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Mahama Urges Advertisers To Sell The Country   
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President John Dramani Mahama has said the digital world provides players in the branding, advertising and marketing communications industry with breathtaking opportunities for packaging and selling Africa’s countries and the continent in general.

“From printing, convergence, voice to data, to the whole social media space, we have great opportunities for marketing our success stories. All these require proper packaging and presentation,” he said.

Speaking to advertising industry players at the International Advertising Association (AAI) and Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) leadership conference in Accra, President Mahama noted that he recognises the immense benefits advertising and branding deliver to not only countries but continents at large.

Citing the branding efforts of Malaysia, India and Azerbaijan, President Mahama noted that with proper packaging and presentation Ghana can sell itself to the world.

He said the Brand Ghana office, currently being restructured to meet the new objectives of government and a new international focus, was established to coordinate the national and international branding and marketing efforts of the nation.

The conference, under the theme ‘Africa Rising –the New Consumer Generation’, brought together key business leaders, advertising and marketing communications practitioners working in or doing business with Africa.

President of the AAG Joel Nettey said that it is time to change the narrative about Africa, and this generation -- not the next -- has to and will change the narrative.

“Our people’s capacity matches the best anywhere in the world, as has been demonstrated by the successes chalked up by African business people like Sifiso Dabengwa, Aliko Dangote and Isabel dos Santos.”

Mr. Nettey noted that despite the achievements chalked-up by Africa, a lot needs to be done to streamline activities in the advertising industry across the continent, especially in Ghana.

The association, according to him, is championing passage of the Advertising Standards Authority bill that will lead to setting up an Advertising Standards Authority, which will bring together relevant players in the industry including client, agency, media, regulatory, and consumer representation to ensure things are done right.

He appealed to the president and ministers of trade and industry and communication to fast-track passing the Advertising Council bill into law, to enable them deal with the growing threat of charlatans who parade themselves as marketing communication professionals and ultimately to protect the consumer.

President Mahama assured that through the instrumentality of the AAG, cabinet is considering the bill for parliamentary consideration.

He said government is currently engaged in local branding. “We are getting our people to consume more made-in-Ghana products to reduce imports and expand our exports. This is a major engagement for the Ministry of Trade and Industry.”

He stated that in partnership with the AAG, government is using social marketing to improve reproductive health.

“Indeed, Ghana has a brand. We have a good brand but we have to market it better. We are referred to as the model of democracy in Africa, the gateway to Africa; we are uniquely positioned as the country closest to latitude and longitude zero and the Greenwich Meridian passes through Ghana.

“We must leverage all these positives and our strengths and showcase them to the world. Digital migration, which we are rolling-out across Africa, is providing exciting platforms and opportunities to roll-out services in the creative industry. Even before we roll-out our own digital migration in Ghana, players in the industry can attest to the opportunities and advantages available already through the few digital channels we have.”
Source: B&FT

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