In a frustrating turn of events, Ghanaian artists find themselves waiting anxiously for their well-deserved royalties, as the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) faces a license withholding that hampers its ability to carry out its crucial role in collecting and distributing royalties.
The license issue arose after veteran singer Akosua Agyapong called for the closure of GHAMRO, citing legal complications that have prevented the organization from renewing its license. This recent development was announced during a press conference held in Accra on June 1, 2023.
Rex Omar, Chairman of GHAMRO’s interim management committee, acknowledged that the organization would be unable to distribute any collected royalties until the license is renewed. He vehemently denied Akosua Agyapong’s allegations, viewing them as a “smear campaign” aimed at tarnishing the reputation of GHAMRO’s management and directors.
Akosua Agyapong’s concerns regarding GHAMRO’s operations include non-compliance with recommendations outlined in the organization’s 2021 report. Notably, she highlighted the failure to allocate the recommended 10% of royalties for the welfare of rights holders. Additionally, Agyapong expressed disappointment over the lack of assistance provided to members in dire need, despite substantial funds being allocated for other purposes.
The allocation of funds, payment of royalties, and transparency within GHAMRO were also subjects of concern raised by Agyapong. She questioned the substantial amounts paid to “spinners” who collect royalties compared to the compensation received by the music creators, stressing the importance of fair remuneration.
Moreover, the absence of an official list of GHAMRO’s estimated 4,000 members raised doubts about whether legitimate members were receiving their rightful royalties, casting a shadow of doubt on the organization’s transparency.
As Ghanaian artists await the resolution of GHAMRO’s license issue, the delay in receiving their much-needed royalties poses significant challenges. This development underscores the importance of addressing the concerns raised by Akosua Agyapong and working towards a more transparent, fair, and efficient system that ensures artists receive their due compensation promptly.