Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Expanding economies allows Ghanaian media company to plant its flag in foreign countries

A Ghanaian group of radio stations have slowly been moving into markets in Sierra Leone, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gambia. Most recently, this group has moved into Liberia.

The group, Multimedia Group Limited, operators of Joy FM and five other radio stations in greater Accra and the Ashanti Regions, also has two online news websites. The company provides satellite-distributed programming for all its stations, including another 38 African and 13 stations in Europe where it shares affiliation programs.

In an interview with ModernGhana.com, Kwasi Twum, the group’s CEO, said that a globalized media environment has forced the company to look beyond Ghana’s borders to continue growing.

From the interview:

Discounting the claim that local companies do not have the capacity to challenge competitors in the sub region and beyond, the CEO asserted that Multimedia Group Ltd has the organisational capacity to grow, not only in West Africa but in Africa as a whole.

“Ghana has become a net importer of media; the time has come for us to change that,’ Mr Twum stated.

With a strength of 279 full time and 66 part time staff, the company has built internal capacity by focussing on training and development as the core feature of its operations, spending 4% of annual turnover on training, with staff benefiting from both local and international training programs.

Touching on challenges facing the media industry in Ghana, Mr Twum mentioned low advertising rates, pointing out that rates in Cote d’ Ivoire, are four times higher than in Ghana, while they are 12 times higher in Nigeria. The CEO said the potential for development in the broadcasting industry exists but for this to happen, the regulatory authorities would need to create a more conducive growth environment. A conscious effort should be made to promote the growth of individual private businesses to reach the world class standards which will make them competitive anywhere.

The Multimedia Group CEO intimated that the company had looked at the possibility of listing on the Stock Exchange in 2004 but the stock market went soft.

He said the idea had come up again and there has been support from its various quarters, given that it would give the Ghana bourse a boost but the company was of the view that the taking of such a step should be determined by the its long term objectives.

“The motivation for floatation should be very clear because the ultimate aim would be to create real value for the prospective shareholders,” he said.

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