Members of the Ghanaian Media fraternity in the United States on Wednesday February 23rd paid
a courtesy visit to Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency (HE) Lt. General
Joseph Henry Smith at the chancery in Washington DC.
The mission for the visit was to officially welcome the newly appointed ambassador to office
and to discuss areas of collaboration between the embassy and the media by way of
dissemination of information and bridging the gap between the embassy and the Ghanaian
In welcoming the media men Ambassador Smith reiterated his pride in the peace, stability and
security in Ghana as a pace setter in the sub region. As much as he commended the media men
for the work they are doing he also advised them to work with a professional decorum and verify
their information before publication. He also emphasized the need to avoid smear attacks and
misconstruction of statements made by public personalities, something which is staining the
image and trust of the media.
The Ambassador charged the media men to put their commitment to Ghana as a country first and
to educate the community as well. He said “We should look forward and examine ourselves, put
the past behind us and stop the blame game. We all have a role to play. The future is bright for
Ghana and requires all of us to come on board to help educate Ghanaians and help change the
attitude of your colleagues in Ghana”.
HE Ambassador Smith continued saying that, putting Ghana first requires a commitment to
security, service and sacrifice. He expressed his confidence in the future of Ghana by identifying
some gains of the Government which is evident in the economic prospects of the county.
According to him “Ghana is doing well economically since Ghana has met the requirement to
receive compact 2 of the Millennium Challenge Account, about 85% of which would go into the
In late February of 2015 an agreement was struck between Ghana and the International Monetary
Fund for a three-year deal worth around US$1 billion (645 million pounds) aimed at restoring
fiscal stability in the Ghanaian economy noted the Ambassador who also mentioned the floating
of Eurobonds by the Government of Ghana which had been oversubscribed.
Ambassador Smith announced that a Diaspora Affairs Bureau to serve as a communication
platform between Ghanaians and the Government has been established at the embassy in
Washington DC. This initiative will document the grievances of Ghanaians in the Diaspora on
issues like high vehicle importation taxes, the economy and various issues affecting the
Ghanaian Community in the Diaspora.
Solutions were being worked on to figure out was to expeditiously deal with challenges faced by
the embassy according to HE Ambassador Smith, he explained that the inability for the consular
session of the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC to deliver passports and visas in a timely
fashion due to the frequent breakdown of the passport processing machines was one of such
“We are doing everything within our power to clear all backlog applications and urge Ghanaians
to be patient” appealed the Ambassador. He said with the increased acceptability of biometric
passports by most countries, plans are far advanced within the mission to begin issuing such
Lt. General Smith emphasized that this is a temporal problem that will be fixed within 3 months
to allow for processing of passports to resume in earnest. He said the embassy staff are ready to
go the extra mile to clear the pile of applications to avoid further inconveniences to applicants.
Touching on the infrastructural upgrade of the embassy, Ambassador Smith revealed that the
entire embassy is under restructuring to meet the growing demands of the Ghanaian community,
tourists and potential investors. He said the embassy has embarked on intensive education of the
staff in all departments within the consular section and that within three months there would be
massive transformation at the embassy.
Ambassador Smith further disclosed that his office is open to all and urged Ghanaians to feel free
to call on him. He said regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, he is ready to work with all for
the good of mother Ghana.
The media practitioners commended the information and public affairs section of the embassy
headed by Jojo Bruce-Quansah on the changes his outfit has implemented since last year which
include the opening of a library and the printing and distribution of a quarterly newsletter by the
embassy. They pledged their commitment to collaborate effectively with the information and
public affairs section of the embassy in bridging the gap between the embassy and the Ghanaian
populace. Before the end of the meeting Mr. Charles Nimo Ntiamoah Mensah of 3G Media who
has appointed as an Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation of New York
presented his citation to the Ambassador. HE Ambassador Smith commended him for the
achievement and urged Ghanaians in the Diaspora to continue to excel in their various areas of
George Bright-Abu, editor of the Afrikan Post Newspaper, Joseph( Sonny) Vandepuye,
editor of the New Ghanaian Newspaper and Sunlight Radio and Yaw Ansah of Highlife Media
were among the group that paid the courtesy call on the Ambassador. The rest were Naa
Amerley Tagoe of Sankofa Media, Gifty Bandoh, Rev. Dr. E.K. Nkansah of Hognet Radio,
Kwame Boakye Danquah of Ghana Tourist Coach Radio, and Charles Nimo Ntiamoah Mensah
popularly known as ‘Mr CNN’ of 3G Media