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General News of Thursday, 23 April 2020


Drop in Press Freedom ratings has economic implications on Ghana – Affail Monney

Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA)

Ghana has kept dropping in the Press Freedom Index for three years in a row, from 23 in 2018 to the 27th position in 2019 and now to the 30th position globally in 2020.

President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney has indicated that the continuous fall of Ghana in the index has some ramifications on the country’s development.

He made this statement in an interview on Happy98.9FM’s ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ political talk show with host, Okatakyie Afrifa-Mensah.

He said, “It is dangerous for us to keep ranking down on the index. The ripple effects with our media freedom being questioned affect our economic standing as a nation”.

According to him, investors look at a country’s transparency and media freedom climate before deciding to invest in the country. Most international organizations and countries translate lack of media freedom as “lack of transparency hence, high levels of corruption” which repels them from doing business in that country.

Citing the recent US$1 billion disbursement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the country to address the COVID-19 pandemic as an example, the Journalist indicated that, the money was rapidly processed for Ghana because it is “a model country” with respect to Press Freedom.

On his authority, Ghana’s downward trend can be avoided at so many levels. “The report says there is a timid attempt at addressing impunity in Ghana” which mostly stems from the government covering and turning a blind eye to wrongs of “the rich and politically connected” against the media. If all these people are dealt with without bias, it will reflect in the Press Freedom Index.

Notwithstanding, he attributed the unresolved murder of Ahmed Suale to also being a reason why the country dropped down the ladder. He used the opportunity to call upon the President “who assured the country of a swift justice” for the murdered journalist to uphold his promise.

He also appealed to journalists to also start focusing on their wellbeing instead of always trying to jump into the issues of other institutions without putting the own house in order first.