Kumasi: Dep. Tourism & Arts Minister Cuts Sod For First State-Of-The-Art Amphitheatre

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey cut the sod for the building of a contemporary open-air amphitheatre in Kumasi on April 26, 2023.

According to the Deputy Sector Minister, the project which forms part of the New Patriotic Party’s manifesto to construct five (5) Amphitheatres across the country, will be finished by July 2023.

Making the promise at the sod-cutting event which came off at the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi, Mr Okraku-Mantey guaranteed Ghanaians the project will be completed on time.

“This amphitheatre is supposed to start any moment and by the end of July 2023, it should be ready. I repeat we are cutting sod in the next 10 to 15 mins and by July 2023, it should be ready,” he substantiated.

In the meantime, throwing more light on its capacity, the amphitheatre is anticipated to accommodate a maximum of 1,000 audiences.

“It will carry a maximum of 1,000 people. We can choose to do some side and side depending on the type of event we have,” he clarified.

The ceremony, nevertheless, was graced by notables such as Kumasi Mayor Sam Pyne; Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC), Mr Kwadwo Antwi; Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority, Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante and Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP), Nana Sarfo Kantanka, who is the project coordinator (MoTAC).

The list proceeded with the President of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), James Aboagye, and Kumawood actor and producer Bill Asamoah among other industry players who thronged to support the cause in the Ashanti Region.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Okraku-Mantey reiterated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has the Creative Industry at heart mentioning, the amphitheatre will act as a source of venue for performances and other forms of entertainment and also aid Industry players to plan for gigs.

Another element he emphasised was job creation to stimulate the industry’s economy, which forms an excellent drive for the New Patriotic Party.

Further, stressing some of the accomplishments of the current Head of the state towards arts, the Deputy Tourism and Creative Arts Minister uttered: “President Akufo-Addo promised the creative arts law and on 20th December 2020 the bill was passed. The same Akufo-Addo promised the Creative Arts School, today it is almost 70 per cent done.

“Now NFA has an office and a managing director. During Covid times, grants that came in weren’t for Creative arts but it was extended to us and a lot of people benefited from that,” he counted.

  • Background 

On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mohammed Awal, declared openly at a presser that the Nana Addo-led administration would be constructing five multipurpose domes or amphitheatres in 2022.

“We are going to build 5 amphitheatres and domes. One area that we lack in this industry is that we don’t have multipurpose venues for activities. We’re going to 5 this year. The process has already begun to procure supplies,” he disclosed.

“This year, we do 5 amphitheatres, then we do another 5 next year. So by 2024, we would have all 16 regions to give our artists venues to perform,” he revealed.

The minister therefore implied that this would assist initiate jobs and opportunities for Ghanaians who are unemployed.

The matter of theatres or performance centres has been of utmost priority to creatives in the country, as they keep holding the government responsible for promises to furnish such facilities.

So far, as mentioned in the NPP manifesto, five (5) Amphitheaters will be constructed this year; two (2) in Accra, one (1) in  Kumasi, one (1) in Takoradi and one (1) in Tamale.

© 2023 • story by Edem L. Nukafu
Writer’s email: edemlatsu093@gmail.com

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