The current administration of the Musicians Union of Ghana, led by Bice Osei Kuffour clocked one year in office in September. In celebration of the anniversary, the President and Executives called for a briefing of musicians, media persons, stakeholders in the creative arts industry, other stakeholders such as the World Bank, KPMG and Midland Savings and Loans and the general public to inform them of activities over the past year.
In the President’s speech, which encompassed and elaborated on key issues and activities of his administration, he expressed his gratitude to all who believed in him enough and voted him to become the president of the Union with a four year mandate and to the team he has been blessed to work with since he became President. When he assumed office, he implemented the MUSIGA AJUMAPA Vision which was meant to rebrand the Union, reposition it in a more positive light and a promise of transparent and accountable governance, create jobs, promote unity and to push for appropriate policies for the Musicians.
The President summarized some of the key activities of the Union over the year and classified them into five main headings which are Union-led activities, ongoing projects, achievements, welfare and challenges.
On the union-led activities, some of the commendable efforts are the launch of membership cards, tolerance campaign towards December 2012 general Elections, research into the contribution of music to the GDP of our economy, launching of www.musiga.org.gh, partnership with Ghana Music Awards, partnership with GIFEC in the supply of computers for the MUSIGA Resource Center and the supply of computers to all Regional offices and the Digital Library Project. He also mentioned the MUSIGA Head office renovation project, MUSIGA TV, MUSIGA and Midland AJUMAPA collateral free loan facility and the Ghana Music Week celebration.
The Union was able to secure a governmental budgetary allocation of GHC2million to amongst other things undertake research to establish the economic and social contributions of Music to the National economy, create a baseline data to inform future data collection on the sector, produce evidence based data to inform policy making, develop a four year strategic plan to grow the music sector, build the capacities of selected Music and other selected membership based creative sector institutions, establish a welfare Seed fund to cater for the Aged and Needy musicians and to promote Peace, Unity and Tolerance among Ghanaians through series of events and media campaigns. Another achievement was a donation of GHC100,000 from Dr Kofi Amoah(Citizen kofi) to MUSIGA and a twinning agreement with the British Musicians Union which will allow either countries to exchange musicians for projects in their countries. During his Presidency, MUSIGA is now one of the eighteen members of the International Federation of Music Executive Committee and has been admitted into the International Music Council
The welfare of musicians, especially the aged musicians is still been taken care of. A vehicle has been secured for commercial purposes so as to bring in income for the welfare unit. He also touched on the “Y’edi Awrehuo” tribute song for the late President Mills.
The Union has faced some challenges over the past year. There is an absence of a collective bargaining certificate, inadequate professional support due to lack of funding to remunerate such professionals and a general weak coordination between the sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies
In conclusion, the President assured that him and his Executives will continue to work assiduously to achieve the very promise he made during his campaign period.
As we approach the 2012 elections, he encouraged musicians to use their talents and skills to promote peace, unity and tolerance before, during and after December 7th.2012.
He extended a hand of invitation to all individuals and organizations to join in the forward march towards the growth of the Music Industry in Ghana.