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THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital

18 WEST Africa Ghana – Rapidly expanding with changing mindsets Oil boom, deregulation and press freedom are spurring opportunities and growth in A Ghana’s media sector. colonial, Sir Charles MacCarthy, might have set up the first newspaper in Ghana (then known as the Gold Coast) in 1822, but it was a Ghanaian, Kwame Nkrumah, who launched Africa’s first news agency in 1957 to offer a more balanced view of the continent. Today the country has 135 newspapers that include both state-owned and independent titles, which leads to a diverse range of voices. Print penetration has been reported as 87%. The Daily Graphic (circulation 100 000) and the Ghanaian Times (circulation 80 000) are state-owned and tend to tow a more conservative line. The Chronicle (circulation 45 000) is the most widely distributed private newspaper. The Daily Guide, published six times a week, has a circulation of around 22 000 papers daily. Freedom House, which studies media freedom in various countries, regards Ghana’s press as being ‘free’. The West African country’s media was deregulated and its freedom enshrined in its 1992 Constitution. This had a knock-on effect on the media sector with opportunities for launching new newspapers, radio stations and television networks. A rapidly expanding and highly competitive advertising industry soon followed. The Commonwealth Network estimated Ghana’s advertising to grow at 25% per year, taking the advertising industry to a value of $50m by 2014. Banks, mobile phone companies and fast-moving consumer goods comprise the bulk of advertising, with mobile accounting for nearly one-third of all advertising in the country. The oil boom stirred international marketing firms to set up in the country and has found local agencies partnering with global fir ms, such as a 2011 deal between Scangroup and Ogilvy, associates of the global advertising and marketing services company WPP. David Ampofo Award-winning journalist, TV talk show host and media entrepreneur, David Ampofo, managing director of Channel Two Communications, recently told the Oxford Business Group that media consumption habits in Ghana were continuing to change. “Much of the urban middle and upper classes are now connected to DStv and satellite television. This is the result of rising incomes. Digital and internet-based media reflect the changing mindset of the Ghanaian consumer,” he said. THEMEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL 2016 See page 20 n


THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital
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