he said.

The emerging creative economy is regarded as a leading component of economic growth, employment, trade and social cohesion in many countries.

In Ghana, the creative industry is also recognized as having the potential to shape and reinforce the country’s economic growth through job creation, income generation and export earnings.

“It is for this reason that the Ministry in its five-year Strategic Plan, as a major policy, sought to enhance the visibility of the creative industry by developing and promoting private-public partnership in that area and strengthening the institutional support framework,” the minister said.

He said his outfit was working closely with the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry to forge a holistic and integrated approach towards harnessing and strengthening the economic viability of cultural institutions and resourcefulness of cultural practitioners in Ghana.

It will also revive traditional technologies, develop local markets and enhance access to international markets, he added.

He said the ministry intended to work closely with cultural practitioners and stakeholders in the creative industry to implement the Creative Industry Sector Medium-Term Development Plan.

The plan, according to him, has on its agenda the founding of a Council to oversee the activities of the industry and research into, and collect data on the socio-economic contribution and potential of the sector to facilitate decision making, particularly regarding budgetary allocations.

“This collaboration will be done with the view to developing and strengthening the country’s creative economy in ways that will enable Ghana to actively engage in the lucrative trade in creative goods and services,” the minister said.

Governments around the globe have recognized the creative industry as a potential to create jobs, wealth and cultural engagement, through intellectual property.

To this end, the Ghana government has for the first time made an allocation of 2 million cedis or some 1.1 million U.S. dollars in the 2012 budget to promote the creative industry.

According to the minister, the amount has been released to the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) to, among others, identify the socio-economic contribution and potential of the industry to the national economy through an impact assessment study.

Experts say the creative industry in Ghana has the potential of reaching higher pedestal should it garner government support.