Wrong Tourism ministers bane of creative arts – Akofa

Veteran Ghanaian actress, Akofa Edjeani, has revealed that of all the challenges confronting the Creative Arts industry, the appointment of wrong people to head the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has been the major reason why the sector is not progressing.

In an interview with Showbiz at her Fali’s Hot Pot eatery at Kanda in Accra on Tuesday, June 4, the filmmaker said she had not been impressed with appointees to the Tourism Ministry by successive governments because they lacked the requisite understanding of how the industry operated.

According to Akofa, although she was not disrespecting the hard work of the ministers, she was convinced that industry players would perform better if they were appointed to such positions because the sector was a specialised area.

“I can’t say I know it all when it comes to the movie industry even with my over 30 years experience. However, I have some knowledge to express my opinion, especially on the way forward for our industry, which is still crawling after many years.

“Clearly, most ministers succeed because they always have technocrats, consultants and the necessary resource persons to facilitate their work, but that is not always the case with specialised sectors such as tourism and the creative arts.

“For instance, the ministers in charge of finance and energy are always experts or people who are quite knowledgeable in those areas and I think the Tourism ministry deserves such an appointee too,” she stated.

The I Sing of a Well actress said if the right people were appointed, it would go a long way to helping the tourism and creative arts sectors discover their economic power with the implementation of effective policies.

“This is because culture and tourism rakes in more money than any other sector, including cocoa. And so we need people who will use the creative arts industry to make the money and lead it for the impact and direction it lacks,” she added.

The mother of two also blamed the “crawling pace” of the movie industry on the absence of a national film authority to oversee the sector.

“It’s been three years since the National Film Act was passed, but it is yet to be a law. As an industry, we have done what is within our means to get it passed, but all to no avail. Without it, there will not be a proper direction for the industry.

“It appears our development is determined by successive governments. Each government comes and implements what is suitable for it. There has to be consensus among stakeholders to have a development plan, so that a change in government does not disrupt it.

“When we continue to let the status quo remain, we won’t see any progress in our industry. Is it not surprising that till date, there is no film on Yaa Asantewaa or Dr Kwame Nkrumah? So we are here today because of the many lapses that have been ignored,” she added.

Akofa Edjeani has been in the movie industry for about three decades beginning with TV Theatre on GTV, then the series Ultimate Paradise and several movies. The recent movies she has featured in are For Better, For Worse and Azali.


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