GNA Board inaugurated
Successive Governments after that of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah have not given Ghana News Agency (GNA) the needed support because they failed to appreciate the vital role a
strengthened GNA could play in Ghana’s democracy.
Speaking at the inauguration of the GNA Board in Accra on Friday, Ambassador Kabral Blay Amihere, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), said Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who set up the Agency, clearly understood why the new Ghana needed its own news agency to tell the African story.
“The GNA is more relevant today than before. Today’s expanded media and political landscape offers GNA a bigger market and greater significance,” he said.
He said it was unfortunate that fortunes of the GNA, which had offices in Nairobi, Lagos, London and even an office in the UN Headquarters in New York at its peak had had its fortunes dwindling.
Ambassador Amihere said: “The NMC was, therefore, conscious of where GNA is today and meticulously composed the new Board, which is chaired by Mr Giddy Laryea, an accomplished advertising executive, administrator and founder of his own successful company.”
He said one of the challenges of the Board, the Management and Staff was “to market GNA’s full potential for all stakeholders to appreciate its importance and called on the new members to help to reposition GNA as the pivotal media institution in Ghana’s democracy, make the Agency financially independent and improve staff welfare”.
Touching on the recent development at the GNA that placed it in the news, he said whatever concerns that were raised by the Unions were receiving the full attention of the Commission within the requisite diligent procedure and regulation demanded under the rule of law.
“GNA as it embarks on its new journey needs peace, harmony and unity between the Management and Staff. The new Board can only succeed in such an atmosphere” he said.
The Supervising Chief Editor, Mr Boakye-Dankwa Boadi touted GNA’s pivotal role in safeguarding the stability of Ghana’s democracy.
He cited the tension that engulfed the whole country after the 2008 Presidential Election Runoff and how a GNA story quoting Former President John Agyekum Kufour asking all Ghanaians to accept the results of the Election, when declared by the Electoral Commission, dissipated the gloom.
Mr Boadi said another GNA story in 2000 that stated that the then Former Vice President John Evans Atta Mills had conceded defeat and congratulated Former President Kufuor paved the way for the peaceful transfer of power from the National Democratic Congress Government to the New Patriotic Party Government.
He said, notwithstanding, the challenges the Agency was currently facing, one of its Easter stories “Ghanaian Christians Celebrate Easter” was automatically selected by the Master Computer of Google as the best Easter story in the whole world and made accessible to billions of people throughout the world.
“GNA is a national asset that should not be toyed with,” Mr Boadi said.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr Gaddy Laryea, in his acceptance letter to the NMC said: “Like most Ghanaians, I have followed the evolving fortunes and development of GNA with irresistible nostalgia and have finally reached the conclusion that a pragmatic diagnosis of the problems is necessary to bail out the Agency and set it back on the path of growth.
He said the Board would not usurp the functions of the Management but would help it to achieve the vision and mission of the Agency, adding that he was inspired by the successes chalked by the GNA.
The Board Chairman said success could only be achieved by people with passion and called on the Management and staff to get on board to make the GNA dream a reality.
Mr Robert Hrisir-Quaye, who spoke on behalf of the old Board, said two years ago, at the inauguration of their Board, a statement about their predecessors kept them on their toes and noted it was unfortunate that just as they had to leave the scene they were confronted by unprecedented developments at the Agency.
He said they were delighted that despite the undercurrents, there was relative calm at the Agency and wished the new Board well in it deliberations.
Ambassador Amihere swore in the new Board members – Alhaji Haruna Attah; Mr Joseph Adjei; Nana Asantewaa Afadzenu; Ms Ajoa Yeboah Afari and Mr Nat Lomo Mainoo.
In an interview after the inauguration, Mrs Yaa Oforiwah Asare-Peasah, Deputy News Editor of the GNA, welcomed the new Board and appealed to the members to constantly interact with the workers to discuss their aspirations and challenges.
“A one-on-one interaction as well as frequent durbars would not only affirm the confidence of the workers but also help to address the challenges facing them to eventually promote a cordial working relationship among all.”