MultiChoice to invest in Ghana’s film industry, launches Akwaaba Magic Abusua

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MultiChoice Group is expected to continue investing in Ghana’s film and arts industry, which will positively impact the country’s economy.

MultiChoice has already invested $1 million after launching a 24-hour channel; Akwaaba Magic on DSTV and GOtv and later Showmax to showcase authentic Ghanaian content in a bid to revive the industry. 

This is believed to have impacted the economy with over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs created.

Executive Head, West Africa in charge of content, Dr Busola Tejumola, speaking at the 1st anniversary of Akwaaba Magic and launch of Akwaaba Magic Abusua channel in Accra said the company will invest in people, content and infrastructure.

“In just a year, the channel has been able to commission at least 10 series including ‘Dede’, ‘To Have And To Hold’, ‘Sankofa’ but to mention a few”.

“13 features films are currently in production and on-air. We set a very high target after the launch last year and I must say that Ghana didn’t disappoint,” she stated.

MultiChoice to invest in Ghana’s film industry, launches Akwaaba Magic Abusua

According to her, Akwaaba Magic was the 8th most-watched channel on DSTV in its first month and currently remains in the top 20.

Dr Busola Tejumola shared how Akwaaba Magic has helped producers and other players who were hard hit by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Although the launch of Akwaaba Magic Abusua is seen as a bold statement by MultiChoice, it comes as no mean achievement as it was a ‘tussle’ between MultiChoice Ghana and its headquarters in Dubai before being given the nod.

With a presence in 48 countries, Akwaaba Magic Abusua is expected to continue on the trajectory of the Akwaaba Magic channel.  

Chair of MultiChoice Ghana, Richard Darko said Africa Magic channels have made a significant impact on Nollywood contributing $600 million in 2019 to the GDP of Nigeria.

“Nollywood is identified in the economic growth of Nigeria with a planned $1 billion in export revenue. Ghana’s film industry can also become a major contributor to economic growth,” he said. 

Richard Darko, however, pointed out that the lack of a sustainable distribution network made up of cinemas, film festivals, auditoriums and streaming platforms affects the film industry in Ghana.   

Managing Director of MultiChoice Ghana, Alex Okyere indicated that these channels will churn out quality entertainment.

“Productions including ‘Dede’, ‘To Have And To Hold’, ‘Inspector Bediako’, ‘Accra Medic’, among several others shot in Ghana and along with our investment, various communities have been positively impacted,” he mentioned.

Akwaaba Magic is said to have provided the platform for Ghanaians to showcase their talents and provide content to a global audience on Showmax.

MultiChoice maintained that this feat could not have been possible without key stakeholders including the National Film Authority, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, film producers, directors guild, actors guild and independent producers.

As the company continues to push its hyper-local concept with the Akwaaba Magic Abusua channel on DSTV and GOtv, other allied sectors are expected to grow.

Mr Alex Okyere highlighted content piracy, weak regulatory framework, and limited training opportunities, among others as challenges facing the industry and called for close collaboration to address them.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey shared government’s commitment to movie production as President Akufo-Addo launched a $25 million pitch concept in 2021.

“This was also invariably to improve on the economic fortunes of creatives and practitioners. We will work hard to get investors for the industry,” he assured.   

He assured industry players that government was working on the cultural policy and Creative Arts School which will be established in Kumasi as well as the Creative Fund which will emerge out of the Creative Arts Agency to support practitioners.

He encouraged players to produce quality content and embrace the digital space to reach a global audience as done by Hollywood and other markets.

Mark Okraku-Mantey commended MultiChoice for providing platforms such as Showmax which is selling local content including ‘Eno’ globally.

Meanwhile, Channel Manager, Akwaaba Magic, Kennedy Dankyi- Appah was happy that more of these platforms will give the local industry extra mileage. 

“We’re showing season 1 of ‘Dede’ and ‘Inside Out’  on Akwaaba Magic Abusua, ‘Tanko Villa’ and ‘Rock That Aisle’ every Sunday and Friday on Akwaaba Magic respectively,”  

“We will show ‘High Currency’ and others in the coming month,” he hinted.  

MultiChoice team is in dire need of talent as the company continues to look for the next big star and big producer.

The company is grateful to the subscribers and entreated Ghanaians to patronise Akwaaba Magic and Akwaaba Magic Abusua for the industry to thrive.

Renowned actors, directors and producers including Fred Amugi, Oscar Provincial, Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Ivan Quashigah and many stars joined in the anniversary celebration.