Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Thursday urged the citizenry to join the drive towards a quick COVID-19 recovery for sustainable national development and social cohesion.
He said the State was playing its role towards achieving herd immunity through vaccination, opening the economy, and improving domestic resource mobilization for trade across the continent.
It, however, needed the strong support of the media and marketing industry to drive the citizenry to understand and play their respective roles.
Throughout the history of economic recoveries, he said, evidence had demonstrated that the media could deter investments and positive action by prioritizing negative, explicit judgements.
On the other hand, they could aid the process by carrying the people along with creative public interest and service content, he noted that a thriving environment would inure to the benefit of all citizens and their businesses.
“So help us to help you, to help the nation…”, he said, emphasizing the media’s integral role in the country’s recovery from COVID-19.
Oppong Nkrumah was addressing the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on the theme: “Media and Marketing Communication post-COVID; a catalyst for Africa’s socio-economic resurgence “.
The Information Minister said Ghana had performed fairly well in COVID-19 management mainly because of a committed public health system and professional public service journalism.
He, therefore, urged policymakers, corporates, and businesses to constantly engage the media and support it with investments to function effectively.
Ato Afful, the Managing Director of Graphic Communications Group Limited, said it was important for the media to restore hope and build social cohesion amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said there were opportunities in disruptions caused by COVID-19 and urged the media and the marketing industry to use their platforms to restore public consumer confidence and ease social dissolution.
He asked the media to encourage governments to work with industries to energize the economy, saying, “When you build strong brands…, depressed businesses can spring back.”
Kwamina Asomaning, Managing Director, Stanbic Bank, said media and the marketing industry was the oil that lubricated the economy and must help the country recover from the pandemic by promoting consumption, trade, and investments.
During a panel discussion, Professor Kwame Karikari, Board Chairman, Graphic Communications Group Limited, said public service media must be resourced to facilitate national development efforts in an era of media pluralism.
He said while encouraging digitalization and media convergence, it was important to invest in community radio and other services that addressed the knowledge and information needs of the masses without access to digital media platforms.
The media should also lead a campaign to minimize the influence of superstition to free people to develop to their full potentials.
George Twumasi, Chief Executive Officer, ABN Holdings Limited, said COVID-19 presented a great opportunity for Ghana to become a digital hub for Africa and challenged the media to make good out of the digital economy.
Stephen N. Boadi, a Digital and Marketing and Communications Expert, said media penetration was huge in Africa and charged practitioners to use their platforms to change the continent’s negative narrative.
He also asked the government to invest in media infrastructure and capacity because, “same old, same old won’t work post-COVID:19.”
Roland Affail Monney, President of, Ghana Journalists Association, said the specialization in financial journalism would aid the country’s recovery from the pandemic and encouraged journalists to seek opportunities to upgrade their skills in that area.