Dzifa Abla Gomashie says writers are not able to access the pool of money because of their indifference toward activities of the Ministry.
A former deputy Tourism and Creative Arts Minister says the lack of interest in the creative industry by Ghanaian writers and publishers is to blame for their inability to access funding opportunities.
In a rather impassioned message at the 2018 AIBF Literary Awards, Dzifa Abla Gomashie said writers were left out in the reserved budget of the Tourism Ministry during her time because of the disinterest in their activities.
“I know that the Ghana Association of Writers benefited from the budget that we had reserved for the creative artists…the film people benefited, why didn’t the book people benefit?” she asked the audience last Saturday.
Some authors at the joint 2018 AIBF Literary Awards and #aibf27books campaign organised by the Accra International Book Festival (AIBF), complained about the lack of funding for their writing projects.
Others revealed they had to take loans to get their books published when the government could have subsidised the funding of their work.
The former deputy Tourism Minister revealed a percentage of the Ministry’s total budget is reserved for the funding of the creative industry and other related activities.
But Dzifa Abla Gomashie noted that writers are not able to access the pool of money because of their indifference toward activities of the Ministry.
“The Ghana Writers Association benefitted, the film people benefited, why didn’t the book people benefit? Because they didn’t hear [about it] and why didn’t they hear about it? Because they’re not interested in our business,” she said.
She, therefore, implored Ghanaian writers and publishers to show interest in activities of the sector if they want to expand their audience base and access more funding options in the future.
“We need to own what is ours [and] we need to be shareholders in the business of the creative arts which includes all of you and all of us,” she added.