Singer/saxophonist Gyedu Blay-Ambolley and recording engineer/producer Appiah ‘Appietus’ Dankwa, have filed forms to challenge incumbent, Bice Osei ‘Obuor’ Kuffour for the presidency of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) when elections are held for new executives next month.

MUSIGA will hold its sixth Quadrennial Delegates Congress in Koforidua in the Eastern Region from October 29 to October 31 during which the election of new executives will take place.

A statement from MUSIGA’s Communications Director, Ahuma Bosco Ocansey, said the union’s elections committee would have candidates interested in standing for executive positions vetted at the MUSIGA office in Accra at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 17.

The statement indicated that over 35 forms were picked for the seven positions up for grabs. The positions are: President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, General Secretary, Treasurer, National Organiser and National Welfare Officer.

Bessa Simons, Rev Thomas Yawson, Samuel Kofi Agyemang and Deborah Freeman are so far standing unopposed for the 1st and 2nd Vice- President, Treasurer and General Secretary positions.

Pastor Kwesi Duah, Benedict Kolan and Sylvia Amponsah Bosompem are contesting for the National Welfare Officer post, while Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi and incumbent Chizzy Wailer vie for the National Organiser position.

The executives to be elected will be in office for a four- year term.

Meanwhile, a 292-page report, commissioned by the MUSIGA that provides useful data and assessment of the contribution of the music sector to the country’s economy, has been launched by Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.

The first copy of the report was presented to President John Mahama at the 2015 MUSIGA Grand Ball held last week Friday, September 4 at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.

In 2013, MUSIGA, with financial support from the government of Ghana and other outfits such as the World Bank, Vodafone, Ideal Finance, Kasapreko Company Ltd and Midland Savings & Loans, commissioned KPMG to undertake the study.

“With this report, one would understand and explain the structure and functioning of Ghana's music industry. The report clearly identifies its areas of strength and weakness and would certainly stimulate discussion as to what projects and processes would be most useful in building the Ghanaian music industry,” says Daniel S. Adoteye of KPMG.

According to MUSIGA, 10,000 copies of an abridged 44-page version of the report will be printed and circulated nationwide within the next three months.

Commenting on one of the key recommendations in the report, the Tourism Minister said,“I think the recommendation that value added tax on ticket sale should be removed to reduce the price of tickets for live shows, is seriously worth considering.”

Meanwhile, MUSIGA has announced that it raised GH¢85,000 from the auction of music instruments belonging to Nana Kwame Ampadu, Jerry Hansen and Osei Korankye at the Grand Ball.

Businessman Ibrahim Mahama bought Nana Ampadu’s guitar, while Jerry Hansen’s saxophone was bought by E.I.B company, owners of Live,Kasapa and Starr radio stations.

In addition to the fundraising, MUSIGA also honoured three persons for their contribution to the development of the music industry in Ghana.

They were Dr Ernest Sarpong, a businessman and CEO of Sarpong Ventures; Apostle Kwadwo Safo of the Christ Reformed Mission and Dr Kwabena Duffuor, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana and Minister of Finance.

Performers on the night included Bob Pinodo, J. A. Adofo, Paapa Yankson, Kwadwo Akwaboah, Becca, Gasmilla, Celestine Donkor, Gifty Osei, Bisa K Dei and Philipa Baafi.

Source: Graphic

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