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DZIFA GOMASHIE SAYS PICK-UP IN THE ARTS SINCE HER TIME “HAS BEEN DELAYED”

Entertainment News

Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts, has said that the progress in the arts has not moved in the pace she expected.

Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts, has said that the progress in the arts has not moved in the pace she expected.

Asked for her assessment of Ghana’s arts sector after 62 years of independence, Ms Gomashie said the industry has not done well but the blame lies with successive governments.

“Truth be told, the progress we were making when I was in active service has been delayed. We should have gone in leaps and bounds.

“What we need to promote the arts sector is infrastructure both tangible and intangible,” she said in an interview on the Accra-based radio station Kasapa FM.

Nearly finished “legal framework”

The former actress added that the previous government did a great deal to push the creative arts even though tourism overshadowed the former.

“We never had a ministry for creative arts but because the tourism sector was already in existence, it overshadowed the arts sector.”

“During my tenure as the Deputy Tourism, Culture and Arts Minister, we were almost done with the legal framework where it gives the Ghana Civil Service the possibility to determine whether the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will need three different directors to help the Deputy and the substantive Minister to see how best they can restructure the three areas, especially the arts sector, which was already suffering.”

Bill before Parliament

Arts was formally merged with Education, Information, the Commission on Culture and the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs until 2013, when former President John Mahama merged the portfolio with that of the Ministry of Tourism.

According to Ms Gomashie, the NDC government was at the point of engaging the industry players through the Cultural Forum when it was voted out of office in 2016.

The Creative Arts Bill is still in Parliament awaiting assent.

In a mini-reshuffle last month, the Minister in charge of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Catherine Afeku, moved to the Office of the Senior Minister.

Artists and promoters are eagerly waiting to see what the new Minister-designate, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, has for the department.