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General News
GNA Inauguration 1/16/2007
Accra, Jan. 16, GNA - Mr Rex Owusu-Ansah, Chairman of the newly inaugurated Board of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on Tuesday called for a massive dose of capital injection into the Agency to enable it execute its mandate to the State.

He said GNA had a fantastic mission but it could not continue to achieve that mission in any significant manner without a massive dose of capital and equipment, the right industrial atmosphere and attractive remunerations for the staff.

Mr Owusu-Ansah made the remark at the inaugural ceremony of the newly constituted Board of which he was re-appointed the chairman. Other members of the Board are Dr A. B. K. Anane; Mr Abdulai Musah; Mrs. Gina Blay; Mrs Agatha Gaisey Nketia; Dr Kofi Oti Adinkrah and Nana Appau Duah, General Manager of GNA.

He said despite the daunting challenges that the GNA faced, its 200 journalists and stringers spread across the country continued to discharge the primary duty of gathering, processing and disseminating truthful, accurate and unbiased news with diligence at the highest level of professionalism.

"Sadly enough, the same can, however, not be said of the state of its equipment, which is in a very deplorable state, to the extent that the Agency cannot even boast of a server, a basic news agency equipment," he said.

Mr Owusu-Ansah noted that the myriad of problems currently facing approved funds for operations and maintenance; inability to replace obsolete technology and equipment and continued inability to attract and retain experienced professional staff in the face of low remuneration.

He mentioned for instance that the Agency was still waiting for the Ministry of Information to make good the promise to provide the Agency with 10 pickup vehicles.

Mr Owusu-Ansah also sounded a note of warning to recalcitrant staff, who had made it a habit to be writing anonymous letters to sabotage the progress of the Agency, that the Board would opt for hard line measures against such characters when identified.

He said those spin doctors had done incalculable harm to the Agency''s reputation and contributed immeasurably to the Agency''s near total isolation by stakeholders.

"The Board would like to suggest that all possible means, including legal, should be explored to trace the authors of these treacherous and libellous letters who must be taken through the due process of the law," he warned.

Mr Owusu-Ansah noted that the Agency''s re-engineering programme, which had been stalled several times, was currently on the agenda of the Ministry of Public Sector Reform this year, saying that it was the hope of the Board that the programme would inject enough capital and financial resources into GNA to make it become self-financing and eventually weaned off Government subvention.

He said the Board was determined to take up the challenge of taking the GNA to new heights to ensure that it fulfilled its mission with greater infusion of professionalism and competence in the atmosphere of industrial peace and stability.

Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), noted that due to the negative stories churned out by the foreign media about Ghana and Africa as a whole, the progressive African initiatives in business, industry, health and governance were rarely heard.

He, therefore, reminded the Management and staff of GNA that in the face of the negative foreign stories about Africa, the Agency had a mandate to tell the wonderful story of the golden nation on the West Africa coastline with its luxuriant vegetation, sunlight and good people.

Mr Adu-Gyamfi noted that when Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, First President of Ghana, was establishing the GNA, stated: "I foresee the day when, in the press of the world, any news item warranted by the initials "GNA" will find an unchallenged place in any newspaper of standing wherever it may be".

He said as GNA, which was born on the eve of Independence, and Ghana turned 50; the Agency should be driven by the dreams of the founding fathers and of the future to tell the positive story of Africa more vigorously in a manner to disabuse the minds of the world about Africa.

The NMC Chairman pledged to call a major stakeholder discussion on corporate governance of State-owned media, saying that in those meetings, the review of the law establishing GNA, which the NMC initiated 10 years ago, would be revisited.

Nana Appau Duah, General Manager of GNA, stressed that in the midst of a myriad of challenges facing the Agency, the staff had remained hardworking and committed to its mandate.

"In fact GNA has seen a chequered history through out its 50 years of existence. It has been buffeted by the currents of deprivation and yet the staff work hard," he said. "I want to say again that due to the commitment of our staff GNA continues to hold sway in the coverage of rural news in the country."

He recalled that it was a GNA report from Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region that brought to the attention of the Government the existence of Buruli Ulcer thus making it to channel resources to contain the situation.

Nana Appau Duah assured the public that in the midst of the complicated coverage of news in Ghana today, characterized by falsehood and half-truths, GNA reports remained reliable, accurate and unbiased.Source:

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