The Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG) is one of the most influential blocks in the Ghanaian arts/tourism industry, helping shape the dynamics of a fledgling industry that is bedeviled with surmountable challenges.
ATWAG engaged the President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku-Mantey to outline the state of the Creative space for the past 3 or so years.
In that discourse, he has spelt out some efforts government has made in growing the creative arts sector in Ghana.
At a webinar held by the Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG) on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, he said although the activities of the council have been fraught with challenges, there have been some successes too.
Mark admitted that the government could not deliver on the promise of building ultramodern theatres, however, plans were advanced to provide mobile tents for events until the COVID-19 which stalled the process.
Also, he noted that there had been an online research to quantify how much has been lost by reason of COVID-19 pandemic. He said that research informed the allocation of the 50 million dollars to NBSSI for disbursement to the creative arts industry.
“Monies have been disbursed to members of the creative arts who applied for CAP-NBSSI loans,” he said.
Talking about some of the challenges of the industry, he indicated that the unavailability of a scientific data on members of the creative arts sector makes budgetary allocation for the sector difficult.
He therefore stated that the Creative Arts Council has developed a digital system to collate data on its members in this regard.
He also admitted that some sectors of the industry (especially the movie sector) are weak and need serious overhaul.
After his presentation, Halifax Ansah-Addo, a member of ATWAG and radio presenter at Okay FM also admonished that the Creative Arts Law be passed quickly before parliament goes on recess or else the passage of the law with drag if it elapses into next year.
“If we need to agitate for the law to be passed, let’s do that now because without the law, the Creative Council can not function fully,” he said.
The forum organised by ATWAG is in line with its bid to engage with stakeholders of the arts, tourism and culture sectors, to know how they are faring, ask questions and proffer ideas to them.
This is just one of the activities lined up by ATWAG for the rest of the year.
There shall also be separate webinars on culture, tourism, good writing skills and blogging, in the course of the year.
Apart from these, ATWAG has planned, as part of the activities, to hold an encounter with the political parties later in the year. This will be a platform to engage the political parties on what they have in their manifestos for the arts.
The Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG) is an association of Ghanaian arts writers/journalists and media workers.
It seeks to promote arts, tourism and culture reporting in Ghana while developing the professional capacity and the welfare of its members.
ATWAG is also aimed at promoting co-operation and collaboration among its members and players in the arts, tourism and culture value chain.