The Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has underscored the critical roles the media and marketing communicators, along with governments on the African continent, must play to rebuild their covid-ravaged economies.
He says the continent is at a most critical time in her recent economic history which calls for a common purpose from policymakers, private sector players, and the media to rally around the continent-wide effort to recover.
“It is the only way to guarantee our common success”, he pointed out as he delivered the keynote address at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on Tuesday (August 24, 2021) in Accra.
The thought leadership meeting was on the theme: Media and Marketing Communication Post Covid: A Catalyst for Africa’s Socio-Economic Resurgence.
Oppong Nkrumah assured that government would play its part by continually providing support for the media industry through fair regulation, capacity enhancement programmes and support to the general economy.
He said post-Covid 19, the state is confronted with a myriad of tough challenges, such as;
- Vaccination in the midst of global vaccine supply chain shortages,
- Opening up the economy as much as possible for resumption of normal economic activity
- Improving domestic resource mobilisation to enhance our ability to invest in healthcare infrastructure and economic avenues,
- Investing heavily in initiatives that will yield high quick growth for the many and not a few, and
- Balancing the opportunity to trade across Africa at this time with the need to mitigate the risk of cross-country re-infections.
And while the efforts to address the challenges are not easy, he said they require difficult, unpopular decisions and a lot of public goodwill to succeed.
According to Oppong Nkrumah, the role of the mass media in economic development the world over is well documented, adding that without the media and marketing communications adequately playing the role of positive amplifiers, no society may be able to achieve its full potential.
“This means even in ordinary times if we are to fully achieve our economic growth and development potential, strong Marketing Communications and media support is required. And in times like this even more.
“Chair, if there is ever a time that, we need to examine the role of Media & Marketing Communications within the context of what it takes to unleash the potential for the prosperity of any economy, that time is now. If there is ever a time to interrogate the true impact of the work of the media in stimulating growth, development and improvement in the quality of lives of our people, that time is now.”
While pointing out the “extremely extra-ordinary times” facing nations’ economies, the Information Minister said the scale of the severe recession the Covid-19 pandemic has plunged all parts of the global economy including Africa into has only been recorded a few times in global economic history.
He was sure that for any set of interventions to succeed, it must gain the goodwill and support of the people, explaining that businesses and citizens, which are key value drivers, “will only support these recovery policies if they understand the aims, the methods and the potential impact”, a role the media is well placed to play.
“I recall from that fateful night in March 2020, when we recorded our first case and the journey we have travelled in containing the health crisis fairly well. In addition to the strong health-based interventions anchored on testing, tracing and treating it has taken a lot of strong marketing communications and media support to get here. When the media stepped up to the plate and played their positive influencing role, focused heavily on reporting facts, focused heavily on getting properly accredited experts to do the analysis and amplified the robust marketing communications efforts of the Government, the evidence is that together we have made laudable gains in our fight.
“This is exactly what we will need for the second crisis; the economic crisis. Like has always been done in the past, Governments in Ghana and across the region have rolled out policy interventions to get economies back on track. But once again we will need strong marketing communications and media compliment to succeed,” he stressed.