Though per Ghana’s National Cultural Policy, TV and radio stations in Ghana are suppose to use their contents to project 70% Ghana’s arts, culture, and value systems, most TV and radio channels do not comply.
Players in Ghana’s creative art industry have complained for over a decade now over the influx of foreign contents – telenovelas, soaps, sitcoms, movies, music, etc. on Ghanaian TV channels, but, it appears the gaucherie has come to stay.
The Ghana National Cultural Policy, require TV stations in Ghana to show 70% Ghanaian content and 30% foreign content. Below is what the Policy – 11.2 directs under TELEVISION: “Television shall be used:
“A – to project Ghanaian arts, culture and value systems; enhance national consciousness and self-reliance by; drawing on indigenous sources and resources to its project content, making its programme content relevant to Ghanaian realities, history and aspirations, giving adequate attention and coverage to programmes featuring children, traditional intellectuals’ artist and other custodians of culture and public service.”
The C part states unequivocally: “Making its programmes 70% Ghanaian and 30% foreign.” The main objective of the National Cultural Policy captured in the 2004 gazette and foreword by then President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufour, is to document and promote Ghana’s traditional cultural values.
And also, ensure growth and development of our cultural institutions and make them relevant to human development, democratic governance, and national integration, amongst others. Unfortunately, contents on many radio and TV channels are seemingly promoting more foreign contents – a total contravention of the National Cultural Policy.
For reactions to this development, I once called in on the office of the National Commission on Culture and had an exclusive interview with their PRO, Miss Sandra Boison and today, 12th Feb, 2017; I reproduce that story on Presspeep.com.
I asked if the Commission is aware of the influx of foreign contents in the Ghanaian media and she confirmed: “Yes, the Commission is aware. We are very much aware.” She continued by saying the Commission has the mandate to check the system but “until we have an LI backing us, there’s not much we can do.”
“It is in the review process, so you can’t actually hold someone on why he or she is not doing the right thing. Until the passage of the LI, we can’t control the showing of these telenovelas.” According to her, “The cultural policy is suppose to guide the media. Some of the stories we write about our culture, the mode of presentation, how you even capture the news sometimes damages our culture.
“It makes it fetish – as if we have nothing good here.” In her last words, Miss Boison admonished media houses to comply with the National Cultural Policy because “when you forget your culture and history, you are useless.”
DOWNLOAD THE CULTURAL POLICY OF GHANA BELOW:
From the office of the National Commission on Culture, I went to TV3 and contacted the Brands Manager, Mr. Felix Dontoh, to give me a TV station’s perspective – why most of the TV stations show more foreign contents to local ones.
“I am aware when you acquire the broadcasting license you are required to broadcast more local or Ghanaian content than foreign content on your channel. That I am aware of.” So why then do most TV stations broadcast more foreign contents? He continued:
“First, when a new station starts to operate, they need content and as you know more and more TV stations keep springing up by the day. They all need content, so they fall on those already made foreign contents to fill their airwaves.
“Secondly, they fall on those foreign contents because it is easier acquiring them and they are cheaper – compared to producing locally here. Producing local contents come with a huge budget which most of the TV stations can’t afford.
“It’s rather unfortunate this is where we have come to. If you go to South Africa, they don’t have much slot for foreign contents; hence, they don’t show foreign telenovelas on most of their channels. I will urge you to push this agenda because it’s worrying. Our culture is at stake” Mr. Dontoh ended.