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New Graphic board chaired by Prof Kwapong inaugurated

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
New Graphic board chaired by Prof Kwapong inaugurated
New Graphic board chaired by Prof Kwapong inaugurated. Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh (right), NMC Chairman and Mr George Sarpong (2nd right), NMC Executive Secretary administering the oath of office to the board members

The National Media Commission (NMC) on Friday inaugurated an eight-member Board of Directors for the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Accra, with a call on them to help ensure that Graphic continues to churn out credible and authentic information.

The board is chaired by Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong, who is also the Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education at University of Ghana.

Other members are Mrs Ivy Austin, Dr Valentin Kwasi Mensah, Mr Ebenezer Asante Sefa, Dr Ama Boafo-Arthur, Mr Ishaq Kyei-Brobbey, Mr Yaw D. Oppong and the Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful.

They will serve a two-year term.


(Front row from left to right) - Mr Yaw D. Oppong, Mrs Ivy Austin, Prof Olivia Frimpong Kwapong - Board Chair, Dr Ama Boafo-Arthur and Mr Ato Afful - MD, GCGL. (Back row from left to right) -  Dr Valentin Kwasi Mensah,  Mr Ebenezer Asante Sefa and Mr Ishaq Kyei-Brobbey.

Credibility

The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, before swearing the new members into office explained that publishing credible information was the best way to sustain the GCGL, which publishes the Daily Graphic, Graphic Business, Mirror, Showbiz, Graphic Sports, Junior Graphic and Graphic Online (www.graphic.com.gh) and make it stand out, reports Emelia Ennin and Elizabeth Konadu-Boakye.

In the era of fake news, he said it was important for the GCGL to continue to publish authentic information to bring sanity into the media space.

Although media houses must endeavor to break the news “you achieve nothing when you come out first with the news but it turns out to be false. You must recognize that you have a responsibility to tell nothing but the truth so you must not rush to publish a story if you are not sure of the fact.”

The NMC chair also urged the GCGL to venture more into the publication of investigative stories saying “let no topic be a taboo. You have a responsibility to Ghana not to any individual and also look at what is in the best interest of the people.”

Challenges

The Managing Director for GCGL, Mr Ato Afful said there had been changes in the dispensation of information in the world and that speed for consumer access to technology had reshaped the way media was consumed had made everyone a publisher.

Such development, he said had become a challenge as media organisations work hard in maintaining their relevance by competing with the over 30 million Ghanaians who had access to information through their mobile phones.

He also revealed that access to the materials needed for production, such as newsprints had also become a challenge, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic as most of their materials were imported.

In spite of the challenges, he said the company maintained its values in disseminating and publishing accurate information and working assiduously to maintain its good image.


Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong

The Board Chair, Prof. Olivia Frimpong Kwapong commended the previous board and said the GCGL was a model for both private and print media in Ghana.

She noted that although the GCGL had chalked many successes, the new board had taken note of the challenges facing the company and they were ready to enhance the fortunes of the company.

She commended the GCGL for lending helping hands to other state-owned media organisations saying such moves help enhance growth.

Profiles

The Board Chairperson of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd, Professor Olivia Frimpong Kwapong, is the Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana.

She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the University of Ghana and has studied as a Special Doctoral Candidate at Harvard University.

In the year 2013, she served as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Bloomsburg University in the United States of America.

Prof. Kwapong is a member of the Ghana National Committee of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the Council of Wisconsin International University College.

She also chaired the Governing Council of Presbyterian Women’s College of Education from 2016 to 2017 and 2019 to 2021.

She has also served for two terms on a Selection Committee and Advisory Board of the Social Science Research Council’s (SSRC) African Peacebuilding Network, New York, USA.

Prof. Kwapong just completed her four-year term as the Chairperson of the Board of the Ghana News Agency (GNA).


Dr Ama Boafo-Arthur

Profile - Dr Ama Boafo-Arthur

Ama Boafo-Arthur (PhD) has a background in Sociology and Development Studies. She has a Bachelor’s and MPhil degree in Sociology from the University of Ghana. She also has an MPhil in Development Studies from the Cambridge University in the UK, and pursued her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Development Studies at the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana.

Dr Boafo-Arthur is a faculty member and the coordinator for Student Support and Advisory Services at the Department of Distance Education.

She is a dedicated, resourceful and goal-driven professional and has a passion for support services with a commitment to the social and academic growth and development of students, the youth and young adults.

This is reflected in her research interests which include sexual abuse, adolescence and youth studies, reproductive health and childhood studies.

Her greatest desire is to help support, and to create an environment free from abuse and intimidation, and an open access to information for all. She believes that advocacy and education of all is paramount in helping to change the old order in Ghana and beyond.

Valentin Mensah (PhD)

Valentin Mensah (PhD)

Dr Valentin Mensah is a chartered accountant, fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and an associate member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

He joined accounting and advisory firm, KPMG Ghana, in 1995 as audit senior and rose through the ranks to assistant audit manager in 1998 when he left for Ashanti Goldfields.

Due to proficiency in both the English and French languages, he had the benefit of writing and translating proposals for jobs in the West Africa region while working with KPMG.

