Gov’t’s GH¢3m to creative industry is good, but not enough – Eva Lokko

240x_mg_uapc6gf664_951214073_161885Madam Eva Naa Merley Lokko, former Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) has said while the government needs to be commended for allocating GH¢3 million to the creative industry, that amount is not enough.

The Government increased its budgetary allocation to the creative industry in the 2013 budget affirming a promise made to the sector last year by President John Dramani Mahama.

In 2012, Government for the first time made an allocation of GH¢2 million to the industry but disagreements erupted after it emerged that only members of the musicians union accessed the funds. Some players in the movie industry were unhappy with the incident prompting the government to increase the allocation.

Madam Eva Lokko, who was the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in the 2012 elections, told Myjoyonline.com in an interview that the music industry for example is huge and therefore a lot more sources are needed for its upkeep.

“The music industry is so huge and if you take ten regions divide the ten regions by three and then take the old musicians, and the new musicians divide that and then take the genres and then divide that, that is why I am saying it’s not enough yet but is a big step in the right direction,” she noted.

The Ghanaian engineer said it is her hope that a group should sit down and look at all genres and distribute the money to meet the demands of the youth and the older generation.

“I would want to see a fund set up to support young musicians. I would want to see a body set up to mentor young musicians, I would want the musicians association have a consortium with all the media houses to ensure that young musicians get promoted…because if we don’t do that they are going to struggle,” Madam Eva Lokko stressed.

She was of the view that the industry needs a lot more support considering the fact that different songs are being released and there are not enough platforms to support and promote them.

Madam Eva underscored the need for the money to be invested into “indigenous Ghanaian music; the hi-life, the Kpanlogo, Agbadza, so that we build them up and modernize them…because at the moment we really don’t have anything in the middle that is saying we are supporting musicians in this direction or that direction.”

“I think that our music is beautiful, I think that our music has a bigger market than we are targeting and I want us to be so unique so that if you want our music, you have to come here, if you want our music you have to buy from us. This way our musicians will make money and we can stop worrying about them dying poor [and] unknown,” she advocated.

Asked how much she would have allocated to the industry if she were the Vice President of Ghana, Madam Eva Lokko noted, “The first thing I would do is actually look at the needs, bring up anything that is left out because for instance I think that there should be a website where you can buy music off the air…we need to know the statistics, it will be wrong on my part to say 10 million or 10 billion.

“I want to be able to look at the statistics and therefore make a clear decision that based on these needs this is the amount of money that will really get the music industry moving because at the moment they are not moving that fast,” she noted.

With the constant decline of hi-life, the former head of GBC advised: “It will be unfair to go outside of the musicians’ body and dictate to them what they should do with their money. I think that they should look at the situation, it is clear to everybody hi-life is on the decline, [the musicians body] should take that up but we should not be dictating to them,” on how to revive the genre.

A full analysis of the challenges facing the industry will help give a fair idea of the needed solution to revamp hi-life, and promote the growth of the music industry as a whole.
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com

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