Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
The government has initiated plans to kick start a Provident Fund for aging artistes as promised in the 2016 National Democratic Congress (NDC) manifesto.
The government, according to the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, is allocating a seed money of GHc1 million to kick start the Fund.
President John Mahama announced plans to establish a Provident Fund for aging artistes should NDC win power in the December polls.
The establishment of the fund, the president noted, during the presentation of the Highlights of the NDC Manifesto 2016 on September 12, is part of plans by government to provide better living conditions for the aging artistes when they grow old.
“You find that a lot of these artistes…we like them very much, we like their music and all that but because of piracy and other things they are not able to make enough money or even when they make money and they are young, they don’t invest sufficiently so when they grow old, a lot of them become quite indigent and poor,” the president said.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, in an interview on Rhythmz A-Z with Mamavi Owusu-Aboagye Saturday disclosed that, even though the plan is to be implemented by the next NDC administration from 2017, it would start before the end of the year.
“Usually in governance anytime there is a challenge, we try to solve it. You all know that lately we’ve had challenges with aging creative arts practitioners who need help from government,” he said.
“Every now and again, government has stepped in to help but we need a more sustainable way of taking of that challenge. It is in this direction that the government is setting up the Aging Creative Arts Fund so that when people have served us that much and they are old, you will be able to take care of them from the fund,” she explained.
The Minister explained that government will give the seed money “which we are going to invest and then out of that investment, we will take care of them. We’ve set up the Creative Arts Council, they are also going to look for other sources of funds for that Fund.”
The Fund, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare added, will be managed by the Creative Arts Council, who will be mandated to set up a committee to handle disbursement of the funds to the aging artistes.
The issue of the welfare of veterans in the creative arts sector has been a key challenge affecting the industry.
The president, has on several occasions, stepped in to personally donate money for the medical and welfare needs of some renowned entertainment personalities notably, Nii Odoi Mensah and Bishop Bob Okala, both have passed away.
Recently, actor Clement Bonney, popularly known as Mr Beautiful, on behalf of President Mahama, made donations to some selected veterans in the creative arts industry.
Some of the veterans who benefited from the cash advance and foodstuff donations on the included Mc Jordan Amartey, Mr Mensah, Kohwe, Odompo, JA Adofo, CK Man, and Grace Nortey.