Gary Al-Smith, the Sports Head at Joy FM has suggested that for people in the creative industries to attract more investments to their fold, they need to get lobbyists.
According to him, it is one tool the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has used to stay afloat in that regard.
He said this during Joy FM’s Twitter Spaces on arts, tourism and culture which was held on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
While discussing inadequate investment opportunities for the arts sector, Gary acknowledged that the arts and entertainment industry has a great potential and that what it needs to court the attention of investors is advocacy and lobbying.
“Kwasi Nyantakyi, for whatever you wanna say about him, will forever get the credit for getting the Black Stars organised, attractive and the cash that it is today,” he said.
Relating it to the entertainment industry, he asked “who is doing the lobbying for you?”
He also cited an instance where prior to the 2022 World Cup, the government said it didn’t have money for Ghana’s participation in the tournament, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif suggested to the President Nana Akufo-Addo to have a breakfast meeting with some corporate institutions so they could present a proposal to them.
He said after going through the proposal, the President gave his assent to the meeting.
Gary also mentioned another occasion where mobile telecommunication company MTN gave money to the Black Stars for free.
“Remember MTN gave $ 2 million to the Black Stars just for the World Cup. Can you imagine that? And this was as a result of lobbying. This is basically free money,” he told the host Kwame Dadzie.
Highlighting the importance of lobbying, the sports journalist noted that in the United States of America and other jurisdictions people specially train to be lobbyists because it is a particular skill needed to broker deals.
Other panelists whole joined the conversation on ‘Joy Entertainment Unpacked’ were Edem Mensah Tsortome (entertainment journalist) Dada Hafco (musician) and Austine Woode (broadcaster).
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