President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the $25 million Presidential Film Pitch Series to make Ghana’s film industry a significant contributor to national development.
At the Launch on Wednesday in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana has an abundance of forts and castles, national parks, historic palaces, wildlife and festivals that could be filmed and marketed for tourist purposes.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “the consistently favourable rankings of Ghana by the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Report as politically stable, safe and with secure environment, unique and better tourist assets and infrastructure” should make Ghana a preferable film and tourism hub, that can be leveraged by Ghanaian film producers.
He said Ghana is the safest country in West Africa and the third most peaceful country on the continent.
This enviable position, the President indicated, has great marketing and promotional ramifications for the development and sustainability of the Ghanaian film industry.
“It is for these reasons that we have gathered this afternoon to launch the first-ever Presidential Film Pitch Series, which is also the first of its kind in Africa.”
President Akufo-Addo noted the $25 million investment will go a long way to strengthen the local film ecosystem, with some 6,000 jobs set to be created as a result.
“Ghanaian film producers now have the opportunity to access markets for their films and I want to take this opportunity to encourage local film producers to show more creativity and innovation in their productions to make Ghanaian films not only popular within the country, but also capable of satisfying international audiences,” the President added.
He assured that the government would continue to initiate policies and programmes to help make the Ghanaian film sector competitive and viable.
The National Film Authority, President Akufo-Addo said, would lead the charge in introducing business development modules into film-making, production and distribution, to help create a vibrant market for local film production.
NAFTI gets €45 million
The President also disclosed at the event that the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), the oldest film and television training school in West Africa, is being retooled to enable it to provide the needed training for players in the industry, to make Ghana attractive to international film productions, as well as the hub of film production in West Africa.
Forty-five million has been approved to reform NAFTI into a world-class training facility, the President said, adding that the school would introduce specialise courses in scriptwriting, as well as the business of film.
The completion of the Creative Arts Senior High School in Kwadaso, the President noted, would open up the creative process from the secondary school level, making the arts sector a vibrant option for many students, by giving targeted training to young people, and offering them the opportunity for employment in the creative arts sector.
“As we gradually emerge from the pandemic, I will like to urge players in the sector to step up their entrepreneurial acumen. Film-entrepreneurs must lead in the creation of new businesses, which would serve as an important ingredient for the development of a vibrant business sector,” the President stressed.
He, thus, entreated the youth, particularly women, to develop greater interest in the film value chain, assuring that “the government is determined to create an environment that fosters youth entrepreneurship which results in the creation of new business entities.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD