Akwasi Agyeman, CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority
Akwasi Agyeman, CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, has revealed the agency that supplied them with some of the footage in the now viral tourism video.

According to him, design company, Samsal, reached out to his outfit and gave them the video at the height of the ‘Year of Return’ in 2019.

On Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme, Mr Agyeman said the company had come up with a list of things it wanted GTA to help them with after they had launched a new product targeting diasporans coming into the country.

The GTA boss clarified that when he questioned what the Authority would get in return, the agency’s representative showed him videos they claimed to own and was ready to hand over to the authority to push the Ghana tourism agenda.

The GTA CEO said an MoU was signed and the footage was handed over.

The images have been in use since 2019, helping the agency promote tourism including the ‘Visit Ghana, Eat Ghana and Wear Ghana’ campaign.

Mr Agyeman stated that it was, thus, a surprise to have Kirani Ayat claim ownership of some of the footage used in the promotional video shared on Tuesday.

He noted that President Akufo-Addo on whose page the video was shared only sought to mark World Tourism Day and additionally help GTA in its job as tourism pushers. He stated that the President had no hand in the making of the video.

Mr Agyeman added that GTA also reached out to Samsal following the copyright infringement accusations and the company noted that they were communicating with Ayat to address the issue.

This comes after musician Kirani Ayat called out the Tourism Ministry and the Authority for copyright infringement.

Kirani Ayat, who was not pleased to see his work used without his consent, noted that he spent his money making the video without aid from anyone and yet he was not compensated after his content was used.

“The President of Ghana has used my video “GUDA” in this ad to promote Ghana. I was actively reaching out to the Ministry of Tourism in 2018/19 to use this video to push tourism in the North and got NO reply, yet today it’s in an ad and no one reached out to me for permission,” he wrote.

Mr Agyeman is unhappy that Kirani Ayat called out the President and the Ministry of Tourism publicly on social media.

He stated that the ‘Guda’ hitmaker could have reached out to the Ghana Tourism Authority to get the issue sorted out when he recognised his content had been used.

He stated that when the Authority reached out to him, he informed them he would communicate with a lawyer and later get back with financial demands.

Mr Agyeman insisted that the GTA has documents to prove they did not infringe on Ayat’s rights adding that just because they reached out does not mean they are guilty or “we are calling from a place of weakness”.

He stated that the Authority has been working with many creatives including Samini and Okyeame Kwame, who both did not seek compensation.

Mr Agyeman stated that although Kirani Ayat has every right to seek legal redress, the Authority does not want to make a court case out of this.

He recommended that the parties involve sit down to resolve the issue especially since GTA has consistently worked to help people in the arts including supporting programmes like Afro Nation, Afrochella, December in Ghana and others.