Mr. George Owusu-Ansah, the Managing Director of Unilever Ghana Limited, Friday, urged Ghanaians to be more committed to advancing the socio-economic development of the country rather than serving political partisan interests.
He said politics should only be utilised as a vehicle for national development in a fragile developing country like Ghana, and not for the promotion of partisanship or national disunity.
It was, therefore, unfortunate, Mr Owusu-Ansah said, that some Ghanaians behaved like citizens of their parties rather than Ghana.
Mr Owusu-Ansah made the remarks when he held discussions with the Management of the Ghana News Agency during a courtesy on the national wire service in Accra.
The visit was to explore areas of partnership in their mutual interest towards promoting the Ghanaian agenda for achieving a united and prosperous nation.
He said the media had to do some gatekeeping to ensure that inflammatory and derogatory remarks of politicians were not propagated to destroy national cohesion.
Whilst not recommending external censorship, he said, it was imperative for journalists to always tilt the balance in favour of dropping a story that would cause tension for the sake of sensationalism but not serve an important national interest.
Mr Owusu-Ansah, therefore, commended the Ghana News Agency for holding onto its mandate of gathering, processing and disseminating truthful and credible unbiased information for promoting national development and cohesion.
“What you do might not always put you in the limelight or earn you the resources that you require for your operations but having a brand reputed for its credibility and reliability is very essential in our common interest,” he said.
“I remember that in my childhood, any news item carried by the GNA was perceived as if it was authored by God because of the Agency’s credibility,” Mr Owusu-Ansah said. “You have done well in uniting the nation.”
He urged the GNA to explore innovative ways of getting the youth to be interested in its important credible news so that succeeding generations would cherish and sustain the brand.
Unilever Ghana, which shared the principles of credibility and reliability, he said, was thus desirous of collaborating with the GNA to promote the information, programmes and products that would best serve the interest of Ghanaians.
Mr. Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager of GNA, for his part, briefed the team about the GNA’s mandate and activities, saying it was determined to promote professionalism to sustain the wire service’s credibility, as “the media’s media house”.
The Agency, he explained, had been unable to keep up with technological advancement to operate as a viable and powerful international wire service, like the Reuters News Agency, as envisioned by its founder Dr Kwame Nkrumah because of dwindling state subvention.
However, the vision of the Agency remained very relevant, especially, in the era of fake news and sensational journalism.
The Management of the GNA, Mr Owusu said, was therefore, exploring partnerships with corporates, such as Unilever, to generate resources to make the Agency deploy multimedia tools to reach all segments of the domestic and international population with its important and credible news.
Mr Owusu-Ansah was accompanied by Mr Henry Halm, Head of Communication and Sustainability, and Ms Hannah Taylor, Communications Officer, Unilever, Ghana.
On the GNA side was Mrs Beatrice Asamani Savage, the Director of Editorial, Mr Joseph Baffoe, the Director of Administration and Mr Norbert Assenso, Director of Business Development.