President Akufo Addo, since becoming President in 2017 has shown a great will 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 making the industry a bigger one but I am tempted to believe the appointment of 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 in this piece I want to focus on the construction of the theatres promised in the NPP manifesto, what they President said in the STATE OF THE ADDRESS 2019 (SONA2019) and lies Catherine Afeku has been feeding the Ghanaian public.
On the 4th January, 2019, I was invited to cover the launch of the rehabilitation of the Kumasi Cultural Centre’s Apatakesie Ase.
At the said event, actor Bill Asamoah 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 it the being launched here today or that is different?”
Catherine answered that they were two different projects and industry players should be calm because the theatres promised in their 2016 manifesto would also be delivered.
The representative of the Bantamahene also asked the people of the Ashanti Region to be grateful to the NPP government 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 to answer.
Today, during the State of the Nation Address, President Akufo Addo said: “The Eastern Regional Theatre has been completed, and work is currently ongoing towards the construction of the Kumasi theatre”.
I would like to respectfully tell the President that what he told Parliament is not true and he must come again on the matter of the theatres.
The renovation of the Eastern Region cultural center is never a construction of a theatre as the President said.
Therefore, to link that with Kumasi and say the construction of the Kumasi theatre is currently ongoing is not a true representation of facts. There’s no construction of a theatre currently on going 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: “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 us the truth. God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.
By: Austine Woode (Abusua FM, Kumasi)