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04 August 2017

Investment Opportunities in Arts and Entertainment

The arts, entertainment, recreation, tourism and and a growing movie and theatre sector in Ghana have improved dramatically in the past few years. The highly regarded Ghana Music Awards, for instance, has fostered some keen competition among musicians seeking public awards, causing them to work harder and improve accessibility.

Growth

Show business in Ghana has developed into a multi-billion dollar industry. The rapid growth in the industry may be attributed to many factors, but an important factor has been the government’s liberation policy, which resulted in the state divesting its holdings in some major institutions, and paved the way for more private participation. Private companies brought in more innovation and are more profit oriented.

Areas of show business that have seen tremendous growth are music, film, reality shows, and dance ensembles. The music industry has had some talented artists arise who have gained international recognition, such as Kodjo Antwi, Daddy Lumba, and Mzbel. The same could be said of the film industry, production companies, and record label owners.

The top five major players:

  1. Roverman  Productions
  2. Empire Entertainment
  3. Sparrow Production
  4. OMP
  5. Charter House
Most banks in Ghana are reluctant to extend credit to entrepreneurs in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry. This makes it difficult to obtain the capital necessary to expand the entertainment industry.

Events and Theatre

Theatre, dining, and events, while still in their infancy, are now seeing a lot of innovation. The calendar of leisure events, including such events as the Miss Ghana and Miss Malaika beauty pageants, Ghana Music Awards, Nite of A Thousand Laughs and Music, and the traditional annual festivals are all getting higher quality production, which is helping them on the road to becoming world class events.

Roverman Productions, led by Uncle Ebo Whyte, now runs plays at the theatre on a regular basis (albeit quarterly) alongside other production houses that also present other exciting performances. The lack of adequate auditoriums and the outrageous cost to rent the few available make it really difficult for performances to be presented on a weekly basis.

Dining
The market for eating out can be subdivided into four main categories:

  1. Expatriate community who frequent the  gourmet restaurants
  2. Middle class families who occasionally dine in the gourmet restaurants
  3. Working class who are regulars at the numerous eateries that serve local food
  4. Youth who gather around fast food joints.
Music
The music industry in particular has great potential for growth and has what it takes to become a viable industry. Some highly talented musicians have emerged who have what it takes to become world stars. The music market for Ghana has now spread into the West African sub region. This makes the industry a lucrative and profitable one. The market is even extending into Europe and the USA.

Film

The moviemaking industry has expanded quickly. The demand for Ghanaian films is driving the growth.  In the past, many viewers preferred to watch Western and Hindi movies, but this preference has really changed. Viewers have started patronising local films at the expense of foreign films. Through the ingenuity of local actors and producers, Ghanaian actors have joined their counterparts in Nigeria to come out with some wonderful films that have greatly expanded their market share. The quality of the majority of movies coming out of Ghana far exceeds that arising out of most other countries in Africa.
Challenges
The question arises why the industry is not flourishing as much as expected? Stakeholders in the industry state that although the industry contributes immensely to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is not receiving the necessary support from government. They are asking the government to help by making it possible for them to obtain long-term financing.

Currently the industry suffers a lack of enforcement of policies, and there is a lack of experts to oversee management of the industry. There needs to be a concerted effort to ensure rules and regulations are adhered to. Too many charlatans are running around tarnishing the overall image of the industry. Appropriate training is needed, as well as human resources development.

The overall industry needs to build a united front to help promote the arts and entertainment, and to solve the credit problem. A more professional approach to marketing will make the industry more attractive to consumers and investors.

Musicians need to form a cooperative to pool their resources together to form a single music producing company. This will make it easier for them to obtain a long-term credit from the banks. They could also get other groups of investors contributing to the industry depending on the success of the cooperative. Currently, the music industry is too fragmented with most musicians trying to create their own labels. This is encouraging, but the reality is that it costs an average of 30,000GHC to produce and promote an album, which is daunting for most musicians. The industry is capital intensive and therefore requires capital injection.

A school is needed that trains in various art forms, and in business law and marketing for this industry.

Conclusion

Ghana has a unique position in the arts and entertainment in Africa. There are a great many willing to work, and who are indeed working. All that is needed is the training that will help give them a professional edge, and capital to expand.

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