The flamboyant Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) CEO, Yofi Grant, is reported to have led a delegation from Ghana to visit and tour Tyler Perry Studios in the United States of America but without the Ghana Tourism Development Board or any Ghanaian actor or actress.
But on the delegation was the CEO of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Dr Afua Asabea Asare, executives from the Ghana International Chamber of Commerce (GHICC), and the Ghana Council of Georgia members.
It is not clear if any person from the Creative Art Council was part of the trip, the cost of which is yet to be known, especially in a period of austerity measures with the government announcing a ban on foreign trips unless it was extremely necessary.
Tyler Perry Studios (TPS) is an American film production studio in Atlanta, Georgia founded by actor, filmmaker, and playwright Tyler Perry in 2006.
Interestingly, after their tour, the Ghanaians held a meeting with Elon D. Johnson, Senior Creative Executive of Production and Development at the Tyler Perry Studios.
This meeting encouraged Tyler Perry Studios to consider Ghana as an ideal location for its production hub in Africa.
The delegation from Ghana addressed the great talents and opportunities in Ghana’s creative arts industry and called for Tyler Perry Studios to come to invest in Ghana.
Coincidentally, the Creative Art Council holds the view that “Ghana has the potential for a thriving, dynamic creative arts industry. From music, to fashion, theatre, architecture and the visual arts and design: the Ghanaian creative vision is being recognised as a strong force to be reckoned with.
According to the council, “the enlightenment and entertainment the creative arts can bring will play an important role in local regeneration and enrichment of the lives in our communities, enhance the tourism sector of the country, as well as inspire education and the development of talent and innovation among the younger generation.
“Arts and culture can also influence policy: it’s often the vanguard of positive social and political change. By providing employable tools and education for students and artists in the industry with entrepreneurship skills and knowledge that develops our disciplines, we can make a positive contribution to society and the economy while generating new sources of income to support our creative ambitions.
But despite these profound statements, the GIPC did not include the creative council in the trip but instead GEPA and GHICC.
Before this, movie actor and comedian Michael Blackson stated in an exclusive interview with Doreen Avio that he would get investors and some of his colleagues in Hollywood, including Tyler Perry, to invest in the Ghana movie industry.
On the heels of that, he tweeted on February 16: “Hey @tylerperry, let’s go half on a film studio in Ghana, I’ll get the land, and you build the studio.”
“I ran into a few film commissioners that were here last week. We talked about how we need a big film studio here, so I will reach out to my big boys like Tyler Perry to see if he would be interested in extending something over here,” Michael Blackson said on Let’s Talk Showbiz.
According to him, the industry needs funds and other things, including a film studio, to flourish; adding that, he would like Ghana to be a spot for filmmakers worldwide to visit and shoot their projects.