Business News of 2014-07-23

'Media must play key role in economic/financial issues'

The Chief Finance Officer of the Ghana Commercial Bank Limited (GCB), Mr John Awuah, has stressed the need for the country’s media practitioners to play an active role in educating Ghanaians on the country’s economic and financial situation. He said it was important for the media to accurately report on business and financial issues to enable people make informed decisions.
Opening a one day seminar for financial journalists and reporters in Kumasi at the weekend, Mr Awuah said business and financial journalists need to enhance their understanding of the issues to better analyze and interpret current economic trends.
Attended by 30 journalists across the print and electronic media in the Ashanti Region, the workshop was the second in a series organised by GCB to sensitize journalists to do a thorough job in financial reporting. The first in the series of training programmes was sponsored by the Bank in May this year and was attended by 20 journalists in Accra.
Mr. Awuah said the financial sector is experiencing major changes while new trends are emerging, and these are bound to shape the financial services landscape.
He said the banking sector is also becoming more sophisticated as banks introduce new risk management products to help their customers’ hedge/manage risks they are exposed to in a more prudent and sustainable fashion.
“We should aim to target our financial reporting to suit the different needs of our vast audience without losing touch or misrepresenting the key elements of the issues we report on.”
Mr. Awuah urged the media to serve as the link in attracting export and export financing to Ghana and the West African Sub-Region through their reportage and analysis.
In performing their duty, he said, the media must endeavour to attract financing for the export sector by delving into the challenges and opportunities inherent in the sector for the benefit of the nation.
Ghana and the Ashanti Region are endowed with cocoa, timber, natural and other resources, talent, rich culture and tradition as well as a booming artisan industry which make Kumasi, the centre of trade in Ghana and for the sub-region.
“As media practitioners you are the link between export and export financing. Your discoveries and research through reports and your reportage of events can open up investment and export opportunities for this country," Mr Awuah said.
This, the GCB Chief Finance Officer noted will help arrest the current financing gaps in the economy and create employment avenues for all.
He described the GCB sponsored training programme as timely and well-placed coming at a time when the focus is on the national economy and recent developments in the financial services sector.
He spoke of the major transformation the GCB has undergone which had improved the fortunes of the Bank in the last few years.
“The media played a key role in this success story, and that is why it is important to assist the practitioners with appropriate skills to raise the performance of the business and financial sector of the economy,” he said.
Banking consultant and Executive Head of the College of Banking and Management (formerly Osei Tutu Centre for Education and Research), Nana Otuo Acheampong, said with the advent of internet and Information Communications Technology (ICT) journalists could enhance their reportage.
He urged media practitioners to set for themselves high standards and equip themselves with the requisite skills to meet the needs of the listening and reading public.
Dr Messan Mawugbe, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Media Analysis, who was the resource person, called on financial journalists to make effective use of financial analysts to give greater credibility to their reports.
They should also generate and develop their own business stories instead of following events. Mrs Thyra Obuobi, Head of Corporate Affairs Department of GCB, said the Bank would continue to create mutually beneficial partnerships with the media to take financial reporting to a higher level.
The Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr Listowell Bucarson urged the participants to maximize the opportunity offered by GCB and expressed appreciation to the Management of GCB for the initiative and sponsorship of the training.
Source: graphic.com
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