The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says no effort is being made to suppress freedom of expression in Ghana, as the continuing vitality of the Ghanaian media and the intense diversity of the public discourse remain some of the most internationally admired traits of Ghanaian democracy.
“Ghanaians are, today, as they have been doing for much of the 4th Republic, able to give boldly and freely their feedback on policies and programmes of government; civil society organisations are able to interrogate fearlessly government actions and positions, compare them to global best practices, and offer views and critiques aimed at complementing the efforts of government; and the political opposition is able to raise dissent openly, and canvass without intimidation for alternative viewpoints,” Nana Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo made this known when he delivered a speech at the 2019 Bar Conference of the Ghana Bar Association, in Takoradi, in the Western Region.
With the Constitution of the 4th Republic guaranteeing freedom of expression, including freedom of the press and other media, as a fundamental human right, and making elaborate provisions to protect the freedom and independence of the media, the President stated that the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law in 2001, when he was Attorney General represents one of the high points of his public career.
“In my time as President, the Right to Information Act, whose passage had, hitherto, become a taboo, was finally enacted by Parliament. My attachment to the vital nature of freedom of expression in promoting national progress and security has not changed since I became President,” he added.
Deliberate misinformation campaigns, President Akufo-Addo stressed, have now gained added currency, with the proliferation of media channels, including social media.
Additionally, he noted that a major threat to the integrity of the news world is the publication of unverified claims, in the haste to be first to break so-called “news”.