MTN Ghana, the telecom industry giant is collaborating with the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) to build the advocacy capacity of Ghanaian journalists across the country.
This came to light when members of the JBA paid a courtesy call on the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Asante in his office in Accra, over the weekend.
Mr. Asante, who took office in May, 2015 is the first Ghanaian to head MTN Ghana which currently controls more than 51% of the country’s telecom industry.
Welcoming the JBA’s members, Mr. Asante was confident that building a strong relationship with the media especially members of the JBA would further catapult the growth of the telecom industry in the country.
To this end, he said: “We will take steps to formalise the relationship” to ensure that both parties drive a maximum benefit from it.
In the past you have supported us in the fight against fibre cuts and battery theft which has led to the reduction of both incidents in the country, Mr. Asante told the high-power JBA delegation to his office.
“Thanks for your support for the course of the industry and MTN. We have seen reduction in battery theft, fibre cuts, and others”.
The MTN Ghana CEO was quick to add: “We have a media centre in this building because of our recognition of the role of the media. We are able to reach our customers and our stakeholders through the media”.
Mr. Asante used the occasion to throw more lights on the significance of ICT inclusion, saying: “These days education is happening through ICT. Even health and financial services are being done through ICT”.
ICT is too empowering. It is the enabler for the socio-economic development of the country. That is the role that MTN will like to follow, the affable and humble Mr. Asante told the visiting journalists.
The General Secretary of the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA), Suleiman Mustapha on behalf of the members thanked the management and staff of the MTN for their support and urged other companies to emulate the telco’s shining example.
He was hopeful that with the appointment of Mr. Asante as the CEO of MTN Ghana, the relationship which existed between the telco and JBA would be deepened further.
Mr. Mustapha therefore looked forward for future collaborations in the area of business advocacies.
Touching on the success stories of the JBA, Mr. Mustapha noted that a research undertaken by JBA indicated that Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) were either not aware or not concerned about the plight of SMEs, but were only interested in collecting levies from them.
“The advocacy by JBA has resulted in positive change in policy and programmes in some districts,” he stated. Instructively, the JBA was established out of GJA’s special two-year project dubbed “Using the Media to Strengthen Business Advocacy”.
The project, co-facilitated by KAB Consult, and sponsored by the Business Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, begun in 2008, under the theme “Using the Media to Promote Small-Scale Business Concerns.”
Under the project, a core team of journalists undertook capacity development in business advocacy to create a multimedia platform to discuss the concerns of business, particularly SMEs. In Ghana the SMEs account for 90 per cent of enterprises of the economy, contributing about 60 per cent of employment and about six per cent to gross domestic product (GDP).
Key MTN Ghana officials present at the meeting were Senior Manager Corporate Communications, Mrs. Georgina Asare-Fiagbenu, Communications Advisor in-charge of Media Relation, Mrs. Afua Asafo-Adjei, and Media Manager, Franklin Sowah.