The reconstituted Ghana News Agency (GNA) Board of Directors was inaugurated yesterday in Accra for a two-year term with a call on members to offer excellent leadership in an atmosphere of good corporate governance.
The seven-member board chaired by Rex Owusu-Ansah, was reconstituted by the National Media Commission, in consultation with the President.
Inaugurating it, the Chairman of the Commission, Paul Adu-Gyamfi, said that as Ghana celebrates her 50th anniversary, the GNA would be expected to tell the world what the country has been able to achieve as an independent nation.
Ghana, he said, therefore needs a news agency capable of telling the wonderful story of the golden nation. 'We need a news agency that helps us to showcase the decade old democracy with buds of hope and anticipation', he stressed, and hinted that the Commission will soon call for a major stakeholder discussion on corporate governance of the state-owned media to reflect on their context of social, economic and democratic pressures.
Mr.Adu-Gyamfi expressed concern about the bad image of Africa being portrayed by the foreign media which, he noted, is affecting the investment drive and 'our capacity to provide for the daily survival needs of our people'.
That trend, he said, could be reversed when 'we situate our local stories about our own selves in their right context'.
Responding, Mr. Owusu-Ansah reaffirmed the board’s commitment to making the GNA a first-class centre of excellence for news gathering and processing, and the training of young and budding journalists to build a united, cohesive and democratic nation.
He noted that the GNA, despite its numerous challenges, continues to disseminate 'truthful, accurate and unbiased news with diligence with the highest level of professionalism'.
On the Agency’s problems, Mr. Owusu-Ansah mentioned the lack of an up-to-date technology and equipment to enable it to gather, process and transmit news to secondary newscasters or consumers who have limited or no access to such news.
He also mentioned inadequate financial resources, late releases of approved funds for operations and critical maintenance of plant and machinery, inability to replace obsolete technology and equipment compled with continued inability to attract and retain experienced professional staff because of low remunerations as other major challenges of the agency.