Accra, Dec. 7, GNA - Mr Akunu Dake, the Vice Chairperson/Co-Convener of the Ghana Culture Forum, has called for the institution of a National Conference on Arts and Culture to help find solutions to the challenges facing the industry.
He said the conference would aim at stemming the inertia, demoralisation, waning enthusiasm and lethargy that engulfed the institutions, staff and practitioners of the Arts and Culture Industry.
Mr Dake, who is also the Chief Executive Director of Heritage Development, an event management consult, was speaking at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) in Accra.
He called for an immediate step towards the establishment of a council for the creative industry and the appointment of an executive secretary to advice government on the maximisation of the potential of the creative industry and regulate its development.
Mr Dake said one of the immediate tasks was to undertake baseline research on domains of the creative arts sector to achieve a compilation of a comprehensive inventory on cultural production units, enterprises, initiatives and actions towards raising resources and funds for the industry.
He said an inventory of key institutions, projects, programmes, and models in the Ghanaian arts and culture sector and allied domains must also be undertaken.
Mr Dake said the promulgation of the Cultural Policy in 2004 was a great achievement for the industry but the Government least consulted it in the governance system.
He noted that the Policy drew its authority from the Directive Principles of the Fourth Republican Constitution, which emphasised the necessity to integrate customary values into the fabric of national life.
Mr Dake said the Policy defined culture as ‘’The totality of the way of life evolved by our people through experience and reflection in our attempts to fashion a harmonious co-existence with our environment.’
The Policy said; “Our culture manifests in our ideals and ideas, beliefs and values; folklore, environment, science and technology, and in forms of our political, social, legal and economic institutions.
“It also manifests in the aesthetic quality and humanistic dimensions of our literature, music, drama, architecture, carvings, paintings and other artistic forms.”
Mr Dake said the Policy aims to enhance the documentation and promotion of Ghana’s traditional cultural values, and the growth and development of cultural institutions to make them relevant to human development, democratic governance and national integration.
The Policy also called for the establishment of a Cultural Trust Fund in addition to the sourcing of funds from the Central Government, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies as well as from private sources.
It also highlighted, extensively, the importance of publications, literary works and languages.
Mr Elliot Agyare, the President of GBPA, on his part, called on the Government to involve the Association during policy formulation, especially those that affected the industry.
He said: “Policies are not thrust on stakeholders but, under normal circumstances, should be a result of a consultative process because the Government does not operate in a vacuum.”
He said publishing in emerging countries largely depended on government procurement so when government was purchasing books regularly, it hampered the growth of the publishing industry.
Professor Atukwei Okai, the General Secretary of the Pan African Writers Association, urged publishers to ensure quality because “the development of the country is dependent on the quality of publications.”