Graphic to give support to Brand Ghana (Monday, April 5, 2010, pg 12)

he Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) will give credence to the programmes and activities of Brand Ghana that are aimed at projecting the image of the country, the General Manager in charge of Newspapers of the company, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has stated.

He said the company bought into the idea of branding the country because it was in the collective interest of Ghanaians to see a thriving national image.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh made the remark when a delegation from Brand Ghana (BG), led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mathias Akotia, visited the company as part of consultations with stakeholders to craft a vision and framework of operations to guide its work.

Present at the meeting were the editors of some of the company’s chain of newspapers, including Mr Ransford Tetteh of the Daily Graphic, Mrs Margaret Safo of The Mirror, Ms Victoria Odoi, Assistant Editor of the Junior Graphic, and Mr Emmanuel Agyei Arthur, the Public Affairs Co-ordinator.

The BG was established with the mandate to establish a compelling image for Ghana by creating, co-ordinating and harmonising a persuasive Brand Ghana positioning.
It ultimately aims at stimulating the economic, social and psychological well-being of all citizens by developing and implementing a proactive and integrated internal and international competitive strategy.

Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh urged officials of BG to widen the consultation as much as possible to ensure that they came up with ‘something’ that would excite Ghanaians.
He said in Ghana, unlike other parts of the world where people were responsive to conformity, people had taken the country’s prevailing democratic environment to mean that they could do anything with impunity.

“When you go to countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and Malaysia, the streets are clean because people know the implications of throwing garbage around. It is the opposite here,” he observed.

Mr Tetteh, for his part, said the consultations were commendable, since there was no way the country could move forward without consensus building.
“We will have to work together to ensure that the entire country buys into the idea,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Akotia, in a presentation, had said the globalised world provided a new challenge and opportunities for businesses and countries in competition for international consumers, tourists, investors, world media and entrepreneurs.

He said it was only countries with “saliency, intensity, credibility and a thoroughly planned identity strategy that can compete and win”.

He stated that the branding Ghana agenda could not make progress if impunity and indiscipline were allowed to operate without efforts to hold them in check.

Mr Akotia said the country’s reputation and its people were imperative to its strategic development, adding, “Brand Ghana differentiation must be grounded in our people, not in natural endowments.”

“The process of citizenship development must be conscious and proactive. Citizenship must be consciously taught,” he explained.

He said the lack of coherence in communicating the values of the country was also a set back in developing an image of the country, saying the diversified messages were not helping in championing the cause.

He said the country did not boast a strategy that would continue to operate, even in the face of change in government, adding that a conscious branding programme had benefits, including effective tourism, investment and export promotions, it enhanced currency stability, clearer domestic consensus on a national identity and social goals, international credibility and investor confidence, improved international ratings and developed a Brand Ghana competitive strategy for the country with which it could compete in the international arena.

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