Akwasi Agyeman CEO, Ghana Tourism Authority

The CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, has revealed that design company, Samsal is the agency that supplied them with some of the footages in the now viral tourism video.

Opening up on how the Authority got the video, Mr Agyeman explained that at the height of the Year of Return in 2019, Samsal reached out to his outfit for help.

He stated that the company had come up with a list of things they wanted GTA to help them with after they launched a new product targeting the diasporans coming into the country.

Mr Agyeman stated 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 that an MoU was signed and the footages were handed over. They 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 footages 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.

But reacting to the musician, the Ghana Tourism Authority, dismissed claims that some footage used for the new tourism promotional video which features President Akufo-Addo was pirated.

In a press statement, the Authority stated that they procured the footage Kirani Ayat is claiming ownership of legitimately from a creative agency in 2019 as part of a project.

The GTA stated that the agency delivered the content to the Authority, and the Authority used the content in accordance with the terms of the MOU.

They however added that despite their stance, they have reached out to the agency to deal with the issue after Kirani Ayat aired his concerns.

However, Kirani Ayat replied the Ghana Tourism Authority stating that he has not given any agency the right to his intellectual property or given approval for any agency to use his content.

“As an independent artist and SOLE owner of the video used in the “visit Ghana” ad campaign, I have NO agreement with any government or private entity to use my intellectual property,” he noted.


Meanwhile, 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.

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