Tamale (N/R), Aug 29, GNA – Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, First Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), has asked journalists to support efforts to restore confidence in the Ghanaian economy through accurate reportage and public education.
He said this at two-day workshop for selected business and financial reporters in the Northern, Upper East, Upper and West Regions on the theme: “Sustaining the recovery: The role of the journalist in building confidence.”
The workshop formed part of efforts by the Bank to build a strong pool of journalists who would help the public to appreciate and understand the Bank’s programmes and policies.
The participants were educated on Monetary Policy formulation and Inflation Targeting, Forex Trading and Foreign Exchange Market, balance of payments as well as the Bank’s electronic currency (cedi).
In a speech read on his behalf by Dry Philip Abradu-Otoo, Head of Research, the Deputy Governor said the current economic situation required the media to take on additional responsibility of helping various efforts to bring back confidence in the economy.
Dr Opoku-Afari said: “The media’s role in influencing the economic narrative is even more important during periods of heightened uncertainty when all kinds of news including fake news are rife on social media, even at times within mainstream media.”
He noted that the spread of such misinformation had the potential to disturb financial markets and create panic among the public, which had negative implications for financial stability.
He, therefore, asked journalists to “have additional responsibilities to help financial market participants and the general public to draw a clear distinction between facts and fiction and decide the newsworthiness of the information at hand for accurate reportage – a crucial ingredient for confidence building.”
Dr Opoku-Afari called on journalists to develop analytical skills to understand the complex relationships between financial and economic variables, and cultivate sources to help in navigating the interactions between the Government of Ghana and the IMF.
He said the negotiation process would not be “a smooth sailing” and asked journalists to begin to have authentic sources of obtaining information and report it to the public in a manner that would bring confidence in the process.
Touching on developments in the country, the Deputy Governor explained that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had led to heightened inflationary pressures due to rising energy and food prices.
He said the Central Bank had made controlling inflation a priority, and viewed transparency as key in promoting credibility of the Bank’s policies.
“Transparency is possible when the media accurately and in the right language informs and educate the public of the exact nature of developments in the economy as well as the real implications of actions taken by policymakers,” he said.
He expressed appreciation to the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA), Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), and the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) for working with the Bank on the programme.