The Creative Arts Agency Act was passed and assented to by the President of Ghana on 29thDecember, 2020.
According to section 32 of the Act, ‘creative arts industry’ includes cultural sites, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, performing arts, music, publishing and literary arts, audio visual, new media, design and creative services, and research and record keeping.
It further defines the domain of the creative arts industry to include; the Music industry, Fashion industry, Film and Screen Industry, Visual Arts Industry, Theatre Arts Industry etc.
A further glance at section 30 of the same Act enjoins every player of the Creative Art industry in Ghana to register with the creative Arts Agency. It states that;
(1)A person who intends to operate a creative arts enterprise shall, after incorporation or registration but before commencement of operations, register with the Agency.
(2)A person who contravenes subsection(1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not less than one hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than three hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years or both.
The section is very clear on the fact that any new entrant into the creative Art domain must first of all, register with the Creative Arts Agency to be able to operate a creative Arts enterprise in Ghana. In case you are thinking of entering the creative arts domain, you may have to strictly abide by the above section in order not to get yourself into trouble.
Furthermore, section 2 makes it clear to new entrants into the creative Arts domain that they are likely to be convicted to a fine, not less than one hundred and fifty penalty units, which is currently (Thousand Eight hundred Cedis), because a penalty unit is equivalent to twelve Ghana Cedis; or three hundred penalty units, which is also equivalent to (three thousand six hundred cedis).
Finally, section 33 of the Act captures old and existing players in the creative art domain including musicians, music producers, film makers, film producers and the likes. The section states that;
(1).A person who operates a creative arts enterprise prior to the coming into force of this Act shall, within one year from the date of the coming into force of this Act, register that enterprise with the Agency.
(2).A person who, contrary to subsection (1), continues to operate a Creative Arts enterprise commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years or both.
Per the above section of the act, existing players in the creative Arts domain, who fail to register with the Agency within one year after coming of this act, shall either be convicted to a fine of not less than one hundred and fifty penalty units (One thousand, eight hundred cedis) and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units (Three thousand cedis) or face imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than two years or both.
The above notwithstanding, a check with the Creative Arts Industry is likely to reveal that most of our popular, existing and thriving musicians, Film makers and their producers have not registered or yet to do so with the Council.
Dennislaw News will make an effort to speak to any of the Board members or executives of the creative Arts Council to know the steps they wish to take to get all stakeholders on board by getting them registered.
The Creative Arts Council has for several years, been pushing for the passage of this Act.
In February 2020, the then President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku Mantey called on all members of the industry to help push the passing of the Creative Arts Bill instead of attacking the Council.
According to him, his outfit was handicapped because they did not have the mandate nor the funds to execute projects outlined for the creative arts sector.
This, he explained, was the reason for the Council’s inability to fulfill some promises made to the Creative Arts sector.
“It is not my fight, it is all of us our fight. We must all become crusaders to get the bill passed,” Mr. Okraku Mantey said on Hitz Daybreak on Hitz FM, on Monday, 24th February, 2020.
He told Andy Dosty, host of the show, that the inability to get the bill passed had left many of the Council members, especially movie producer, Socrates Safo frustrated.
Now that the Creative Art bill has fully been passed into law, we as citizens, can only hope for a better Creative industry.