From The Industry

Mixed reactions as Government pulls out of AFRIMA

Several mixed reactions have emerged amongst key industry players within the Ghanaian music scene upon hearing that the much-coveted All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) would no longer take place in Ghana as the government has pulled out as it’s initial host country.

One major outcry by these creative arts executives, when the event was held last year was the financial implications and commitment by the Ghanaian government that came with the hosting of the awards in Ghana while our own local initiatives like the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) and the Pan African Festival (PANAFEST) had been sidelined and deprived of financial assistance.

What’s more; the sloppy organization of the scheme in Ghana last year plus the lack of transparency with how much money was committed to the project caused a lot of dissatisfaction and disapproval from the industry.

In an interview hosted by Nana Adwoa Annan for Atinka TV and captured exclusively by www.asiwomewrites.com, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Minister for the Tourism, Arts and Culture, has disclosed the withdrawal of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry from the All Africa Music Awards – AFRIMA due to unsuccessful industry collaboration.

The decision to withdraw from AFRIMA, Barbara Oteng Gyasi revealed, was due to the discontentment from many industry players in the creative arts industry because of the contractual financial obligations.

The Minister explained the initial agreement was to host AFRIMA for 3 consecutive years from 2018 to 2020 but because of the unsuccessful industry collaboration, the ministry has withdrawn to the benefit of the industry.

“The initial agreement was to host AFRIMA for 3 years but the industry collaboration as expected was unsuccessful. Many industry players were discontent with it: and if AFRIMA is for the industry and the players are discontent with it then we will have to withdraw and relook at it so that the next time we are going to organize such event, it will be properly done to the delight of everyone,” she said.

“AFRIMA is always there. We saw it prudent to withdraw for a while for another country to host to enable us to put things in order so that the next time we are to host AFRIMA, it will be more beneficial to the industry,” she added.

In 2018, Catherine Afeku acquired a 3-year right to host Africa’s biggest music awards scheme from 2018 to 2020 at the total amount of $4.5 million. This contractual obligation brought a lot of discontentment from the creative arts industry.

However, when Madam Catherine was reassigned by the President of Ghana, the Minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, during her vetting with the Appointment Committee on March 15, 2019, expressed her commitment in reviewing the controversial AFRIMA contract.

“Since we have a contract to host for three (3) years, at least we have the benefit of hosting for the first year. So we will review and look at the cost-benefit analysis of the first year that we have done, and if it’s not beneficial to us, then we will look at the terms of the contract and if we can get out of it with minimum consequences, we will do that in the interest of the industry,” she said

The All Africa Music Awards – AFRIMA is consistent with the government’s national development agenda to the growth of culture and the creative arts.

It is estimated to boost the tourism economy of Ghana and the creation of opportunities for artists and investors in the culture and creative arts industry of Ghana.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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