The Ghana News Agency (GNA) the foremost national wire service on Tuesday marked its 62nd anniversary with a sober reflection and call on the current generation of workers to carry the torch of nationhood forward.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, GNA General Manager recalled that, “on March 6, Ghana will mark an important day in the history of this great country. It is a day that marks the beginning of our independence from colonial rule and places our destiny into our own hands to pursue our own developmental path to achieve prosperity for all.
“It is most significant that a day before the historic Independence Day, March 5, 1957, the Ghana News Agency was birthed as the first News Agency in Sub-Saharan Africa and third on the continent after Egypt and Sudan”.
Mr Owusu explained that Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah likened the growth of the GNA to that of the country saying the Agency symbolised in many ways, the gigantic strides made by Ghana after independence.
“From a humble beginning, and bearing the heavy burden of a colonial legacy, Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah observed that Ghana was developing with great speed into a strong, progressive State”.
The GNA Boss said unfortunately the path of development was not as smooth-sailing as Dr. Nkrumah wanted it.
He said, Ghana has had its own chequered history of highs and lows, with periods of stagnation, sometimes with threats of a reversal of progress. “But the country braved the storms and today we are on the cusp of breaking out into a strong and viable economy with a growing democracy and great prospects for Ghanaians”.
He said the GNA was there all along playing its vital role of holding the country together by connecting the people from all parts of the country to the leaders and decision makers through the gathering and sharing of information to aid decision-making.
“Today, faced with huge challenges, caught up in a pluralistic media environment along with great technological advancement, the GNA continues to live up to the high expectations of its founders.
“As we mark 62 years of Ghana’s independence and also the creation of the GNA, it is our fervent wish and prayer that the Agency’s operations will see a sharp turnaround and improvement leveraging modern technological tools”.
The GM recounted that, Mr Kofi Baako, Ghana’s first Minister of Information and Broadcasting described the agency “…no other West African country has a service like GNA, which collects news from the farthest parts of Ghana and makes it available, within a matter of minutes, to local and foreign newspapers, to the Broadcasting Service and to the growing number of its other subscribers.
“Let us also remember the words of Sir Christopher Chancellor, General Manager of Reuters, which set up the Ghana News Agency thus,
“The details of our operations are, for the most part, little known to the general public. Nevertheless, we have a very vital part to play in the functioning of an informed democracy.
“A national News agency, independent and strong, outside politics, free from the influence of any group or faction, is an essential element in the modern democratic state.”
Mr Kofi Owusu noted: “On behalf of the Board and Management, I will like to wish us all A Happy Anniversary”.
He commended past General Managers, Staff, Governments and all other stakeholders who have in diverse ways contributed to the development of the Agency.