“Nigerian and Ghanaian media need collaboration to boost West Africa’s economy”
Sustained collaboration between the Nigerian and Ghanaian media, which could ensure that each focuses more on the positive aspects of the other country, would be a game-changer in the quest to accelerate West African economic integration, said the US-based Ghanaian media entrepreneur, Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah Told MARTIN-LUTHER C. KING in Accra. He also said that similar cooperation between the media of various African countries would help the continent to rapidly develop intra-African trade through the new proposed free trade area in Africa. Excerpts:
How can media in Africa help accelerate intra-African trade in particular, and Africa’s integration in general?
African media have a lot to do to project African trade to make it very attractive. We need to identify areas that attract large investors. Avoid posting stories that don’t portray Africa in its best light. Many US-based newspapers like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, US Today, etc. always focus on economy, companies are doing very well in attracting investors, partnership forecasts, inventions and avoid controversial images that reduce investor confidence. Tourism is a very attractive industry for investors. African media must share with the world where travelers will plan their vacations each year. Once the rest of the world picks up what Africa has packaged well and offers, it attracts investors and business connections. We have to be very competitive and publish well-researched facts and figures.
How to create a dynamic synergy between the media belonging to 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 the United States. The African American community in America believes that there is something in Africa that they need to project, that is, trade, tourism, education, and health. There are so many successful people in the African American community that the media in Africa needs to focus on. The transfer of money to Africa alone is in the billions. Media professionals in the United States and Africa need to share ideas and opportunities. Many members of 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 highlighted by the media to be very attractive. Dishonesty, lack of leadership discipline and controversial media issues in Africa deter others from doing business with the continent. Media from Africa and the United States can work together to build mutual trust and create opportunity.
Nigeria and Ghana constitute the overwhelming majority of the population and economy of ECOWAS. How to create synergy between Ghanaian and Nigerian media to accelerate the regional integration agenda in West Africa?
Yes, you’re right. Nigeria and Ghana constitute the bulk of the population and economy of ECOWAS. Synergy can be created between the media of the two countries if there is mutual cooperation and agreement. The media in both countries can become a powerhouse if they agree to publish or display what attracts investment. For example, by highlighting what Nigeria is worth investing in; and, as Nigeria does for Ghana. Too much individualism does not help this exposure that the world needs to know. But they will focus on stories from both countries that are controversial and don’t bring investment. I believe that the collaborations of the two countries are necessary. Such collaboration will accelerate the regional integration agenda in West Africa, as both countries will then showcase the best of Africa that deserves investments that will boost the West African economy.
Also Read: The African Continental Free Trade Agreement – The Journey So 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 I started in 2009. After many years I decided to try a newspaper telling stories in our local community, highlighting success stories individual, stories from Africa, breaking news from our Africa community; also, religion, tradition and business. The goal is to attract many African American small businesses that need promotions, thereby attracting advertisements. Also, African families in America share their stories of successful living abroad. The key area here is that our publications are distributed freely, given the era we find ourselves in where people are glued 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 particular 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 the stories published are full of aspiration. What do people like to read? What does Africa have to offer that the world needs? If there is a brand that focuses on telling the world how to do business in Africa, more publicity about Africa’s rich responses, I believe a global media can be created. Many African media seem to rely on international news, i.e. BBC Africa, rather than creating their own stories that the world constantly needs to know. Let our story be told and sold where it should be to attract the world. The media entity in Africa must exploit the potential of the other and avoid unnecessary competition.
Tell us briefly about yourself?
I am Evangelist, Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah aka Dr CNN based in USA.
I was born in London, where I was raised and educated until high school; graduated with a BS in the UK; moved to the United States, where I obtained a master’s degree. I am now an ordained minister, evangelist and associate pastor at Holy Fire DW International Church in New York. Recently, I received three international awards in Spain: honorary doctorate in literature, second time; distinguished ambassador for peace; and, licensed as an international preacher/minister.
I have been a media professional 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 phone or taking selfies. I then 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 a discount awards, 3G Awards, in 2009. My desire has been to tell the African story the way it should be told in the United States 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 a last word?
The sky is always the limit. Believe in God, in yourself, in your dreams and aspirations. It does not matter whether your family is rich or poor, your town or your village; or, Born and left in a gutter. Do not be afraid; dream big; tell your story and your vision as you see it, or as directed by God. The world will realize this.