The Akufo-Addo government’s budget statement for 2021 did not feature funding allocation for its Manifesto promise to musicians that it will build an ultra-modern music studio for them.
The music studios that had been trumpeted as something that the government would build in three regions of the country to polish Ghana’s music practice and overall recording soundscape was missing.
Vice President Bawumia had been the biggest trumpeter of the promise in 2020. “We see the creative arts as a major growth pole, it has so much talent, the problem is access to studio. As a result, we will set up large recording studios in Accra, Tema, Takoradi and Kumasi, for recording artists to rent,” he had said.
Before him, the Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante, had also trumpeted the promise to build the studios.
The NPP government had also promised to invest in the digital marketing of Ghanaian musicians’ works.
However, in the 2021 Budget, all these lofty promises did not exactly feature and get budgetary allocation. It is not clear if they have been forgotten again by the same government which promised in 2016 to establish a professional royalties system for artists to benefit from their music.
Meanwhile, as the Akufo-Addo government’s promise appears to be another trick for votes, Ghana’s rival, Nigeria, has finally broken the glass ceiling and planted feet at the prestigious American Grammys music awards.
Afro-Fusion artists from Ghana’s kissing cousin, Burna Boy, and Wizkid won the night of the 63rd Grammys, with Burnaboy winning the World Music category while Wizkid jointly won the best video award with American pop superstar, Beyoncé Knowles.
It is a popular lament among Ghanaian music practitioners that during the Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo, a visionary Nigerian government had given money to the Musicians Union of Nigeria towards the cause of uplifting the sunken image of Nigeria on the global stage.
The current shakers of the African music scene are Nigerians and many of them directly benefited from the funding that a visionary Federal Government made.