The National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) established by Ghana's first President. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is to become a modern Multimedia University when the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is voted into power in the 2020 general elections with students taught in various courses in creative arts.
The presidential candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, said this during the launch of the party's 2020 manifesto at the University of Professional Studies, in Accra on Monday, September 7, 2020.
The ex-President who is staging a strong comeback after his 2016 defeat to the NPP's Nana Akufo-Addo also announced that the National Theatre will be refurbished.
"It was imperative for the National Film and Television Institute to be converted into a multimedia university where students are groomed on the various branches that exist in the creative arts industry", he had said.
He added in that interview with that: "infrastructure is a driver and it propels economic prosperity but I'm saying that at the same time everything we do should be geared towards creating jobs for the youth. That is why in the next administration that I head, everything will be geared towards creating more jobs in, say, the creative arts. You can imagine how many people can be employed in the creative arts industry as film directors, as sound engineers, as sound men. Nigeria has got it right and how Nigeria did it, we can follow the same path and move our creative arts to the next level."
"I've suggested that NAFTI should be turned into a modern Multimedia University that will train sound people, musicians and all of them. And create a conducive environment like building theatres and studios so that when a movie director shoots his movie, he will not have to share the proceeds with a private theatre 50/50 but rather the government theatre will just take 25% percent so that the movie maker can also invest the money made in producing other movies. Creating studios where they can use the studio at a subsidized fee."
"The government should create a platform for young producers to come and showcase what they've been able to do. How much will it cost to give them the National Theatre, have an Accra film festival, collaborate with the private sector to do an Accra film festival, the government can give prizes to the best movie? There are people doing Accra fashion week so you help them. Let all the fashion designers come and showcase the new models. People will come from Nigeria, they will bring money in, they will stay in hotels. We need to unleash our creative juices and I feel very passionate about this."
But there are claims ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) that NAFTI is already a multimedia university.
Sometime last year, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, had explained government's decision to merge the Ghana Institute of Journalism, the Ghana Institute of Languages and the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) into one tertiary Institute is to help them obtain a university license.
Professor Yankah said though the three institutions have applied to be Universities they do not meet the standard.
Speaking to Citi News, Professor Yankah said "Certainly it is one of the legislative instruments we are considering because GIJ applied to be a university separately and NAFTI also applied to be a university. "
"Sitting back we realized that maybe none of them on its own has fully satisfied the requirement to be a university, but if you merge them, they can become various colleges or faculties within one university as it has been done in several parts of the world," he said.
In November 2018, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, mentioned that the government has initiated processes to merge three of the country's public tertiary institutions, Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and the Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL) into one.
The consolidated institutions would be known as the National Institute of Communication and Media Arts.
Mr. Ofori-Atta, said this when he presented the 2019 budget statement in Parliament.
"Mr. Speaker, processes have also commenced to merge the Ghana Institute of Languages, National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) into the National Institute of Communication and Media Arts. In 2019, the necessary regulatory Bill will be put together with stakeholder consultations," he said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta told Parliament that the move to merge the three institutions forms part of government's commitment to expand tertiary education opportunities to meet increasing demand and the skill needs of the country.
Of the three institutions, only GIJ has been granted a Presidential Charter to award its own degrees, diplomas and certificates for programmes accredited by the National Accreditation Board, while NAFTI does so due to its affiliation with the University of Ghana.