He made the call following the government financial involvement in the 2018 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) which was hosted in Ghana.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku, in an interview a few months ago revealed that Ghana will host AFRIMA for three years and the government has an amount to pump into it.
“Government is supporting the event with $4.5 million for the three years but for this year, we are spending $ 700,000,” she revealed.
However, Prince Mackay believes similar treatment should be given to AGAFEST because the award scheme belongs to Ghanaians.
According to him, AFRIMA doesn’t recognise gospel musicians and their works but received funding from the government, and that is why he is calling on the government to lend its support to AGAFEST.
“AFRIMA is a secular award – there’s not even a category for gospel music. AGAFEST is a complete gospel award. So once the ministry has supported something for secular, it must sponsor the African gospel awards,” Prince Mackay told Pulse.com.gh in an exclusive interview.
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He argued that if the government of Ghana could sponsor AFRIMA – which belongs to Nigerians – with taxpayers money then AGAFEST has every right to demand its support because the award scheme belongs to Ghanaians.
“AFRIMA is owned by Nigerians, and Ghanaians used our hard-earned taxpayers' money to sponsor each year. AGAFEST belongs to Ghanaians so Ghana must use our taxpayers' money to sponsor. The ministry must be able to sponsor AGAFEST which belongs to and owned by Ghanaians.”
Mr Mackay called on the government to pump 1 million dollars annually into the award scheme, and if the government fails to do so, then it means it is biased towards its citizens.
“The government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, sponsored AFRIMA with 1.5 million dollars each year. We want the government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts to sponsor AGAFEST, which belongs to Ghanaians, with 1 million dollars each year.
If the government does not sponsor AGAFEST, which belongs to Ghanaians, then it means the government believes in foreigners than citizens. It looks like if you are a Ghanaian, you cannot get support from the government unless you become a foreigner. So if that’s what the government wants to tell us, then we will all become foreigners and allow foreigners to take over the land,” he concluded.