Ghana Journalists Association empowers media to focus on private sector
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has launched a media sensitization programme to empower journalists in drawing attention to the challenges of the private business community.
The eight-month project dubbed “Using the Media to Raise Comprehensive Coverage of Challenges Facing the Ghanaian Private Sector”, is funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, a multi-donor fund set up to strengthen the advocacy capacity of Ghanaian private sector groups and associations.
The GJA said the project “is underpinned by the need to galvanize the media to show greater interest in the development of the private sector, and thus highlight the key challenges of the sector in a consistent and comprehensive manner.”
Speaking at the launch in Accra on Wednesday, GJA President Mr Roland Affail Monney highlighted the need for the media to focus on the private sector, amidst the energy crisis and other challenges.
“As media practitioners it will be at the height of insensitivity and irresponsibility for the media to pay little or no attention to private sector operators in this most critical period”, he said.
He said the GJA was of the view that comprehensive coverage of the challenges assailing the private sector and follow-up action would be the best approach to tackling the problems.
Launching it, Mr Murtala Mohammed, the Deputy Minister of Trade, said the need for support of the private sector cannot be overemphasized in view of the inability of the state to provide jobs for the teeming graduates from the country’s tertiary institutions.
He said it was in this direction that successive governments had focused on supporting the private sector to boost exports and reverse the balance of trade deficit as well as create jobs for the youth.
Mr Mohammed said last year, Ghana recorded a trade deficit of four billion dollars through imports of products that could otherwise be produced at home.
The country imported goods worth $17 billion while it exported goods worth 13 billion dollars, leaving a deficit of $4 billion.
The Minister said the goods could have been produced internally using the private sector to save the four billion, adding that, we cannot develop the nation without giving special attention to the private sector.
Mr Nicolas Gerbara, the Manager of the BUSAC Fund said his outfit was in support of the initiative since it seeks to highlight the challenges of the private sector and to generate public-private sector dialogue to address the challenges.
The BUSAC Fund, sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the European Union (EU) has since its establishment been enhancing the capacity of private organizations to undertake business advocacy and to improve their structure.