UNESCO supports COVID-19 campaign in Ghana

As part of the national efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Ghana, UNESCO and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have supported the launch of a new campaign through a joint initiative in partnership with the National Commission on Culture (NCC), the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and the Creative Arts Council.

The campaign consists of the release of a song, a music video, and video messages by Ghanaian artists through local media platforms. The song and music video feature selected musicians of MUSIGA, namely, Kofi Kinaata, Celestine Donkor, Pat Thomas, Amandzeba, Adane Best and Samuel Kofi Agyemang. In different Ghanaian languages, the song seeks to encourage the people of Ghana to continue adhering to COVID-19 protocol based on the recommendations of the Ghana Health Service and the World Health Organization.
The video messages produced by the Creative Arts Council feature well-known Ghanaian personalities such as Stonebwoy, Kuami Eugene, Kidi, Martha Ankomah, Cookie Tee, Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Bill Asamoah, Doreen Avio and Elikem Kumordzie. 

The general public was able to follow the launch of the campaign online, which was attended by the UNESCO Representative in Ghana, Abdourahamane Diallo, the Executive Director of the NCC, the Acting President of MUSIGA and the Acting Head of Operations of the Creative Arts Council. In his speech, Mr. Diallo welcomed the initiative and highlighted the vital and undeniable role of the cultural and creative industries in information-sharing and awareness-raising during the pandemic. “Artists have the power to reach a large audience and enable rapid and widespread communication of health information among their fans through diverse forms of cultural expressions.” It is also part of the bigger UN Country Team support to Ghana’s efforts in responding to COVID 19 looking at prevention.

The short video messages have been aired on radio and television stations and shared online on social media to remind people about physical distancing, washing hands, wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, and staying at home to the greatest extent possible. With the intention of reaching as many people as possible, the languages used in the production were English, Twi, Ewe and Dagomba.

Artists have the power to reach a large audience and enable rapid and widespread communication of health information among their fans through diverse forms of cultural expressions.
Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative and Head of Office in Ghana

The collaboration between UNESCO and ECOWAS in Ghana is part of a broader joint response to COVID-19 in several West African countries and Ghana is one of the first to implement the activity that aims at strengthening national capacities in responding to the pandemic. As the impacts of the pandemic are multidimensional, multi-pronged innovative approaches are required to address the challenges faced by the countries. Thus, UNESCO and ECOWAS are committed to supporting West African countries to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic in the fields of education, science, and culture. This campaign in Ghana is one of several activities outlined to, ultimately, build resilient societies that adequately prepare for future emergencies.

Watch the music video below: