Artwatch Ghana, a think tank group here is urging the government to formulate a national creative arts policy to make the sector marketable and competitive.

CREATIVE ARTS IN GHANAIt also wants government to also take a cue from how leading economies like China and others have generated so much revenue from the creative and arts industry to boost their economies.

Artwatch Ghana says the introduction of appropriate measures by the government to develop the creative arts industry will help to create jobs to employ the teeming unemployed youth.

This is contained in a report released here Friday by the think tank titled, “The State of Creative Arts in Ghana: 2017 Artwatch Ghana Annual Report.”

The group is therefore calling on the Ghanaian government to formulate a national arts policy to make the industry competitive.

“Laws that back art advocacy encourage investment and charitable giving to establish and support Creative Arts Endowment Fund (CAEF) has not been formulated.

A National Creative Arts Policy is also non-existent. There is an urgent need for the formulation of National Creative Arts Policy that would serve as a roadmap for the conscious development of Ghana’s Creative economy for global marketability and competitiveness,” the report said.

Global statistics of creative arts and culture, the report notes show that it contributes substantially to the respective economies of the countries that formulate better policies for its growth, and implement the policies effectively and efficiently.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics 2016 report says China’s export of cultural products worth 60.1 billion USD topped the global export in the sector.

The National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) 2013 report also says, arts and cultural production contributed 704.2 billion US dollars (USD) to the economy of the United States. Out of this amount, the performing arts services contributed 44.5 billion USD.

Top Creative Arts industries that made significant contributions included: “broadcasting (excluding sports); motion picture industries; publishing (excluding Internet); arts-related retail trade (such as art galleries, book stores, and music stores); performing arts companies and independent artists, writers, and performers; and creative advertising services.” The creative industries contributed 87 billion pounds to the United Kingdom (UK) economy in 2015.

“Despite the potential of the creative arts in contributing to national development as demonstrated in the statistics of developed economies, Ghana does not seem to be taking cue to develop her sector,” the report stated.

Between the mid-1950 to 1970s, textiles and garments manufacturing industries showed impressive economic growth of 15 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In spite of the potential of the industry, the think tank argues successive governments over the years have paid lip-service in developing the sector.

The underdevelopment of the creative arts, according to the group is fueled by governmental actions and inactions, curricula issues, leadership constraints, lack of political will and unnecessary politicization of creative arts education in the country.

2017 Artwatch Ghana Report Here