The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Absa Bank Ghana Limited, Abena Osei Poku, has commended the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for being one of the most vibrant media organisations in the country.
While extolling the GCGL for its publications, she praised the group for the support it had over the years extended to the bank through publications in its various brands.
Mrs Poku said this when she and the Head of Corporate Communications of the bank, Ebenezer Amankwah, paid a courtesy call on the Managing Director of the GCGL, Ato Afful, to thank the group for the work it had been doing for the bank and also inform the company of the intention of the bank to establish better collaboration that would be beneficial to both organisations, as well as the nation.
“No matter what we do, we cannot tell our own stories, and that is why a partnership with the GCGL is important. The GCGL is a significant stakeholder in our external relations and that is why it is important that we meet its leadership to foster a closer relationship,” she explained.
On efforts by the bank to enhance the well-being of the people, Mrs Poku said it had supported different levels of the economy, including households, individuals, institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“There is a lot that we do, beyond looking after other people’s money and helping them with their financial obligations. We have done a lot when it comes to employment. Now we are a top employer in the banking sector and among the top three across the industry,” she added.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful, gave an assurance that accuracy, commitment to fact and truth would continue to guide publications in the GCGL’s various brands of newspapers, namely, the Daily Graphic, the flagship; The Mirror, Junior Graphic, Graphic Sports, Graphic Showbiz, Graphic Business and Graphic Online.
He explained that as a national brand, the GCGL had a mandate to inform the nation at all levels about the truth and report accurately and reiterated the company’s commitment to stick to those tenets.
“So we will not be in a rush to publish stories. Sometimes people think there is merit in being first, but being first to tell what — a lie or mess up somebody’s reputation?
“This is not what the ethics of journalism are about. We will make sure to cross-check all our stories. We promise to make sure what we are reporting is not only factual but also inures to the benefit of the wider society. We take our mandate seriously,” he pointed out.
Touching on the digitalisation of its publications from the country’s pre-independence to the present, Mr Afful explained that the GCGL hosted the single biggest archive of content in both print form and photo imagery, and that if such content were to get lost, it meant the history of the country had literally been lost.
“This is a national asset that even the national archives will not be able to give you. When we go and pick what others have written about our country, we will be retelling what others saw. But this is our story, told by us, witnessed by us and this is Africa. If we are able to save this thing for posperity, it will be amazing,” he pointed out.
The Director, Sales and Marketing of the GCGL, Franklin Sowa, said the company had a lot of initiatives on which Absa could collaborate.
Other areas where the bank could collaborate with the company included the Tertiary Business Sense Challenge, a contest among the various business schools in the tertiary institutions in the country; the Mirror Model Woman project and buying copies of the Junior Graphic to give to less-endowed schools.
The Director, Finance of the GCGL, Samuel Essel, said while the GCGL had the skill in telling the story the right way, the bank had the facts, which was important to secure the future, which rested on the shoulders of the youth.
"If they do not develop the taste for reading business news generated in Ghana about Ghana, they will read about it elsewhere, which will influence their orientation and lead to capital flight," he noted.
Focus on SMEs reporting
The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Kobby Asmah, said business stories were too elitist, focusing largely on macro-economic policies, as against micro-economic policies, adding that he would be glad if the bank could help the newspaper tell the business story around the micro sector, focusing largely on SMEs.
He entreated the bank to make its resource persons available to enable them to share knowledge with reporters of the company, and through that both organisations could effectively communicate.