The media has been recognized as a strategic partner between the Bank of Ghana and the public.
In view of this the Central Bank says the media plays a crucial role in the dissemination of information on the bank’s monetary process.
Speaking at the opening of a two day workshop on business and financial journalism in Accra which was organized by the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA), First Deputy Speaker of the Central Bank, Dr.Maxwell Opoku Afari indicated that “the Bank of Ghana sees the press as a strategic partner and important stakeholder in helping communicate and sensitize the public about the Bank’s policy decisions.
“As a matter of fact, the literature on central bank communications explains that good communication of a central bank’s policy intentions to economic agents helps with the proper transmission of policies.”
According to him, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has had 91 successful MPC meetings followed by Press Conferences since the process started 17 years ago, with the press being the principal agents and medium for communicating the Committee’s decisions to the public, and in the same vein used the platform to seek clarification on critical issues of concern on macroeconomic and financial sector developments.
Dr. Opoku-Afari, explained that, in the literature, there are codes of ethics that drives responsible journalism, “These are seeking the truth and reporting it, minimizing harm in the discharge of duties, acting independently, and being accountable. When these codes of ethics are imbibed by journalists, it ensures the delivery of a kind of public good to economic agents in a responsible manner,” he added.
He said, “Financial journalism can be used as a tool to advance the objectives of sound fiscal policies, efficient transmission of monetary policies, address bottlenecks hindering financial intermediation in the banking sector, promote structural reforms to ensure a smooth functioning of the economy, and above all support the process of economic growth and poverty reduction.”
Dr. Afari, also explained that, the extension of journalism to Issues of famine and poverty eradication, demonstrates the extent to which journalism and press freedom can be exploited for the benefit of society.
He also disclosed that, “at the November MPC meeting, the Committee announced a number of macro-prudential and market conduct regulaton/ measures to help boost credit to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), foster more competition in the banking sector and in the process help lower lending rates.
This he said includes: “Setting aside 2 percent of banks’ primary reserve to support targeted lending to SMEs as part of the Enterprise Credit Scheme announced in the 2020 budget, Exploring the possibility of setting a minimum loan to ratio to ensure that more deposits mobilized by banks are channeled to viable private sector projects,
“Working closely with banks to ensure that banks do not pass on their operational inefficiencies and overhead costs to their clients by aligning compensation with overall bank performance, BOG to scrutinize compensation policies for Chief Executive Officers and key management personnel as well as Board of Directors of universal banks, and Banks will be required to develop and publish a clear framework on the risk premium build-up that impact on an individual borrowers’ credit profiles.”
He therefore entreated journalists to muster courage and be diligent in the discharge of their duties amidst any challenges in the financial sector, in the years ahead.
Story By: Henry George Martinson/radiogoldlive.com