Media has critical role to play in economic recovery – Oppong Nkrumah

Monetary Fund (IMF)

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has stressed the important role of the media in recovering the economy from the pandemic, saying its impact can stimulate growth and development in the country.

Speaking at the 2021 edition of Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting yesterday under the theme ‘Media and Marketing Communications post-Covid; a catalyst for Africa’s socio-economic resurgence’, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah observed that Africa, and by extension Ghana, will struggle to recover from the economic devastation unleashed by COVID-19 without support from the media and marketing communications.

“If there was ever a time we needed to examine the role of marketing communications and media within the context of what it takes to unleash our full economic potential, that time is now. If there was ever a time to interrogate the true impact from work of the media and marketing communications in stimulating growth, development and improvement in the quality of lives, that time is now…,” he stated.

Citing data from media research organisation Statista, the information minister stated that social media penetration has increasingly become the source of news to many on the continent — 45 percent in North Africa; 41 percent in Southern Africa; 16 percent in West Africa as of January 2021.

“We are therefore at the intersection of unprecedented need to engineer an economic recovery across Africa at a time when media penetration is deepest. And we cannot discount the impact that media and marketing communications can have to spur us on or to pull us back in this enterprise.

“Throughout global economic history, the world has been through some times of crisis and recovery. Recovery, the pace of recovery and extent of recovery is determined by many factors – including the interaction between efforts of government and the media,” he said.

He added that the great recession of 2007 to 2009 was no different, with the contraction of nearly 4 percent of US GDP in quarter four, 2008; slowdown of global growth by about 5 percent in 2007 and losses of about US$1.5trillion; and the collapse of banks and credit markets – hence, there is a need for strong multilateral government intervention to engineer the recovery.

“While the media played a critical role in examining the recovery efforts, propriety of the recovery efforts, it also provided deep enlightenment on the efforts aimed at removing systemic risks in the financial system. A clear exercise to carry the people along supported by robust media and marketing communications ecosystem aided the journey,” he added.

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