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by John Trautschold, Editor, SPEEDX-GRAM


The following item is taken from page 45 of the May 1974 edition of SPEEDX. It is placed here with permission of SPEEDX.

In a recent issue of the SPEEDX-GRAM, I promised an article on the internal workings of Radio Ghana. While attending classes at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I ran across a foreign student studying the American system of mass communication. In talking with him one evening, we somehow managed to divert our discussion to shortwave broadcasting, at which time he mentioned to me that he was and will be again an announcer at the G.B.C. when he returns. I asked him if he would put together some inside information on Radio Ghana, he said he would, and what follows, in part, is some of the Radio Ghana story told to me by George Kwado Anokwa.

"My name is George Anokwa, a Radio Ghana announcer and news reader. I'm speaking to you from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I am currently pursing further studies in mass conmunication. I'm happy to describe to you Radio Ghana, and to share with SPEEDX club members my experiences as one of the men behind Radio Ghana.

"Radio Ghana is a direct descendant of the African drum, but as a modern means of communication, Radio Ghana is more powerful and more far-reaching than the talking drums by which the African traditional leadership summoned his subjects to battle.

"In Ghana and Africa as a whole, sound broadcasting offers one of the best means of educating, informing, and entertaining the people, as well as activating the people to national development. Thus, Radio Ghana occupies a unique position in Africa, and even outside of the continent of Africa where Radio Ghana shares with its audiences Africa's heritage of music and dance, art, drama, and literature.

"From its small beginnings of informing and entertaining Ghanaians 38 years ago, Radio Ghana is now able to make its signal heard to the ends of this fast-shrinking world. On the national level, it broadcasts in the following languages, English, Akan, Ga, Hausa, Ewe, Dagbani, and Nzema. On the international level, Radio Ghana beams programs in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, and Hausa.

"Programs on Radio Ghana are many and varied. Radio Ghana broadcast news in the various languages, talk-shows, features, magazines, indigenous as well as music from other lands - music of all kinds to suit all tastes. American music is very popular in Ghana. Through these endeavors, Radio Ghana is able to sell Ghana and Africa to the world, and recount the past glories of Africa and her contributions to civilization and to refute propagated fallacies about Africa, the so called dark continent.

"Before my departure from Ghana to the United States in 1971, I worked six years with Radio Ghana in various capacities. I found my job not only exciting, but also rewarding. Starting as an announcer/studio operator in 1965, I made rapid progress so that eventually I became a newscaster for the national and international networks of Radio Ghana. My duties involved presenting the news in English, compiling and presenting music shows for listeners in West Africa, East and Central Africa, Europe, and North America. Between 1965 and 1971, I was one of the regular voices of Radio Ghana's External Shortwave Service to listeners in North America and the Caribbean. I was featured in programs between 2000 and 2100 GMT on 11850kHz, 25.32 metres. 'This is the External Service of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation calling from Accra ... Here's the news read by George Anokwa.' Does that ring a bell? I still have some happy reminiscences of some of you listeners who participated in our program, 'From the Mail Bag' in which I read some of your letters and answered your questions on Africa's past and present. Radio Ghana Calling still invites listeners to write to the producer of 'From the Mail Bag' at P.O. Box 1633, Accra, Ghana, West Africa. From the Mail Bag has all the answers to your questions on Radio Ghana, past and contemporary issues of African nations, music, dance, art, drama, and what-have-you.

"Apart from news and music shows, I was involved in the production of African cultural programmes, the analysis of traditions and institutions of African peoples. Such programs and many more, which time and space will not allow me to list, can be heard on Radio Ghana.

"The very important role in setting up Radio Ghana, especially the External or Overseas Service, cannot be underestimated as to having succeeded as a means of international communications and understanding. Radio Ghana's task of portraying the policies, culture, and politics of Africa has served as a great supplement to the efforts of foreign emmissaries in other lands. I am glad to be a staff member of Radio Ghana and a part of the world of radio broadcasting, an institution whose means and power of transmission of information has penetrated national fronteirs, spanned the walls of censorship which had barred the written word."

I would personally like to thank George for that very fine report on Radio Ghana, and of course for his time in putting it together. When George is finished with his studies here in Milwaukee, he will be returning to Ghana, and hopefully resume broadcasting on Radio Ghana. When we hear him back on the air again, I hope everyone listening will flood him with letters.

One final note, George is currently working one evening a week on commercial television, WVTV Channel 18 in Milwaukee as a news reader and writer. Anyone living in Milwaukee vicinity who manages to pull in WVTV ought to tune him in at 11:30 Mondays. He really does a fine job!


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