Dr Mensah also audited many international development projects funded by DANIDA, NDA, WARDA and USAID in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Guinea.

Subsequently, as financial controller of Ashanti Goldfields Company for six years, he was responsible for financial leadership and development of the finance teams in 18 African countries.

“This provided me with extensive knowledge and experience of culture, regulatory, statutory and fiscal regimes as well as business contacts of African countries,” he said.

He was later appointed as chief finance officer of Cluff Gold Plc, a UK company with operations in both Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

Dr Mensah also worked with Banro Corporation of Canada in various senior management roles including business and financial consultant, commercial, head of audit and risks from 2004 to 2016.

At Banro, he was involved in the setting up and management of four exploration and mining development operations in then war-torn areas of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the border with Rwanda.

In 2001, Dr Mensah founded and managed Pinefields Ghana Limited, a 450-acre pineapple producing and exporting company at Awutu in the Central Region. The company exported pineapples to Switzerland and Germany weekly.

He also set up Eden Vale Hotel and Executive Training Centre in Accra to provide residential executive and managerial training to executives and business leaders from West Africa.

“My PhD research on culture, government policies and economic development of Ghana considered key relevant factors for international development, especially in Africa.

“I am confident that the research and my professional experience stand in good stead for this position as I will bring on board in-depth understanding and insights gained on factors impacting and influencing international development in Africa,” he affirmed.


Mrs Ivy Ruby Austin

Mrs Ivy Ruby Austin

Ivy Ruby Austin is the Chief Executive Officer of Endless Enterprise.

A renowned author, she has three children’s books to her credit, one of which won the first prize in Children’s Poetry Category during the 2017 Ghana Association of Writers’ (GAW) literary awards.

Mrs Austin is currently an executive member of the GAW and also a former member of the board of directors of the New Times Corporation from 2014 to 2019. She served on the GCGL Board from 2019 to 2022.

She is also a member of the Ghana Book Development Council Committee on Ghana Standards for Books and E-books.

Mrs Austin is also the former Vice-President of Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) of the United Nations Organisation.


Ebenezer Asante Sefa

Ebenezer Asante Sefa

Ebenezer Asante Sefa is an astute banker, credit analyst and a dynamic leader with about 20 years experience in banking, particularly in credit appraisals and recoveries.

His accomplishment in the areas of credit and recovery is a testament to his recognition by UT Financial Services as the recipient of the overall best worker and CEO’s Special Awards in 2005 and 2006.

Mr Sefa has had exposure and experience in a wide variety of engagements in many different fields of credit and management, from a project officer at UT Financial Services to an Area Manager/Unit Head of UT Bank.

Prior to joining TG Finance and Leasing as its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sefa was the Head of the Recovery-Taskforce at UT Bank (2016-2017).

Some of the positions he held in UT Bank were Head, Special Business (2015-2016), Head-Export and Commodities (2013-2014), Area Manager (2010-2013) and Branch Manager (2009-2010) to mention a few.

Mr Sefa holds an Executive MBA, Finance (option) from the University of Ghana Business School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree, BA (Hons) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Presently, he is the CEO and the Executive Director of TG Finance and Leasing (GH) Limited.


Yaw D. Oppong

Yaw D. Oppong (Esq)

He is the Manwerehene of Akyem Abuakwa with the stool name, Omansomfo Barima Oppong Kodie.

Mr Oppong is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana and the Managing Partner of Ampofo, Oppong and Associates, a firm of lawyers in Accra, Ghana.

He has lectured at a number of universities in Ghana, including Central University.

Currently, he is a senior lecturer at the Ghana School of Law.

Mr Oppong obtained a first degree in Law at the University of Ghana and successfully qualified as a Barrister-at-Law from the Ghana School of Law, Makola-Accra, Ghana.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Oil and Gas Law (LLM) from the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon.

He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London.

Popularly called Lawyer Oppong, his current choice of career as a professional lawyer, lecturer and farmer, has put him in a position where he is exposed to the practicality of the ongoing interaction between traditional customary law and practices on the one hand, and the demands of modern technological, infrastructural and industrial development on the other.

He is the author of a book entitled, “Contemporary Trends in the Law of Immovable Property in Ghana”.

For several years, Lawyer Oppong has been a regular resource person contributing to topical discussions on a myriad of legal issues.


Ishaq Kyei-Brobbey

Ishaq Kyei-Brobbey

Ishaq Kyei-Brobbey is a finance and management expert with over 20 years’ experience.

He currently teaches Finance at the Kumasi Technical University where he previously served as the Head of the Department of Accountancy and Accounting Information Systems.

He is a Service Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and a former Adjunct Lecturer at the GIMPA Business School.

Mr Kyei-Brobbey started his career as a Senior Internal Auditor at the Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly, Somanya.

His current community service includes chairing the governing boards of two senior high schools in the Ashanti Region and serving as the Head of Finance at the Ghana Muslim Mission, Ashanti.

Mr Kyei-Brobbey studied at the University of Ghana Business School and the University of Leicester, UK.