Daasebre Prof. Oti Boateng, the Paramount Chief of New Juaben Traditional Area
The Media Development Fund should make provision for media projects in business advocacy to serve as an exit strategy for the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, says Daasebre Prof. Oti Boateng, the Paramount Chief of New Juaben Traditional Area.
Government voted Gh˘1 million in the 2012 budget for the establishment of a Media Development Fund to help improve the professional outreach and competence of media organizations and personnel in Ghana.
Daasebre, who is Life-Patron of the newly constituted Media-Corporate Response Initiative (M-CRI), contends the Fund “would be an appropriate policy mechanism to complement the efforts of the development partners of DANIDA-USAID-EU to sustain media engagement in business advocacy as an integral part of the overall strategy at ensuring private sector competitiveness in the country.”
In his view, the BUSAC Fund engagement has proven that a media sensitive to business advocacy is key to enhancing the growth of SMEs.
The BUSAC Fund was introduced by development partners to forge Media partnership to take-up business advocacy for enhanced private sector competitiveness, especially at the district level.
The Fund has over the past six years devoted over US$1 million towards building the capacity of the media to play the lead role to generate employment, provide efficient support services, information communication and technology and enhance the creation of wealth.
This has culminated in the establishment of the Media-Corporate Response Initiative (M-CRI) under the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to harness the institutional potential of the media to promote local partnership for economic development.
Daasebre Oti Boateng has therefore called for a non-partisan consideration of the Media Development Fund by all stakeholders to redirect an aspect of it towards sustaining media role in business advocacy.
“This has become extremely important given the fact that Ghana under the current BUSAC Fund arrangement is serving as a pilot case for Africa to influence development funding for business advocacy as a private sector development strategy,” he said.
Daasebre has called on the government to re-open negotiations on how best the media could be strengthened to support business advocacy, particularly in the SME sector among other considerations under the Media Development Fund.
He has also entreated managers of the BUSAC Fund to exhibit successes and deliverables in all sectors of the economy to influence policy interventions for the sustenance of the media’s involvement in business advocacy.