Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the Theatres

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The vice president of Ghana Dr. Bawumia during his Town Hall meeting with the Economic Management Team (EMT) touched on various aspects of the state of the economy including the Cedi Depreciation, Eurobond, etc not leaving out the creative arts industry, specifically the regional theatres and the creative arts council.

I also remember on April 17, 2017 (Easter Monday), the NPP organized an event to mark president Nana Akuffo Addo’s first 100 days in office. In that eventful meeting, the Vice President again touched on a subject matter of concern, the creative arts council which has already received my views.

Am back again to share my views on your lecture on the aspect of the theatres during the Town Hall meeting. Permit me to quote and to refresh your mind on what you said.
“…we are also building; we also build the Eastern Regional Theater, the work has been completed. Work is currently ongoing on the theatre in Kumasi. We want to do a theatre in every region. (Applause from the crowd gathered).

Mr. Vice President, with all due respect I think you should please double check your facts on the building of theatres in this country. The NPP has not built any Theatre in the country. Indeed it rather works to complete the already existing Cultural Centre, now called the Eastern Regional Theater in Koforidua. A theatre that was hastily renovated to host and celebrate the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC), slated for November 15 – 24, 2018 of which the President of Ghana will be the Special Guest of Honor.

Referencing document numbered – XA34/230/03, dated 6th September 2018, a letter of RIGHT TO ENTRY TO COMMENCE WORK ON THE COMPLETION OF EASTERN REGIONAL THEATER was issued to the contractor to commence work. Mr. Vice President the event did not even come off and up until now, NAFAC which is a yearly event has been postponed indefinitely.

Mr. Vice President, kindly find out why NAFAC was called off at the eleventh hour and why the Tourism, Arts, and Culture keeps saying and through you been telling Ghanaians, the government has built a theatre instead of completing an already existing theatre.

When your deputy minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ziblim was finding it tough to explain what the NPP manifesto specifically said about theatres he admitted in an interview that,
“…even if someone thought we were going to do new theatres, the logic behind a government, behind a city like Koforidua and there is this huge theatre being started by the previous government and you want to abandon that and do a new thing, it doesn’t make sense. It is not a judicious use of the country’s scarce resources.”

This is enough knockout within the same party championing the building of theatres in Ghana. Mr. Vice President, the issue of wanting to build a theatre in every region should be looked at.

* your party manifesto did not just say a theatre in every region but an ultra-modern theatre.

* The regions you and l know, have increased so either the NPP manifesto is edited to suit the current 16 regions available.

You also revealed that works on the Kumasi theatre are on-going; yes but it’s still refurbishment and not building. Reference document number: TA130/171/02 for the commencement letter to the contractor on the completion and refurbishment of the Ashanti Regional Theater.

Am not sure that you (Mr. Vice President) have been told how much has been put in this refurbishment and completion project.

I am happy your government has devoted some monies for the completion and refurbishment of these existing theatres. I hope and pray it’s done quickly so our industry can also make gains.

Dr. Bawumia, did I hear you say your government provided creative arts council support in building capacity? Mr. Vice President, which area of capacity building were you referring to? The Creative Arts Master Class? And how much did your government invested?

We want to know so we could appreciate your efforts.
Why is the NPP government dealing with an illegal council and further giving them government allocations and opened accounts at Bank of Ghana for them?

Mr. Vice President, please who instituted the council and legalized it?
Many questions but no answer. We live to see!

Source: Kojo Preko Dankwa

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