Mr Kojo Opong Nkrumah
Mr Kojo Opong Nkrumah

Government is encouraging financially sound public institutions to invest in the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and leverage its reach and credibility to tell their success stories to the world.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister Designate for Information, who said this during his vetting in Parliament by the Appointment Committee, on Thursday, challenged the Free Zone Board, the Ghana Investment Promotion Council and the Ghana Export Promotion Centre among others to take advantage of GNA’s reach to attract strategic foreign investment.

The Agency’s mandate include telling Africa’s story from the African perspective for better understanding, projection of positive African image and global integration.

The Minister-Designate said the Agency’s new management was repositioning the only national wire service and therefore needed such support to turn its fortunes around as a global player on the media landscape.

He said the Agency has already recorded growth in market share in terms of media outlets subscribing to its stories and needed a push.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said government had supported the Agency to strengthen its online/social media presence and improved its visibility through the development of a new website.

The Minister- Designate was responding to a question from Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader of Parliament, on the need to resource the Ghana News Agency and improve the conditions of service of staff.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah, also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi in the Eastern Region, said it was imperative for the State, through the National Media Commission, to support the validation and investigation of attacks on journalists as a response to attacks on media practitioners in the country.

Ghana’s ratings on international media Index over the past four years, had declined from 23rd position to 30th due to the increasing attacks on journalists in line of duty.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah stated that during his tenure as Information Minister under the Akufo-Addo’s government, he established a Media Capacity Enhancement Programme to build the capacity of journalists through training, in order to enhance compliance with the ethics of the journalism profession.

The Minister-designate said any attack on journalists was unacceptable and condemned in no uncertain terms attacks on journalists even when a journalist had violated the ethics of Journalism.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah gave the assurance that, if given the nod, he would champion the passage of the Broadcast Bill into law to enhance the freedom of the media

He said the Ministry had established an IT Secretariat and trained 455 Information Officers so far, to respond to requests from the public.

The Ministry had increased the number of Public Relations Officers (PROs) at the Information Services Department (ISD) to support public education campaigns on government policies.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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