Time to harness media's undoubted power to halt corruption in Ghana

Corruption Ndc File photo: Ghana has been fighting corruption for a very long time.

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 Source: Kofi Thompson

There is no question that the government's fight against illegal gold mining in Ghana, would not have gotten the widespread support across the nation that it now enjoys, without the active involvement of the media.

It is a perfect example of harnessing the power of the Ghanaian media for positive societal outcomes.

It really is such a blessing for Mother Ghana that today the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media are clearly demonstrating that they are now alive to their responsibilities to the Ghanaian nation-state and to its citizenry.

Clearly, without the media's active involvement in the fight against illegal gold mining it wouldn't have gone so well thus far – and neither would it have spread so widely so quickly.

Flushed with their victory against illegal gold miners, the media must also commit to fighting high-level corruption in Ghana, with the same passion it is helping to fight illegal gold mining.

For example, to help President Akufo-Addo fight high-level corruption successfully, the media must constantly shine their varied-powered spotlights on the processes and mechanisms being used to actualize government initiatives such as: the 1-constituency-1-million-dollars; 1-district-1-factory; 1-village-1-dam; and taxpayer-funded cash bailouts for distressed but potentially profitable private-sector businesses.

To be successful in that regard, the media must ensure that every pesewa of taxpayers' cash pumped into all the initiatives mentioned above are properly accounted for, and put into the public domain on an ongoing basis.

They must also demand that the criteria used to select the distressed but potentially-profitable private-sector businesses for taxpayer-funded cash bailouts are made public by the appropriate sector ministers.

Above all, given his background as a successful player in Ghana's financial services sector, the media must ask the minister of finance, the Hon Ken Ofori-Atta, to, as a matter of urgency, tell the nation precisely what steps he has taken thus far, to ensure that any allegations of conflict of interest made by the cynical – implying that somehow the nation will be disadvantaged in any way whatsoever as a result of his business background, in his work as Ghana's finance minister: so as to enable the national economy's financial services sector business entities that he has interests in to profit handsomely at Mother Ghana's expense - cannot possibly be justified?

Finally, the question is: Has the time not now come for the Ghanaian media's undoubted power to be harnessed to halt high-level corruption in Ghana once and for all by shining their respective spotlights on the system ever more brightly? Food for thought.

By: Kofi Thompson

Columnist: Kofi Thompson