BusinessDay

‘Nigeria and Ghana media need collaboration to boost West Africa’s economy’

Sustained collaboration between the media in Nigeria and Ghana that could ensure that each focuses more on the positives in the other country would be the game-changer in the quest to fast-track West Africa’s economic integration, United States-based Ghanaian media entrepreneur, Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah told MARTIN-LUTHER C. KING in Accra. He also said a similar cooperation among the media of various African countries would help the continent quickly expand intra-African trade through the new Africa Free Trade Area project. Excerpts:

How can the media in Africa help fast-track intra-Africa trade particularly, and Africa’s integration, generally?

Africa’s media has a lot to do in projecting African trade to make it very attractive. We need to identify areas that attract great investors. Avoid publishing stories which does not depict Africa in great light. Many US-based newspapers, like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, US Today, etc, always focus on the economy, businesses doing very well to attract investors, partnership forecasting, inventions and avoiding controversial images which lower investor confidence. Tourism is an industry that is very attractive to investors. Africa’s media must share to the world where travelers will plan for vacations every year. Once the rest of the world picks what Africa has packaged well and is offering, they draw investors and trade relations. We have to be very competitive, and publish well-research facts and figures.

How can a dynamic synergy be created between media owned by the African-American community in the United States and the media in Africa?

First the media in Africa must engage in collaborations and partnerships with their counterparts in USA. The African-American Community in America believes that there is something back in Africa they need to project i.e. trade, tourism, education and health. There are so many successful people in the African-American community that the media in Africa must focus on. Money transfer alone to Africa is in billions. Media Practitioners in the USA and in Africa must share ideas and opportunities. Many in the African-American community want to relocate and do business. It is up to the media in Africa to avoid controversial topics, and focus on the positives. Africa must always be positioned in a brighter light by the media to be very attractive. Dishonesty, lack of discipline by leaders and controversial issues by media in Africa deter others from doing business with the continent. The media in Africa and USA can work together to build confidence in each other and create opportunities.

Nigeria and Ghana constitute the overwhelming majority of both the population and economy of ECOWAS. How can a synergy be created between the Ghanaian and Nigerian media to fast-track, the regional integration agenda in West Africa?

Yes, you are right. Nigeria and Ghana make up the bulk of both the population and economy of ECOWAS. A synergy can be created between both countries’ media if there is a mutual cooperation and agreement. The media from both countries can become a powerhouse if they agree to publish or post what attract investments. For instance, by Ghana putting a spotlight on what in Nigeria are worthy of investing in; and, same as Nigeria doing for Ghana. Too much individualism does not help that exposure the world needs to know. But they will concentrate on stories from both countries which are controversial and do not bring investment. I believe collaborations from both countries are needed. Such collaboration will fast-track the regional integration agenda in West Africa because both countries will then be exposing the best of Africa that are worthy of investments which will boost the West African economy.

Read also: The African Continental Free Trade Agreement – The journey thus far

Tell us about the African Times International newspaper, including the inspiration behind it?

African Times International is a sister to 3G Magazine, a colorful publication which I started in 2009. After many years, I decided to try a newspaper telling stories in our local community, spotlighting individual success stories, stories of Africa, latest news from our African community; also, religion, tradition and business. The aim is to attract many African-American-owned small businesses that need promotions, thereby drawing advertisements. Also, the African families in America sharing their successful life-stories abroad. The key area here is that our publications are distributed freely, cognizance of the era we are in where people are stuck to their phones and social media.

Almost every continent in the world has, at least, one media brand with global reach that, overtly or covertly, takes care of their peculiar interests within the global system; except Africa. How can Africa evolve its own global media brand?

Well, Africa can evolve its own global media brand if stories being published are full of aspirations. What do people like to read? What has Africa got to offer that the world needs? If there is a brand which focuses on telling the world how to do business in Africa, more advertising on Africa’s rich responses, I believe a global media can be created. Many of Africa media houses seem to rely on international news i.e. BBC Africa, rather than creating their own stories the world must constantly know about. Let our story be told and sold where it should be to attract the world. The media entity in Africa must harness each other’s potential and avoid unnecessary competition.

Briefly tell us about yourself?

I am Evangelist, Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah aka Dr. CNN based in the US.

I was born in London, where I was raised and educated till secondary school; graduated with a BS degree in UK; moved to the US, where I earned a Master’s Degree. I am now an ordained minister, an evangelist, and the associate pastor at Holy Fire D. W. International Church in New York. Recently, I received three International awards in Spain: honorary doctorate in literature, second time received; eminent peace ambassador; and, licensed as international preacher/minister.

I have been a media practitioner since 2000, from my days of doing photography as a hobby to becoming a renowned photojournalist for Ghanaweb.com, a Ghanaian online news portal. I started when there was no social media, taking pictures on a cell or doing selfies. I later launched my brand, 3G Media Group (GGG – God, Global & Giving) from my basement, in 2008. Website – www.3gmediaonlineus.com.After that, I launched my magazine, and an awards show, 3G Awards, in 2009. It has been my desire to tell the African story the way it should be told in the US and the rest of the world. I am also an executive producer, motivational speaker, husband to my wife, Rosemond, and father of three children, Kendra, Emmanuelle and Angel.

Do you have any final words?

The sky is always the limit. Believe in God, yourself, your dreams and aspirations. It does not matter whether your family is rich or poor, your city or village; or, born and left in a gutter. Have no fear; dream big; tell your story and vision the way you see it, or as directed by God. The world will take notice.

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