The Management of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) has appealed to the Government to invest in the Agency to function as a modern multimedia news agency.

The Agency mentioned outmoded equipment and vehicles, late release of subventions, and logistical constraints as among key challenges hampering the operations of the nation’s wire service.

The Management of the Agency made the appeal when Ms Fatimatu Abubakar, the Minister of Information, paid a working visit to the GNA in Accra as part of her engagements with agencies and stakeholders under the Ministry.

The Minister, accompanied by some key officials at the Ministry, interacted with the Management and Board of the GNA in a bid to ascertain the operational challenges confronting the Agency to inform policy decisions towards making the state-owned media economically viable.

Ms Abubakar, a lawyer, was appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February 2024, and had served as the Deputy Information Minister for the past three years.

The Information
Minister said she was aware that State-owned media required policy reforms and retooling to effectively deliver on their mandate and assured to champion that cause at Cabinet.

Ms Abubakar said the Government was committed to supporting the progress of the media and ensuring that State-owned media diversified their operational models to respond to emerging threats in the industry.

‘We are in a sector that requires policy reforms, advocacy, support, and retooling. Sometimes that role is left behind,’ she said, and added that the Ministry would visit every media outlet in Accra and conduct cluster of meetings in the regions.

She mentioned the Coordinated Mechanism on Safety of Journalists (CMSJ) and the Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) as some key programmes being implemented by the Ministry to support the work of journalists.

Touching on legacy debts, the Minister said the Government had cleared about 80 per cent of the legacy debts of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, adding that GHS17 million
out of an amount of GHS27 million owed the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation had been written off.

She encouraged media houses to take advantage of Ghana being the host of the Regional Office for International Fund for Public Interest Media and apply for support to retool and enhance their operations.

The Board of the GNA expressed gratitude to the Minister for the visit and appealed to her to make a case for the Agency to retain 100 per cent of its Internally Generated Fund to support its operations.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, the Board Chairman, said the Agency should be prioritised for investment and sustainability by the Government as the nation’s only newswire service.

‘We appeal to you to get Cabinet to accept the unique role of the nation’s wire service so that information can be well disseminated to the people of Ghana,’ he said.

The other members of the Board, who were present, were Mr. Peter Sangber-Dery, Ms. Juliet Amoah, Dr. Charles Kwening, Dr. Ibrahim Lartey, Ms. Ivy Hoetu, and Mr. David Addai.

Mr A
lbert Kofi Owusu, General Manager (GM) of Ghana News Agency (GNA), appealed to the Minister to help secure adequate funds for operationalisation of the Agency.

He said the GNA had depended on the Ministry for such budgetary allocations, however delays in the release of the funds had always been a challenge.

Mr Owusu said in spite of the challenges, the Agency had commenced diversification of its operations by venturing into the digital space.

He said the Agency was in the process of acquiring equipment to produce audio-visual content for television and radio stations and online portals.

Mr Owusu thanked the Ministry for supporting the GNA to receive a grant from African Development Bank (AfDB) for retooling.

He said the first slot of the project was the purchasing of vehicles, which were ready to be cleared at the port.

‘The Ghana News Agency is capable of doing the work. What we need is a little support,’ the General Manager emphasised.

GNA was established on March 5, 1957, on the eve of Ghana’s indep
endence by Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

The Agency was charged with the mandate to disseminate 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.

The Agency has been operating in the unique role of mobilising the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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