The 2019 State of the Nation Address was delivered by President Akuffo-Addo today, February 21, at the parliament of Ghana with a promise of a whopping 40-million dollar injection into Ghana’s tourism and Creative Arts sector for its improvement. This, the president revealed is a grant that has been approved by the World Bank.
Even though this news is great to some extent, Austine Woode, also known as ‘The Researcher’, a popular radio presenter with EIB’s Abusua FM in Kumasi, has penned down a sweet love letter stating emphatically why he believes the appointment of Madam Catherine Afeku as the minister in charge of Tourism and Creative Arts has not helped the ministry and as such, one that can be described as totally wrong.
Check out his full post as made available to zionfelix.net below:
President Akufo Addo since becoming President in 2017 has shown a great to improve the fortunes of the creative arts industry which contributes massively to the Ghanaian economy. Since the start of the 4th republic, no Ghanaian Presidential candidate has had more creative arts players endorsing his candidature than President Akufo Addo.
The President has on countless occasions reiterated his commitment to make the industry a bigger one but I am starting to believe the appointment of Madam Catherine Afeku as Minister for Tourism and Creative arts was a wrong move that will hinder the progress the industry so much needs.
I will in another write-up talk about reasons for my assertion above but today I want to focus on the construction of the theatres promised in the NPP manifesto, what the President said in the STATE OF THE ADDRESS 2019(SONA2019) and lies Madam Catherine Afeku has been feeding the Ghanaian public.
On the 4th of January, 2019, I was invited to cover the launch of the rehabilitation of the Kumasi Cultural center’s “Apatakesie ase”. At the said event, Ghanaian movie actor Bill Asamoah during question time specifically asked Minister Catherine Afeku “Madam we know the NPP promised in its manifesto for 2016 to construct an ultra-modern theatre in every regional capital except Accra. Please is this the one we are launching here or that one is different?”
Madam Catherine Afeku in answering stated categorically that they were 2 different projects and industry players should be calm because the theatres promised in their 2016 manifesto will also be delivered. The representative of the Bantamahene also said we in the Ashanti region should be grateful to the NPP gov’t for taking the bold step to renovate the “Apatakesie ase” and will trust the Minister to deliver the manifesto theatre in the future.
During President Akufo Addo’s media encounter, radio presenter Kwame Adinkrah asked about the construction of the Kumasi theatre and the President said the minister was not around but will ask her about it. During the SONA2019, President Akufo Addo said: “The Eastern Regional Theatre has been completed, and work is currently ongoing towards the construction of the Kumasi theatre”. I will like to respectfully tell the President that what he told Parliament is not true and he must come again these theatres.
The renovation of the Eastern Region cultural center is never a construction of a theatre as the President sort to say. Also to link that with Kumasi and say the Kumasi theatre is currently ongoing is not a true representation of facts. There’s no construction of a theatre currently ongoing in Kumasi so what was the President referring to.
For the sake of clarity, I have extracted what the NPP actually said in the 2016 manifesto which read; n. Pursue the construction of modern large seating theatres in every regional capital except Accra, beginning with Takoradi, Tamale, and Kumasi, as well as setting up an additional Copyright Office in Tamale to cater for the northern sector in addition to the existing ones in Accra and Kumasi.
From the above, is President Akufo Addo telling Ghanaians that renovation is equal to construction? No, because after the SONA2019, Adom TV interviewed Madam Catherine Afeku and she said what they promised in the manifesto is finished and on paper. So Madam when will the one on paper materialize and what briefing did the President get to say the Eastern Regional theatre had been completed?
How come the sector minister keeps saying something different from what the President told the whole country? Is the President really the man in charge? Is he still passionate about the creative arts industry like he showed in opposition or he only needed the endorsement of the industry players? Madam Catherine Afeku has failed the President and has failed to improve the industry. Mr. President sack her or apologize for not telling Ghanaians the truth. God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.