Kufuor: Let’s invest in trustworthy information to combat COVID-19 scourge

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has urged African governments to invest in trustworthy information and communication systems to help in disseminating the right information that will be trustworthy to their citizens. 

“This will help in averting the total collapse of Africa’s already fragile economies in the coming months and it will be a way of achieving the necessary behavioural change that is required by Africans,” he stressed. 

President Kufuor in an article published by CNBC Africa noted that “during my tenure as the president of the Republic of Ghana, there was an increasingly profitable private sector driven media and communication sector. 

 “Liberalising media freedom and the opening up of the economy are among the proudest achievements of my eight-year presidency from January 2001 to January 2009 while elsewhere across much of the continent, with the rise of promising economic growth and development and an emergent independent media and telecommunication ecosystem, many African nations also began to embrace a new era of transparent and accountable governance.

“Late regressive politics has, however, taken hold of some countries, with ever more grim statistics of journalists being killed or attacked, independent media have been taken over by governments or factional actors.

“Altogether, we have made very little progress as a continent in reforming our state broadcasters into the kind of independent public service broadcasters that have been playing such a central role in informing people about the pandemic in countries, such as the UK. 

“Across most Africa countries, advertising has migrated wholesale from traditional broadcasters to new internet platforms and has undermined the financial viability of independent journalism, by comparison, online digital revenues across Africa are negligible, unlike old-fashioned media in industrialised countries where profitable digital operations are rapidly emerging,” former President Kufuor observed.

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