In a speech to a national conference on the future of broadcasting in Ghana the Deputy Minister of Communication, Edward Atto Sarpong, called for a change in how the country issues radio broadcast licenses to ensure it was done based on merit view publisher site.
The comments come as industry experts and leaders in the country gathered for a three-day conference under the heading ‘Twenty Years after Independent EYE: The Way Forward’, discussing the developments made in the last twenty-two years since radio licenses were award to stations beyond the state broadcaster.
“As a country” Mr Sarpong told delegates “we are not fair with ourselves, since 1992 to date when we liberalised our airwaves for independent broadcasting because licensing was based on whom you know rather than whether the individual or organisation really merits the offer.”
The statement, which is bound to enrage some but give weight to those who have long said the allocation of FM frequencies has been unfair or corrupt, was quickly reported by Ghanaian news site spyghana.com, who said that the minister went on to talk of the need to that further discussions were required with all stakeholders early in 2015 so that legislation can be brought to parliament in the middle of the year.
The deputy minister’s comments were supported by Albert Kan-Dapaah, former Minister of Communication, who added that broadcasting was the most practical means for citizens to participate in the democratic process, bringing awareness of current political issues to a much broader audience across the country.
Member of the National Media Commission, Mr Akoto Ampaw, stressed the urgency for reviewing all of the current broadcasting and media laws, calling for them to be harmonised quickly in order for Ghana’s parliament to be able to pass a new bill before campaigning for the 2016 national elections begins.
“We need to review all the outstanding aspects of the Bill without delay and have it tabled before Parliament and passed into law definitely before the end of 2015 so that, among other things, we would be assured of sane and healthy broadcast regulatory framework before the 2016 election campaign begins in earnest and before the elections themselves” he said.
What the results of these large statements will be is – as yet – unknown, however as a company with strong links to the broadcasting industry in Ghana, Clyde Broadcast will be paying close attention to what happens across Ghana. As ever, our commitment is to bringing great radio equipment to Ghana’s radio stations and helping those stations get the most from it, you can find out more about our experience at ghana.clydebroadcast.com.