Following a directive from the President of Ghana His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo to close all nonessential businesses in Ghana during the early stages of the presence of the Coronavirus, all cinemas were closed indefinitely till date. But, last Thursday in Accra, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Honorable Barbara Oteng – Gyasi, in an exclusive interview with Shine Publications, stated that Government is currently receiving proposals from businesses and other entities on how they can operate safely if reopened. She said that the ongoing conversation between the Government and such establishments is likely to be concluded at the end of the month after which some new directives will be given. Therefore, she added that satisfactory proposals from cinema operators may result in the permission to reopen.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Honorable Barbara Oteng – Gyasi, has welcomed the idea of cinemas reopening in order to help the struggling movie industry in Ghana; even amid the Coronavirus scare. However, she stated that such permissions are only likely to be granted after receiving convincing proposals from cinema operators on safety measures for the attendants with regards to the Coronavirus. “Definitely, as the Government’s team that assesses our situational position periodically, comes out with directives depending on the outlook of the Nation, I think something can be done about it. Currently, the President is engaging various stakeholders like the Association of Ghana Industries and other bodies to come out with proposals as to how they think they can operate their enterprises in a safe manner. So, the Government is looking at this, and as we realise that we are in a position where we can ease up and introduce the protocols which will ensure that the spread of the virus does not occur, I believe the Government will grant that opportunity”, she explained.
Hon. Barbara Oteng – Gyasi added that the Government is having discussions and reviewing proposals for the safe reopening of businesses in Ghana and said she was optimistic that some directives would be given after the process. “So it’s an ongoing exercise and the proposals are being submitted to government and engagement with various stakeholders are taking place as well. And so, during this period until the end of the month, the Government is giving itself that space to do all this work and afterwards, may come up with some directives in that respect”, she said.
The Minister’s optimistic message comes as good news to some filmmakers in Ghana since the complete halt of the Film industry due to the presence of the Coronavirus.
By Jerry Wonder