GBC bill before cabinet

THE bill to amend the law establishing the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and situate it as a public broadcaster is being submitted to Cabinet for consideration.
The amendment will define the parameters of broadcasting and also establish a clear distinction among public, commercial and community broadcasters.
The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, announced this in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, at a symposium organised by the Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) to celebrate its 10th anniversary at Ada in the Dangme East District of the Greater Accra Region.
The GCRN, which is the umbrella body of all community radio stations in the country, was formed in 1999.
The community radio concept is aimed at using the indigenous languages of the various communities in which the network operates to educate and sensitise people to their civic rights and responsibilities and allow grass root involvement in topical issues of national concern.
This year’s celebration was on the theme, “The Right to Communicate through Community Radio”.
The Vice-President said community radio had contributed immensely to social empowerment and development, particularly serving marginalised and under-served parts of the country in the areas of affirmative action, population control, malaria, HIV/AIDS and agriculture.
Mr Mahama said the attainment and protection of human rights were dependent on the right to communication, hence the government was expediting action on the passage of the Freedom of Information Act to safeguard, promote and empower the people to appreciate and understand the activities of government.
He explained that the act would promote citizens’ understanding of issues of national concern and also support public education in an environment of responsible cultural and physical development which would ultimately facilitate the building of trust between the government and the governed.
He commended all stakeholders in the community radio sector, the GCRN especially, for their resilience, even in the face of difficulties, adding that “the network will be given its proper due”.
“We shall do our part to see that the right to communication through community radio is available for all in the shortest possible time in Ghana,” Mr Mahama added.
The Minister of Education and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ada, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, commended the GCRN members for their role in helping promote the activities of the Non-Formal Division of his ministry.
Mr Tettey-Enyo and the MP for Sege, Mr Alfred Abayeteye, pledged GH¢60,000 support for Radio Ada for its expansion project to enhance its service to the communities its served.
The Chairperson for the occasion and Director of the School of Communications Studies, University of Ghana, Dr Audrey Gadzekpo, urged the government to make everything possible to ensure the replication of the success story of community radio throughout the country, adding that such radio stations helped deepen the democratisation process and also the preservation of our cultural heritage, which was a “vehicle for national cohesion and development”.


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