Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister-designate, said the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the national news wire service, has increased its market share from 37 to 45 percent since his tenure as Minister in the last four years.
He said he assumed office as Information Minister in the previous administration in November 2018, and data available from the GNA showed improved market share, meaning more media houses subscribed to the Agency’s news.
Mr Nkrumah said this during his vetting by the Joseph Osei-Owusu chaired Appointments Committee of Parliament.
Mr Nkrumah was re-nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to retain his last appointment if he received the nod.
The Appointments Committee recommends to the Plenary of Parliament for approval of persons nominated by the President for appointment as Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Council of State, the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court among others.
Mr Nkrumah said the GNA, apart from increasing its market share, had rolled out its own cellphone website and set up a strong online service.
He said that was in response to appeals by the Agency’s Management and Staff to the Government to help improve service conditions and logistics supply so it could compete favourably with other state owned media.
Mr Nkrumah named the organisations under the Ministry to include the GNA, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Ghanaian Times, the Ghana Publishing Corporation, and the Information Services Department (ISD).
He noted that apart from the ISD, which the Ministry directly managed, the Ministry provided guidance and resources to the other state owned media, which were under the direct supervision of the National Media Commission.
The GNA, though placed on the Single Spine Salary Structure, receives the lowest in terms of salaries when compared to other state owned media houses.
It is also in dire need of vehicles, as the last time the number of vehicles were augmented was in 2006, when Mr Dan Botwe, now Minister Designate for Local Government and Rural Development, was the Minister of Information under President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Founded in 1957 by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, the GNA is the official news agency of the country and was part of a concerted effort to present a more favourable view of the country, in particular, and Africa as a whole to the outside world and to control the flow of information nationally.
Until the rise of the Pan African News Agency, the GNA was considered one of the most efficient news agencies in Africa, spreading what Nkrumah called the “clear ideology of the African Revolution” and contributing to “African and Ghanaian emancipation.”
GNA’s mission is to act as a catalyst to the politico-socio-economic development of Ghana and in the creation of a knowledge-based society through the gathering; processing and disseminating of high quality news and information.