Ghana's Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has called on the media to exercise caution in their reportage on the economy and other national issues, emphasizing the importance of not derailing the progress made thus far.
During his update on the economy at the Ministry of Finance on Sunday, June 18, Mr. Ofori-Atta expressed concern about certain reports in a section of the media suggesting that China would take over key resources of Ghana due to loan defaults.
He labeled such reports as untrue, unfounded, and mere products of people's imaginations. He reassured the public that Ghana had successfully collaborated with the Paris Club and other creditors to establish the framework for restructuring the country's debt, emphasizing that China would not take over Ghana's resources.
“We have also successfully worked with the Paris Club (PC) and other creditors to determine the parameters of our official debt restructuring under the G20 Common Framework for Debt treatment. In the coming weeks, we will seek to complete the MOU with the OCC on the terms of bilateral debt treatment. Government will sustain engagements with private creditors on external debt to reach agreement with the private creditors in the shortest possible time.”
“In light of the above, we will count on all stakeholders, especially the media, to be circumspect in their reportage on the economy, to avoid derailing the progress being made. Our love of country must supersede all, and as the late P.A.V Ansah, a University of Ghana communications school professor, said, ‘Journalism 101 teaches media students that they have three basic roles: to inform, educate, and entertain. However, for developing countries, there is a fourth: foster national cohesion. National cohesion is the foundation upon which any and everything else is built.'”
Mr. Ofori-Atta stressed that the misreporting on China was unnecessary and unfortunate. He regarded baseless accusations against government officials leading the recovery as untenable and serving no useful purpose. He emphasized the need for accuracy to prevail over speed in such circumstances.
As Ghana continues its economic recovery efforts, the Finance Minister urged the media to play a responsible role in fostering national cohesion and supporting the progress being made.