General News of Monday, 11 March 2019
Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare has inaugurated an ultra-modern refurbished conference room of the Ministry of Information.
The Information Ministry’s conference room once used to be more like a ‘storehouse’ for broken chairs, old air-conditioners, faulty microphones, and dilapidated ceiling.
Sitting on the chairs then was more of a nightmare for journalists, with several of them complaining about the state of the hall.
The refurbishment and rehabilitation has therefore come with state-of-the-art equipment, branded chairs and brand new air-conditioners.
The rehabilitation and refurbishment agenda was commissioned by President Akufo-Addo in 2017 as part of his administration’s overall plan to improve the working condition of journalists.
Madam Osei-Opare, in a remark after cutting tape to symbolize the official opening of the Conference room, stated that “indeed, I have known this room before and I do see a very, very positive change.”
As a country, we need to recognize the role played by the Information Ministry in the governance structure, she said.
Through its agencies like the Information Services Department (ISD), she said the Ministry of Information, has over the years created awareness of government’s policies, programmes and initiatives.
The Ministry has also provided support for some of Ghana’s missions abroad.
Government sees it necessary to build on the logistics of the Ministry to enable it deliver on its mandates.
The refurbished press center, says the Chief of Staff, exists to maintain media relations and facilitates the dissemination of government’s messages.
It is a center that is equipped with modern facilities fit for the purpose, according to the Chief of Staff.
The Ministry must become vibrant institution that engages both internally and externally, she said.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah observed how when Parliament approves the Ministry’s budgets, they are put to good use.
The Minister pointed out the need for a mutually respectable relationship between the media and government.
Government’s intention, he said, is not to lord over the media and it should not be the mandate of the media to mislead the public about government’s initiatives and programs.
He noted that the refurbished room was part of President Akufo-Addo’s administration’s overall vision of providing a more comfortable working environment for media and state actors.
Government, he noted, will remain open and decorous in its engagements with the media, repeating that when the media gets it wrong also it must be honest to admit and correct the wrong.
The Information Ministry was “brought back to life” in 2017 by President Akufo-Addo “with the noble mandate of information dissemination, Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide said.
In attendance were former Information Ministers, Fritz Baffour and Mustapha Hamid as well as President of the Ghana Journalist Association, Roland Affail Monney, and members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications.