The creative arts sector has the capacity to boost economic growth if more is invested in educating and training upcoming players who have the passion to become a part of the industry, a panel of seasoned experts at the 2021 Global Entrepreneurship Week have said.
Addressing the challenges faced by the sector, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charterhouse Production West Africa, Theresa Ayoade, noted that the Ghanaian academic curriculum is not structured to train and churn out human creativity and that has placed the country on a steep learning curve.
She suggested that an early introduction of creative courses into the academic curriculum would help solve the problem.
“Our education system is only training people for science, business, and humanities; the arts are completely missing. Human capital is a big issue for us in the industry, and it makes us have a long learning curve, meaning that there are just a few experts in the industry who have gone through training and have that experience and it is the same people that the industry is circulating which really limits us,” she added.
Despite commendable progress being made to boost entrepreneurship, she noted that the sector is still faced with underemployment. “Talking about entrepreneurship, I am quite impressed by the fact that the more the industry develops, the more entrepreneurs are created. When we started our entrepreneurial journey in events, there were no vendors, but I am happy that down the line there are so many event vendors, especially in the wedding industry. So, we need more creative entrepreneurs because there are still more opportunities,” she noted.
Taking his turn, CEO of the International Advertising Association, Joel Nettey said bridging the education gap is crucial for the growth needed in the industry, urging creative actors to make an all-out effort to become competitive and passionate amidst the challenges and also seek apprentice training from different mentors to master their craft as that will make them understand as well as stand out unique in their field.
“There is a huge gap there and if you look at it critically, our relative strength will be more in the creative space and that is where we naturally survive, but that’s where the real issues are,” he noted.
“There should be a form of apprentice training. One should always aspire to be an entrepreneur, but before you do that and be successful, you have to make sure that you walk through the road so whether it is within a big establishment or one-on-one mentorship, make sure you learn, strive to be the very best at what you do,” he added.
On his part, Founder of 3Music, Sadiq Abdulai said young people are being exploited for their creative ideas without any of them being acknowledged and that has driven most young people away from the industry and addressing this, he said, is crucial to the development of the industry.
Director for Chalewote Street Arts Festival, Mantse Aryeequaye has said for an entrepreneurial space to thrive, it will mean that everyone has one rule book that facilitates how players operate and ensures that people are not exploited.
He said it is fundamental to have cooperatives understand the value of creative entrepreneurs.
“You cannot take people’s ideas and give nothing in return, especially when people toil up to make these ideas and that’s how they make a living. Largely the conversation should be about regulation, what government can do in terms of incentives, tax waivers for creative enterprises, affordable spaces that creatives can occupy that the government can facilitate,” he noted.