By Aisha Tamba
The Minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat NK Bah has said that the Gambia’s creative industry is capable of easing the unemployment burden of youths on the government since the country’s young people are very much into the arts.
Hamat was speaking at the formal signing ceremony of copyright regulations, 2018 held at a local hotel in Banjul marking the signing of the first set of copyright regulations since the passing of the Copyright Act by the national assembly in 2004.
“I would also want to observe that it is in the interest of government to see to it that there is an effective copyright regime. As government cannot provide jobs to all citizens, it is trite policy for government to provide or facilitate gainful self-employment to citizens. The arts or creative industry is one such area that has huge potential to alleviate the unemployment burden. This is particularly important for the youthful population many of whom have chosen the arts for their livelihood,” Hamat said
He said the least government can do is to provide the enabling legislation and environment for them to gain a decent livelihood from their preoccupations, adding that effective copyright serves to inspire more creativity. “Once a creator knows that he or she stands to gain from his/her original creations, he/she will be motivated to deliver more original creations, assured of benefits to self and dependants for a considerable period, in our case for 50 years after the passing of the original creator,” he said.
“In spite of these historical insights, the Government of New Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Barrow deems it necessary to re-establish a national troupe for many reasons. Firstly, there is no doubt that a troupe that brings together our diverse ethnicities to showcase the rich performance traditions of our people could serve as much needed inspiration to come together in this politically polarized time. In unity lies our strength, as was demonstrated in the coalition of political parties that finally rid us of the dictatorial regime of the ex-President which thrived on ethnic patronage whilst proclaiming otherwise,” he added.