The last quarter of the year 2011 will forever remain in the annals of Ghanaian Music Industry as being historic in many ways. A youth and a young person elected as President of the Union, one hundred thousand US Dollars Donation from an individual to the Union, Government Budget allocation of two million Ghana Cedis for the sector, etc.
All these historic events happenings in the industry within the first One hundred days in office of Obour as President of the Musicians Union of Ghana speaks volumes of the quality of leadership and faith industry players and other stakeholders have in him.
21th December 2011 marks exactly 100 days since Obour was sworn in as the President of the Musicians Union of Ghana together with other elected officers for the Union. They have a four year mandate to serve the many expectant musicians of this country. We cannot afford to fail.
These promising beginnings come amidst a couple of Union and industry challenges which stirs leadership in the face. Many More Musicians and Artistes continue to live below the poverty line. Very weak Administrative and management structure coupled with lack of appropriate human resource to manage specific professional requirements as a result of limited access to funds, inadequate information flow from representatives of the Union on the Interim Copyright management Team (ICMT) during this transition period.
In spite of some of these challenges, the rebranding agenda of Musiga as stipulated in his campaign manifesto successfully took off through the Launching of a new Membership drive campaign at the National Theatre in November 2011. So far over six hundred members have signed up in Accra alone with the hope to hit the one thousand mark very soon.
To ensure prudent and transparent financial administration and management of the Union, a qualified chattered accountant has been employed to administer the Union funds. Plans are far advance to engage the services of a major auditing firm to add more efficiency to the Union’s financial management. This is being done to improve financial, programmatic and institutional sustainability of the Union.
In order to also improve artistic relations with members, various Directors has been appointed for all the major music genres including highlife, hip life, gospel, reggae, choral, traditional groups, Bands, etc, all in a bid to improve information flow and knowledge sharing.
Gradually, members and non members are renewing their commitment and confidence in the Union and are willing to offer their professional services to help the progressive development of the Union and the music industry as a whole. It is therefore not surprising that Government of Ghana for the first time included the music and creative sector in the 2012 budget allocations following a proposal the Union presented for consideration during the 2012 budget review meetings.
The positive outlook of the new Executive led by the Obour as President opened the door for a donation of One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (USD100,000.00) by Dr. Kofi Amoah of Citizen Kofi fame. Though this amount is yet to be disbursed it is to assist in a research work that will establish the blue print for the sustainable growth of the music business in Ghana, generate and increase investor confidence for the sector.
ECOBANK, the World Bank and UNDP are equally collaborating with the Union to expand, improve and maintain a digital infrastructure for the promotion of Ghanaian Music for global consumption.
The AJUMAPA slogan has now become a deliverable message. The Union under President Obour is leading a National campaign to promote tolerance. This was launched in November as part of International Day for Tolerance celebrations- a day to promote human rights and peaceful co-existence among all. Series of activities are planned to be implemented in 2012 with support from UNESCO and UNDP. A petition has since been sent to the legislature which was well received and under consideration.
The first hundred days has seen major land mark events. The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana was the special Guest of Honor for the MUSIGA GRAND BALL event held at the state House – Accra. This is a single activity which has calved the niche with the corporate world. This will be an annual event to help raise funds to support the development and growth of the music industry in Ghana.
Within the first quarter of 2012 the Union will organize regional elections in all the ten regions of Ghana. By this release, all prospective voters should sign up with the new registration and re-registration exercise to qualify to vote for their preferred candidates.
The Union is also working with other stakeholders to find a permanent solution to the industry copyright challenges through the establishment of a new collective management organization (GHAMRO) by the first quarter 2012.
It is the President’s vision to strengthen the relationship of the Union with other cultural attaches both home and abroad.
As we close the chapter on the year 2011 and approach the New year 2012, we wish all Ghanaians especially musicians a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous new year. Let us continue in the spirit of oneness as a nation and a people in achieving a common goal of Peace, Unity and Development. God bless our homeland Ghana.
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