B&FT, MountCrest partner to promote reading, law & dev’t

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B&FT, MountCrest partner to promote reading, law & dev’t

The managements of MountCrest University College (MountCrest) and the Business & Financial Times (B&FT) have held a meeting in Accra to initiate a partnership to effectively exploit the full potential of the law and media for national development.

The possible areas of collaboration discussed included scholarships for media practitioners and other staff of media organisations to read law, study courses in the health sciences, and participate in short courses on law and business at MountCrest.

They also touched on jointly organising events on business, financial and legal issues; hold breakfast meetings for in-house lawyers in the private and public sectors and also offer mutual media and marketing support for the two institutions.

The Rector of MountCrest, Mrs. Irene Ansa-Asare Horsham, who led the team from the university college, noted that the roles of the media and the law in national development were very crucial, adding that it was very important for the leaderships in both areas to collaborate and offer the needed direction for the progress of the nation.

Mrs. Horsham expressed concern about how interviews on legal matters were handled in the media. “I think they get confrontational at times, which robs the listeners of the opportunity to learn about the law’s position on critical national issues”.

She said, as an institution that runs Ghana’s premier private Law Faculty, MountCrest was excited about the potential partnership between the university college and B&FT, which is Ghana’s premier source of credible and relevant business and financial news.

The Rector said the law covers everything and the media also mirrors society, so for the country’s development agenda to remain on track, it was important for players in the media and law to work closely together to keep the people informed about their rights and responsibilities as spelt out in the law.

According to Mrs. Horsham, for Ghanaians to keep abreast of happenings in the country and around the world, they must cultivate the habit of reading.

To this end, she pointed out that one of the initiatives of the MountCrest-B&FT Partnership will be to urge students to read insightful articles on the law and development written by MountCrest lecturers, students and experts and published in the B&FT newspaper and its online platforms.

Students will be encouraged to read these articles in the morning before they attend classes to enrich their discussions. “To move them to read, some of the articles may be linked to their course work and examinations, which I know students are very much interested in,” the Rector stated.

She added that currently, Law is the flagship programme at MountCrest but the school also runs programmes in Public Health, and is on course to introduce courses in business.

“Many people in finance and other fields are now studying law and are taking advantage of our evening, weekend and online classes. We also have bespoke short courses for the various industries, such as our International Finance and Credit Security programme held in partnership with the University of London. We are also planning to offer postgraduate courses soon,” Mrs. Horsham said.

She hinted that MountCrest will start a column in the B&FT to discuss issues on Trade and Investment, International Financing, Credit and Securities and the Law under the auspices of its Sir Roy Goode Centre for Commercial Law.

Other areas to be covered include leadership and governance, which will be run in partnership with the J. A. Kufuor Foundation; as well as Corporate Governance and Legal Tit-Bits for business start-ups.

The Rector announced that media practitioners and other staff members of recognised media organisations will receive scholarships to study degree programmes or participate in short courses at MountCrest. “MountCrest was born out of the Readwide Bookshop, so we have always promoted reading and education for the masses,” she said.

The Acting Registrar at MountCrest, Ms. Ama Akor urged lecturers to write articles, undertake more research, publish the academic versions in journals and prepare copies for publication in the news media to encourage reading among students in particular and the public in general.

The Deputy Registrar in charge of Students and Academic Affairs, MountCrest, Mr. Ernest Koomson said students in the law faculties, many of whom are professionals and non-teaching staff of universities should also be encouraged to write for publication, “Because some of them may be interested in writing and may also be experts in their fields”.

The Chief Executive Officer of B&FT, Dr. Godwin Acquaye said his company was open to collaborations with universities such as MountCrest to facilitate writing by students and lecturers in the media to encourage reading and also promote the law and development.

He suggested to lecturers to publish part of their lecture notes in newspapers (print and online) to attract students to read materials on their course work as well as other things that are published in the media.

The CEO said students read pamphlets and academic material by cramming, and thus hardly read anything else. That, he said, was not good enough and must change.

He said it was also difficult to get articles from the universities to publish in the B&FT newspaper and other platforms and therefore urged lecturers in the country to write more for publication.

“We have developed a digital application (App) which is youth-friendly to motivate the young ones to cultivate the habit of reading business and all other news; that is where the world is moving to, but unfortunately we do not have that culture in Ghana,” Dr. Acquaye observed.

To promote reading, the CEO said his company gives discounts to the universities on the subscription of its publications, including the B&FT daily newspaper, Business Times Africa magazine, which is a Pan African publication, as well as Energy Today, a quarterly energy magazine.

He welcomed the collaboration with MountCrest and expressed the hope that it will be to the mutual benefit of the two institutions, and the nation as a whole; pointing out that the last two years have been challenging for businesses, schools and the media following the outbreak of COVID 19.

“Even before Covid, it was a bit challenging, and also after elections the economy squeezes a bit and that affects everyone. For the media, it is quite tough because businesses cut down on advertising,” Dr. Acquaye noted.

He said B&FT organizes a number of events, including the Ghana Economic Forum, round-table discussions and third party events “And I believe that in the area of the Law, there are a lot we can do together with MountCrest”.

The Director of Research and Analysis at B&FT, Mr Daniel Amateye Anim called on lawyers, and teachers of the law to make the law more applicable to the various spheres of life, particularly industry in order to drive growth.

Mr Bogobiri Seidu Abdul-Latif, Sales Team Manager, B&FT emphasized the need for general legal education in the country saying, “Even pastors and religious leaders and their organisations in general may have legal issues so the clergy must also be encouraged to learn about the law”.

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