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ACA2K Ghana Node

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ACA2K Ghana Team

Ghana ACA2K Country Node

Mr. Poku Adusei

Ghana research team member, University of Ghana Legon, Accra, Ghana

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Mr. Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi

Ghana research team member, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana

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Ms. Naana Halm
Ghana research team member, Lawyer, Accra, Ghana

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ACA2K Ghana Country Rationale (Back to top)

Ghana presented an important country context for the ACA2K Project because the government had, in 2005, tightened copyright rules in the country. The Copyright Act of 2005 provided for:
  • an increase in the size of fines for cases of copyright piracy; and
  • an increase in copyright term from the life of the author plus 50 years to the life of the author plus 70 year thereafter.
This extension of the copyright term to at least 70 years was beyond what was required by international treaties and was an example of what is known as a "TRIPs-plus" provision - a provision going beyond what is required by the WTO's TRIPs Agreement. Such provisions are of major concern to the A2K movement.

Also of concern to some in Ghana at the time of the new law was the fact that the law appeared to restrict the use of folklore by Ghanaians. Via the 2005 Copyright Act, the rights to folklore are vested in the state. The Coalition of Concerned Copyright Advocates (COCCA) complained that such provisions could lead to jail terms for writers and other artists using their traditional folklore to create commercial works without paying a levy to the state.

Additionally, research into learning materials access at the University of Ghana (Darkey, 2007) found that Ghana's toughened approach to copyright protection was at odds with the needs of students and librarians.

Ghana plays host to the Association of African Universities (AAU) which, among other things, has made efforts to increase African universities' development of online publishing of theses and dissertations -- through the AAU Database of Theses and Dissertations (DATAD) Initiative.

Ghana has a strong library development and literacy movement, led by the Ghana Book Trust (GBT). Established in 1989, the GBT is well-networked internationally with organisations such as CODE, the International Book Bank, Books for Africa, the Sabre Foundation, Book-Aid International and Australia's Ghana Educational Assistance Forum. In 2001, the GBT started a children's library, with an electronic component, at its office in Accra, and it has received recognition and support from the Ghanaian Parliament and the Ghana Book Development Council. The GBT supports librarian training, library development and local-language publishing (e.g., in the Twi language), and works with the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Library Board, and the Ghana Publishers Association.

Research Outputs (Back to top)

Legislation (Back to top)

Secondary Literature (Back to top)

Adusei, P. ‘Burden of proof in land cases: an analysis of some recent decisions of the
Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Ghana’ (2000-2002) 22 University of
Ghana Law Journal

Adusei, P. ‘Cyberspace and the dilemma of traditional copyright law: an assessment
of the impact on the legal community’ (2002-2004) 22 University of Ghana Law

Adusei, P. ‘The evolution of Ghana’s copyright regime since independence: a critical
appraisal’ in Mensa-Bonsu et al (eds) Ghana law since independence: history,
development and prospects
(2007) Black Mask Publication, Accra.

Amegatcher, A.O. Ghanaian law of copyright (1993) Omega Law Publishers, Accra.

Asmah, J. ‘Historical threads: intellectual property protection of traditional
textile designs: the Ghanaian experience and African perspectives’ (2008) 15
International Journal of Cultural Property 271.

Darkey, E.M. 'Photocopy and education In Ghana' (2007), University of Ghana Legon.

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