The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has inaugurated Local Content committee of the National Film Authority.

The mandate of the Committee is to develop a policy that will put into law, the guidelines for a minimum requirement of Ghanaian produced content for television.

The brief inaugural ceremony took place at the Accra Tourist Information Centre.

Addressing guests at the ceremony, Chairman of the National Film Authority (NFA), David Dontoh said the formation of the Committee was very important to help sieve out good contents from the bad ones.

“At last we have recognized that over the years we have been running away from ourselves.”

“We want to formulate policies that will help us concretize what we are thinking as Ghanaian local content,” he added.

Veteran Filmmaker who was the Special Guest at the event, Kwaw Ansah said he was happy that finally the long march to achieve a true African Film industry was bearing fruits.

Throwing his weight behind a call by the NFA, for a 100 million Ghana Cedi National Film Development Fund,  he said, such interventions were necessary to develop the infrastructure and superstructures needed to produce quality content that would excite local interest.

According to him, content is the most important aspect of filmmaking, therefore Africa and Ghana, in particular, must wake up and begin producing content that focuses on celebrating rich local values.

Inaugurating the Committee, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said a local content policy will give Ghanaians the needed control over what “we see on our airwaves and what we feed our children on a daily basis.”

“It is time to ask ourselves as Ghanaians, what values do we want to push. Which parts of our cultural identity must we preserve? What kind of future do we see for our children?
” What we consume on television is an important part of this conversation and Ghanaians must take the responsibility and pay attention to the content we feed to our population,” she stressed.

Oteng-Gyasi charged the Committee to work diligently and to consult all stakeholders to help ensure a local content policy that is acceptable and workable for all.

The 10-member committee is chaired by Samuel Attah-Mensah – CEO of Omni Media, operators of Citi FM and Citi TV.  In a brief remark, he said that the Committee wants Ghana to win at the  end of the day, “So we will put ourselves together and take  a cue from the National Film Authority and other  agencies to deliver on our mandate.”

Committee Members
Samuel Attah-Mensah – Chairman
David Dontoh
Julie Yaa Asantewaa Asante
Ernest Boateng
Peter Sedufia
James Aboagye
Nii Adokwei
Mike Amon-Kwafo
Two other members are expected to be named later.

Read Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture’s full speech below.

On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the National Film Authority, I am excited to inaugurate the Local Content committee today which is one the important commitments to the film industry towards the introduction of a local content regime in the electronic media.

The local content policy is a policy that will provide, the guidelines for a minimum requirement of Ghanaian produced content on our electronic media landscape. The policy will ensure that Ghanaian producers and broadcasters collaborate to bring quality local productions to the viewing public.

The local content policy is expected to drive investment into the sector, by creating access to market, generate jobs and grow the sector to compete favorably on the international scene.

Countries like Nigeria, have implemented local content policy to the benefit of its industry. With 70 percent local content requirements in Nigeria, we can attest to the fact that Nigeria film market (Nollywood) has grown exponentially to become the second largest producer of Content in the world. This has opened the door for innovation and growth of the Sector which now contributes over USD1 billion to the Nigerian economy with 1.3 million jobs annually directly and indirectly.
To ensure that Ghana becomes a film and content hub in the region, we must take the actions that push us forward, by giving Ghanaian producers the opportunity and the responsibility to produce quality content locally, for consumption in Ghana and beyond.

Available research indicates that countries that put in place local content policies to allow their local industries to grow, have the highest GDPs in the world.

Globally, from the United States to Norway to Australia, countries have turned to local content policies to encourage many sectors to become competitive. In Ghana, the Petroleum and Mining sectors currently benefit from such policies and it is time to extend same to the film industry.

It is also important to note that this will drive competition and ultimately ensure quality productions. Ghanaian content makers have the training and the capacity to deliver. NAFTI has over 40 years, produced professionals ready to step up to the challenge, given the opportunity and the right investments, and this is what the local content policy will achieve.

Governments all over the world have used local content to help raise the expertise of the local sector, encourage local collaboration and investments as well as create jobs and generate revenue.

It is my expectation that broadcasters will collaborate with local producers to make world class content that can sell anywhere in the world, to generate foreign exchange and the needed investments into the film industry.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the work of the Local Content Committee will ensure the restoration and viewership of our local films at prime times on our television stations. With this, we can be assured of what will influence our Ghanaian people and their culture. I strongly believe in the professional competence and technical ability of the members of this Committee to be chaired by Mr. Samuel Attah-Mensah and I expect that the outcome of the committees’ work will resonate with the hopes and aspirations of the Ghanaian people and our culture.

It is time to ask ourselves as Ghanaians, what values do we cherish? Which parts of our cultural identity must we preserve and showcase? What kind of future do we see for our children. What we consume on television is an important part of this conversation and Ghanaians must take the responsibility and pay attention to the content we feed to our populace. Government is committed to supporting the industry make this impact.

The local content policy will empower Ghanaians in this direction. I will urge the committee to consider the most effective route of least resistance regarding the legal framework for the implementation of the policy.
On this note I declare the Local Content Committee duly inaugurated.