The Ghana News Agency (GNA) and the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) have signed a strategic partnership agreement for news-sharing in Ghana and Bulgaria.
The partnership is expected to promote a mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.
As part of the partnership agreement, the news agencies will share news content, explore news ideas of mutual benefit and engage in exchange programmes to improve journalistic skills of reporters.
Mr Kiril Valchev, Director General of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), at a short signing event in Accra, said the agreement was underpinned by mutual interest and based on building greater cooperation between Ghana and Bulgaria.
He described the Ghana News Agency as a trusted source of news, having lived up to its tenet of accuracy, objectivity, credibility and other valued journalistic standards in the coverage of news.
The Director-General said, just like the GNA, the Bulgarian News Agency had maintained its standards as a national news agency since its establishment by a decree in 1898 and was hopeful the partnership would yield positive results.
Mr Valchev said a special section on the Bulgarian News Agency’s website would be dedicated to Ghana to attract the needed investments from Bulgaria and across the globe.
He said: “We will start with the exchange of news in English, which will be translated on the BTA website. It is great to choose Ghana and to see your narrative and we hope you will do the same for us,” he said, and assured that it was the beginning of a greater partnership between the two agencies.
The partnership, Mr Valchev noted, would also see the “exchange of journalists” for the coverage of events in Ghana and Bulgaria to promote existing opportunities in tourism and culture in both countries.
The BTA Director General said his outfit would be host to the Association of Balkan News Agencies in September 2022, and that the Ghana News Agency would be supported to cover the Association’s meeting.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager, Ghana News Agency, said the Agency had initiated plans for the launch of a business and economic news reporting project to give a sharp focus to selected sectors of the economy towards projecting Ghana as the most attractive investment destination on the continent.
He said the Agency had also rolled out digital operations on a pilot basis to take advantage of the digital revolution to expand news services covering a host of users and described the partnership as timely.
The General Manager said he was pleased with responses from subscribers and quoted Mr Robert Mac Millan, a former General Manager of Reuter News Agency, as saying: “ The work of a news agency is never spectacular. The details of our operations are for the best part little known to the general public.
“ Nonetheless, we have a vital part to play in the functioning of an informed democracy. A national news agency, independent and strong outside politics, free from influence from any group or faction, is an essential element in the modern democratic society.”
He said with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Ghana and with other economic and investment activities ongoing across the country, GNA was working on packaging compelling news stories to meet the increasing demands in the sector for local and international subscribers.
The General Manager applauded the Bulgarian News Agency for its consistency in news coverage and assured of the commitment of GNA to the partnership.
Present at the signing ceremony were Mr Yanko Vasilev Yordanov, Ambassador of Bulgaria to Ghana, Resident in Nigeria, and some members of Management of the Ghana News Agency.
The Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) was established by a decree issued by Prince Ferdinand I in 1898.
The BTA is now a major and reliable source of information to the print and electronic media, the state bodies and NGOs in Bulgaria.
BTA’s operation is regulated by a Statute adopted by the 36th National Assembly on 29 June 1994.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, on the eve of Ghana’s independence and charged with the “dissemination of truthful unbiased news.”
It is the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa.
GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state.
The Agency has, therefore, been operating in the unique role of mobilising the citizens for nation-building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.