Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (right), Minister of Information, speaking at the launch
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (right), Minister of Information, speaking at the launch

ISD launches website to deal with misinformation

The Information Services Department (ISD) has taken a giant step to deal with misinformation with the launch of an official website to churn out credible and authentic information for the public, especially with regard to government.


The website, www.ghanatoday.gov.gh, will provide reliable information from ministries, departments, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), as well as government’s programmes and projects, among other information relating to the state.   


Launching the website in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the initiative was in furtherance of the ministry’s combined objectives of supervising the ISD and supporting MMDAs to communicate effectively and regularly.

He said government’s communications function was to support MMDAs to provide governance information to stakeholders regularly and promptly and that it was executed through the minister’s press briefings, state of the region’s reports, state of the agencies’ report and representation of government spokespersons on mass media platforms.

He said the ministry’s media support programmes were designed to help build a stronger media ecosystem for Ghanaian democracy. 

That, he said, was executed through two programmes; media capacity enhancement programme, which provides financial support for industry players to train practising journalists, and the coordinated mechanism for the safety of journalists, which assists the National Media Commission (NMC) in developing a strong framework to protect the work of journalists in the country.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said it was also to oversee the implementation of the Right to Information Act, Act 989, adding that “this has been done by deploying 250 information officers across MMDAs and supporting the Right to Information Commission to oversee and, where necessary, sanction MMDAs that fail to comply with the law”.


Again, he said it was to provide a platform for channelling feedback to the executive branch of government through regular scientific surveys conducted by the newly established research department of the ISD.

“It is also done by engaging stakeholders at Town Hall Meetings and Policy Summits to get inputs and feedback for consideration in policy and programme formulation, implementation and assessment,” it said.

“It must be noted that the state-owned media, by virtue of the provisions of article 167(C) of the 1992 constitution and Section 2 (1) (c) of the National Media Commission (NMC) Act, 1993 (Act 449), insulated the media from governmental control. Their boards and management administer them under the supervision of the NMC. Ministry of Information plays a perfunctory representation role in Parliament.
“In recent months, however, we have secured a $3million grant from the AfDB to assist Ghana News Agency in rolling out a Business and Economic News Project, which should make it the leading audiovisual hub for business and economic news about the Ghanaian economy,” he emphasised. 

Moreover, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the government also had boards of Graphic and Times in exploring new ways of injecting capital into their operations and becoming more competitive. 


The Minister of Information said the ISD provided critical public relations and public education support in collaboration with relevant public organisations and that few of the notable successes of the department on major national landmark projects include providing public relations, sensitisation and education for the construction of the Akosombo dam; re-introduction of the Value Added Tax of 17% after a previous failed attempt; seamless introduction of the new Ghana cedi in 2007; successful conduct of the 2018 national agriculture census; 2017 national education campaign on voluntary tax compliance, sensitisation campaign for the referendum held in connection with the creation of six new regions and the public education campaign on the electronic transaction levy (E-Levy) in recent times. 

For his part, the acting Chief Information Officer of the ISD, Mr David Owusu-Amoah, said, among other things, that although the ISD could not control news, it could manage it.

The Head of the Newsroom of the ISD, Mr Sule Jottie, took the audience through the contents on the website.

He said it included sector news from the MMDAs, district news from the district information officers and the world news page to promote the country and bring investment potentials.

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