Ghanaian music producer, Mark Okraku Mantey has been nominated by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, for the position of Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
When approved by Parliament, he will deputise for Awal Mohammed, the substantive Minister for the sector.
Okraku Mantey, who is the interim President of the Creative Arts Agency, is also the Head of Programmes at Hitz FM.
About Okraku Mantey
Mark Okraku Mantey started music production in 1996 as the Chief Executive Officer of Slip Music.
He worked with artistes such as Kojo Ashakan, Felix Bell, Ohene Kissi, Lord Kenya, Daasebre Gyamena, Adane Best, Akyeame, Okuraseni Samuel, Bless, and Kumi Guitar.
Others include Nana Yaw Asare, Jamson, Kudjo Sasu, and Nana Quame, Swazzy B, Joe Frazier, among others.
Mark’s love for the arts goes beyond just music. At one point, he was the executive producer of ‘Efiewura’, a comedy series that aired on TV3.
He has also been involved in organising some of the biggest events that the country has ever seen.
For the past years, Okraku Mantey has been actively involved in politics, after openly declaring his support for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and championing creative arts activities through the Creative Arts for Change, a group of creatives that rallied behind the party.
In 2017, when the New Patriotic Party assumed power, he was appointed as the President of the Creative Arts Council, an institution that was instrumental in the passage of the Creative Arts Bill.
After Nana Akufo-Addo’s re-election as President, some people in the creative arts industry insisted that an arts-inclined person should be made the deputy Minister of the sector.
Some names that came up apart from Mark Okraku Mantey for the position were Bice ‘Obour’ Osei Kuffour – former President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and 2020 parliamentary aspirant of the NPP in the Asante Akyem South constituency, Akwasi Agyemang – Chief Executive Office of the Ghana Tourism Authority and Juliet Asante – Filmmaker and Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority.
Others were Kojo Frimpong – broadcast journalist, Kwabena Okyere Darko – Member of Parliament for the Takoradi constituency and James Korsah Brown – talent manager and 2020 NPP parliamentary aspirant for Mfantseman Constituency.
Expectations from the Creative Sector
A lot of creatives have reposed so much hope in their own holding at least the Deputy Minister position.
For most of them, someone from the industry would help project the creative sector of the Ministry which has for the past years not received enough push and attention.
With Mark as the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, pending parliamentary approval, he will be expected to make sure that a lot (if not all) of the manifesto promises made by the New Patriotic Party for the creative industry are fulfilled.
He is also expected to help make the arts feature prominently in the scheme of things as far as activities of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, is concerned.