A lawsuit has been filed by Mark Darlington Osae — a Music Rights Activist and Artiste Manager, against Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) at the country’s Supreme Court last Friday, November 11.
The writ highlighted concerns over certain areas of the agency’s policy that regulate alcohol advertisements on mainstream media.
The FDA’s 2015 regulations stated that celebrities should not be used to promote alcoholic products in any way. According to the agency, the guideline is a measure to reduce adolescent alcoholism.
However, Mark argues otherwise claiming that the regulations constitute discrimination on the basis of economic status, occupation, and other factors.
“As a creative industry, we do not need to shy away from testing the laws of the country if need be. We should be interested in and collectively demand accountability on matters, regulations and laws that affect us,” he said to Theafricandream.net in an interview.
As a founding member of the Ghana Music Alliance, he believes the regulation is bad news for the entertainment industry because it eliminates possible sources of income.
Ghana Music Alliance’s movement against FDA’s regulations began in 2021 as a conversation with a Senior Legal Officer of the FDA and other interest speakers in a virtual program titled “FDA Ban on Celebrity Endorsements of Alcoholic Products. A Laudable Cause or An Unfair Target on Celebs?”
“AFGHAM seeks to assist in creating a vibrant music and entertainment industry in Ghana. The organization believes the best possible way to achieve this is by educating the creators who matter and the public too,” said Mark to the Theafricandream.net.
According to him, the FDA’s 2015 regulations are in conflict with articles 17(1) and 17(2) of the country’s 1992 Constitution, yet no legal action has been taken to seek remedy.
“Which is why we feel our voice needs to be heard on this discriminatory ban…” he said.