African media must restore hope and confidence of African people - Graphic MD

BY: Kweku Zurek
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful

The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful has charged African media to help restore hope and confidence in African people as various states work to restore economies to pre-COVID-19 levels and beyond.

In an address at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast meeting on Tuesday (August 24, 2021) in Accra, Mr Afful said African media have a duty to rebuild cohesion in a COVID-19 fractured African society.

He also urged African governments to work with industry to enable consistent policy and regulations that will create jobs, energise economies and lead to the growth of businesses.

He said: "The media have a duty to help rebuild social cohesion in an African society whose basic culture of looking out for one another through either personal visits or financial assistance has been fractured by Covid-19. The success of this duty will depend on how the media exploit their agenda-setting role".

Marketing Communications

Mr Afful also urged both service and manufacturing companies to employ marketing communications channels to regain a foothold in their industries.

"As we pick ourselves up and develop products and services, we will require creative marketing communication that is relevant, engaging and disruptive enough to attract the attention of our audience member networks and taste segments who are scattered across channels. There is definitely some advantage in the disruptive effect of Covid-19," Mr Afful said.

"The truth is if media and the marketing communications subsections get it right, it will help change attitudes around personal hygiene, including public healthcare/wellness, restore public and consumer confidence, restore the place of brands in our lives, enable brand marketers and companies to sell more products and services, that result in higher revenues, more employment, out of which higher taxes can accrue from consistent income streams, and further restore hope to the people to ease social tension and foster cohesion on the African continent".

Disruptions

On his part, the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank, Mr Kwamina Asomaning noted that the disruptions that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced players from across various media to adapt to remain relevant.

He said similar disruptions had also affected the banking sector where traditional banks are also dealing with the rise of Fintechs.

He said: Evidently, the COVID-19 crisis has dealt a major blow to the world economy and plunged it into a deep economic crisis. The Media and Marketing industry has also suffered great disruptions accelerated by technology and the proliferation of mobile phones.

Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank, Mr Kwamina Asomaning

"This simple and yet complex tool provides a platform for innovation and therefore small agile teams can access computing power and capabilities that were previously the preserve of well-funded industry giants. This has challenged the structure of industry and society as we know it; prompting players from across the media ecosystems to adapt to remain relevant.  

"I can understand how these giant media houses feel as banks are also having their fair share of the disruptions caused by Fintechs".

He also urged all stakeholders to never ignore the media in any development-oriented discussion.