Time to Tap into Creativity

  • Nana Nyarko Boateng
  • 3 weeks ago

Ghana hasn’t fully explored ways to promote a deeper understanding of the creative industries. Nonetheless, there is every indication that the creative industry will continue to have an immense impact on socio-economic and cultural development. Although many people in Ghana, including the government, seem to undervalue the role creativity plays in shaping our socio-economic growth, it is important to understand that the starting point for the direction and volume of trade flows is human creativity.

The creation, marketing and distribution of products and services within the creative industries has a significant role in raising living standards. The producers of cultural and artistic goods and services affect our daily lives, whether we like it or not. They constitute a significant element in shaping our education, culture and general well-being. Invariably, in an economy where the producers of cultural and artistic goods and services are not given due attention, the performance and competitiveness of the creative industries suffer.

According to UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Report in the year 2010, the creative industries in Ghana are a latent base for poverty reduction by virtue of being a potential source for employment generation, wealth creation and skill development. It goes without saying that putting in efforts to safeguard and promote artistic and cultural productions has direct implications on the national economy.

One of the most practical and reliable ways of pursuing and attaining sustainable development is enhancing the economic viability of the creative industries. The efforts of creative practitioners has to be supported with specific interventions to develop local markets and improve access to international markets. Ghana’s creative industries have suffered from weak institutional and political support. This is not the only challenge the various sectors of the creative industries face, nonetheless, strengthening institutional and political support will be a good place to start. In many advanced countries, the creative industries are a strategic priority. In Australia, for instance, Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC, 2003) published a broad ranging report which examined the country’s creative industries and identified strategies through which knowledge workers in these industries could make a greater contribution to GDP. This document has subsequently provided the template for defining the Australian Government’s policy in relation to economic development strategies for this sector of their economy.

If the creative industries in Ghana is more effectively organised and governed by appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks for promoting the various sectors, Ghana will begin to maximise both its tangible and intangible cultural capital. Understanding and responding to the influences shaping the creative industries is a precondition for defining effective intervention strategies.

Within the nine domains of Ghana’s Creative Industries, namely: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Traditional Cultural Expressions, Cultural Sites, Publishing and Print Media, Audio Visuals, New Media, Design and Creative Services, earnings, working conditions and employment could be enhanced. It is time to develop a system that creates opportunities for creative practitioners, enhances their capacities and safeguards all types of artistic productions and cultural assets. We can’t be mediocre about building a support system for the producers of cultural and artistic goods and services if we claim to be serious about promoting major social and economic progress.


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