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GIVE US A NAME! Who Heads Ministry of Tourism, Arts % Culture?

By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

After every general election comes a fresh round of appointments by the President of the Republic and within the creative sector comes a wave of cacophony on who oversees the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture.

The suggestion is that, the proposition of names for other sectors pertain but that for the creative industry seems the loudest, with several names already being peddled.

On social media, proponents for these personalities being mentioned are feverishly making their cases and touting reasons their favourites ought to take up the leadership positions at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture.

So Much Fuss

For the past week, social media is buzzing with a names of persons who are said to be qualified to oversee the operations and function of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture.

It is interesting to note how the fervor over who heads the sector has reached a fever pitch with industry stakeholders offering support for the various names being touted.

In a bizarre twist, some of these industry folks, as expected, are arguing with themselves on who has the better record, is competent and efficient enough to man the sector.

Substantive or Deputy?

In a not-too-surprising move, the industry, in their shout for who heads the sector, are divided on the exact role they want. While some are offering succour for the substantive Minister slot for somebody from the industry, others are yelping for a Deputy Minister role. And then there are others who are also calling for both slots to be occupied by personalities from the creative industry.

As a characteristic of this industry, there’s never been any form of consensus on anything, but that’s understandable, after all, it is a human institution. The only problem is; this industry, even when it matters most and you expect it to offer just one or two names and galvanize full, uncontested support for these names, – it ends up in turmoil.

Names All Over the Place

Several names are being mentioned as the best fit to commandeer the sector, either as Minister or Deputy or in some proposals, both slots.

The name of the President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey has come up strongly to occupy the Deputy Minister position while the Chief Executive Officer for the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyemang is being touted to fill the substantive role.

Former President of the Musicians Union of Ghana, Bice Osei Kuffuor and Juliet Asante – Filmmaker and Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority have also been mentioned.

Dentaa Amoateng, CEO of GUBA, Broadcast Journalist, Kojo Frimpong and James Korsah Brown, a former talent and banker are all in the mix.

Intriguingly, the name of the former Minister of the sector, Catherine Afeku is also being bandied about within the system.

Sector First, Names Later

When an industry fellow was chosen as Deputy Minister to the sector, the core problems of the industry were not solved and when this sitting President decided not to appoint any industry person for the sector in his first term, the core problems of the sector were not solved either.

Clearly, the talk hinging on the fact that, the persons appointed should come from the industry or otherwise holds no water.

The most important element here is the sector and the fact that, whoever is appointed has the expertise, grace, control, respect and influence to spearhead the sector. The industry would still be at ‘ground zero’ if an industry person(s) is appointed and he/she lacks the requisite qualities that would ensure that the creative industry flourishes.

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