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01.03.2006 General News

Free speech poses a challenge to Government- VEEP

By GNA

Accra, March 1, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Mahama, observed on Wednesday that the explosion of free speech in Ghana was posing a challenge to Government to come into terms with the new demand of information management for effective governance.

"It is also clear that the nature of modern governance is such that Government alone ought not to be left out with the burden of communication," he said at the maiden Presidential Luncheon of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Ghana in Accra.

" Governance is multi-dimensional. Stakeholders of varied backgrounds and expertise are expected to participate and be consulted for efficiency," he told the large audience at the ceremony, which was on the theme: "Communication: A must Have for Business." Vice President Mahama said it was important that those who had access to information at any point in time shared it for the benefit of the community they found themselves.

He said society would benefit a great deal from the quality that the IPR could put into information management at the political, economic and social levels.

" It is an onerous task but the goodwill is there. I urge you to strive towards mastery of our free environment so that you can be part of the success story of entrenching a free but responsible culture of communication in our growing democracy.

Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe, Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, who was the Guest Speaker, observed that communication was not complete until there was feedback.

She explained that it was only through feedback that one could measure whether the message communicated had been understood or not. "Communication promotes motivation by helping employees to understand what is to be done, how remarkable their performance is and what ought to be done either to maintain or lift up the performance. "Besides, communication facilitates decision-making. It helps to provide the information and the insights that individuals and groups need for decision making by making data available," she said. Mrs Mwanakatwe said Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) had become a must-do for businesses and relied heavily on communication. She said CSR facilitated goodwill and helped to drive competitive advantage, adding: "Indeed CSR does for organisations, what tangible and emotional attributes do for brands."

Mr Kojo Yankah, President of IPR Ghana, expressed the need for the country to adopt time management as a norm, stressing that the West African State was throwing away huge opportunities by sheer waste of precious time.

"We have very little or no excuse to blame others for our misfortunes," he observed.

A special fund raising organised by Miss Joyce Aryee, Executive Director of Ghana Chamber of Mines and Chairman for the occasion yielded 10 million cedis from the Vice President and pledges ranging from one million cedis to five million cedis from individuals and corporate bodies.

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