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“We Are Doing Well When it Comes to Free Speech” – Prez. Akufo-Addo

In 2023, Ghana dropped two places, from 60th in 2022, to 62nd,  in the 2023 global press freedom rankings by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said Ghana is on course when it comes to free speech despite recent concerns about press freedom and a crackdown on dissidents by police officers.

In his last Independence Day speech, Nana Akufo-Addo touted a free democratic environment that welcomes opposing views.

“When it comes to free speech and the indicators of a working democracy, I believe we can say that we’re doing well. There is no danger of dissenting voices not being heard on any subject, even though we have still more work to do on elevating the quality of our public discourse,” he said in his address.

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But the president’s assertion appears to be challenged by recent happenings around media freedom, and a clampdown on civil protests under his regime.

Last year when citizens started a peaceful protest against bad governance, dubbed the “Occupy Julorbi House” demonstration, police officers ended up assaulting many while riding on a public order act.

On press freedom, the Media Foundation for West Africa, for instance, said between 2021 and 2022, it recorded 30 press freedom violations with the state security agents accounting for 67% of such abuses.

These and many other events seem to have led to Ghana’s poor positioning on the global press freedom rankings. In 2023, the country dropped two places, from 60th in 2022, to 62nd in the 2023 rankings by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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