Two Liberian musicians have said that it is heartbreaking and sad that none of the political party candidates see the creative sector as a sector that can stimulate economic growth and increase the middle class.
Mz Menneh and Skoolboy Wizzy in a joint statement issued to LIB Life noted that it is about time that politicians realize that it is impossible that Liberia’s economy and middle class will grow without the inclusion of the creative sector (music, film, fashion, etc).
The two Liberian artists, who are based in the US, added that the creative industry is a powerful means of connecting people, as it bridges linguistic and cultural divides, as well as serves as a vehicle for expression and identity like no other.
“Since this year’s campaign started, not one single politician has pledged to make the creative sector a priority (investing money to develop the sector), when they are elected. It’s so sad that these politicians only care about agriculture and a few other sectors, and have refused to see the creative industry as an ecosystem that can create jobs, bringing about economic growth, and much more.
“These politicians need to wake up to current realities and forget the old way of thinking that the creative sector cannot play any part when it comes to the growth of the Liberian economy. They need to take a look at Ghana and Nigeria and see how the creative industry is stimulating economy growth and increasing the middle class.
“They are aware that when the creative industry is prioritized, it improves a community’s competitive edge, attracts new and visiting populations, and contributes to the development of a skilled workforce, yet they don’t want to make this sector a priority. This is total wickedness and they need to stop it,” the statement added.
The statement also said the creative industry, when actively invested in, does not only serve as an important element of economic development, it also attracts a strong workforce as well as help sustain a positive quality of life.
“Secondly, when Liberia develops a vibrant creative industry, it will drive value for cities in several important ways. The creative sector fuels job creation, economic growth, tourism development and artistic growth, and strengthens a city’s brand.
According to Mz Menneh and Skoolboy Wizzy, the empowerment of the creative sector will increase tax revenues, increase property value and retail activity, and a more sustained economic vitality.
“And we hope that they see these benefits and make it a priority,” the statement concluded.