Graphic Business turns five

BY: Arku Jasmine

On August 26, 2008, a new business newspaper hit the newsstands with the banner headline, ‘Loan Sharks’ killing businesses, which was launched by Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, a finance Minister, now deceased, with Mr Bernard Otabil as the launch editor.

The story, among other issues, examined how lending practices of some banks and other lending institutions were impacting negatively on businesses.

The minister charged the management of the Graphic Communications Group, who are the publishers of the Graphic Business, to use the paper to provide useful information on the economy to the people.

That was the maiden edition of the Graphic Business, which is now the toast of the business community, providing business and financial news and up-to-date analyses on business and financial trends and events.

“In our economic circumstances, the business community will need a business paper that gives accurate business information, facts, figures, unbiased analysis and realistic conclusions to help them predict business trends accurately.”

Mr Baah Wiredu advised the editorial team to include activities such as money-laundering and printing of fake currencies in their reportage to help nip those activities in the bud.

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Five years afterwards, the issues raised in the maiden edition have become even more relevant and still on the national business agenda.

He mentioned the rapid expansion of banks, resulting in the opening of various branches in the country, and the construction boom being experienced in the country and added that ‘these reflect real development of the economy, which the people must be informed about in order to appreciate the strides that the country had made over the past decade.

The minister said Ghana had recorded positive developments in the economy in spite of the global soaring oil and food prices and stated that “the economy is growing”.

He charged GCGL to endeavour to make the business newspaper the reference point for business people in West Africa and beyond.

He also called on the publishers to extend the same level of credibility, factuality and accuracy associated with its other seven brands to the Graphic Business.

The minister praised the management of GCGL and described the company as “a model of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that have consistently been profitable”.

He mentioned the increase in payment of dividends yearly by GCGL as very “handsome” and expressed the government’s appreciation to the board and management of the company for their performance.

The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, who chaired the function, stated that there was the need for the media to extend what they had done for civil liberties of the ordinary Ghanaian to support the growth of the business sector.

He said the paper should go beyond the mere reporting of news to analyse the news to make it relevant to the business community.

Mr Oteng-Gyasi, however, did not doubt the ability of GCGL to extend its market leadership in news to cover the business and economic news and analysis.

The Managing Director of GCGL, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, assured the gathering that the company had assembled some of the best human resources in business and financial reporting.

He said the company would partner business to develop and grow as the country was poised for growth.

Mr Awal said with foreign direct investments at record highs, gross domestic product growing and also a growing confidence in the business sector, there was the need to provide the investors and business people with the relevant and timely information to make investment decisions.

The President of the Advertisers Association of Ghana, Mr Reginald Laryea, was optimistic that the new paper would give advertisers other options to reach out to niche market.

Mr Sameer Gupta, Managing Director of Honda Place, the major sponsors of the launch, said they were happy to be associated with the newspaper in light of the potential it holds.

He said the company as part of its efforts to support the paper had offered a 10 and 20 per cent discount respectively on any Honda and Audi vehicle for anybody who buys the paper until the end of September, 2008.

A representative of Ghana Commercial Bank, Mr Lord Badu; the Managing Director of Primex Ghana Limited, Mr Annu Gupta; and Mrs Pearl Essah-Mensah, the Finance Director of UT, all expressed their support for the paper.

The first copy of the paper was auctioned for GH¢2,000 and was bought by Mr Sameer Gupta.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu initialed the first 10 copies of the paper, which were auctioned by Mrs Naa Norkor Duah, Chief Executive Officer of Lowe Lintas.

The GCGL launched the paper to demonstrate its commitment to meeting the increasing need for a newspaper dedicated to the business community.

Daily Graphic/Ghana