The Voice of Africa. The Opening of The Ghana External Broadcasting Service
October 22, 1961
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
I am happy to be with you this afternoon. I consider this occasion to be of great significance to Ghana and to Africa as a whole. We are gathered here to inaugurate the External Service of the Ghana Broadcasting System, a service which we hope will be a powerful force in our struggle for the liberation and unity of the African continent.
Although the ceremonial opening of our External Broadcasting System takes place this afternoon, the service itself has been in operation on a trial basis since the middle of June this year. From that day, programmes have been broadcast for three hours daily from our Accra studios in English, French, Hausa, Swahili and Arabic. It is hoped to add programmes in Portuguese soon.
Altogether, this station transmits each day, twenty-one news bulletins from our studios in Accra. In addition, news talks and newsreel are broadcast every day to all countries on the African continent and throughout the world. It is our hope that in the not too distant future, we will expand this service to cover as many as fifteen languages.
The news is presented from an African standpoint and covers events in all Africa and the world. From this station, we shall broadcast all — African news bulletins presented without concealment or distortion. Our compatriots in Africa and our friends now have the opportunity of hearing each day, in the language they understand, accurate and factual accounts of day-to-day events which may not be available to them from foreign-controlled and foreign — dominated radio stations operating in and broadcasting to their countries. From this station also, commentaries and news talks will be broadcast every day, giving Ghana’s standpoint in international and African political affairs.
These programmes must reflect all that is best in the everyday life of our people. They must project the development that is taking place in Ghana and Africa generally, presenting the true image of Ghanaian and African life and culture, and setting it in an international context. We will thus be able to demonstrate not only the contribution that Ghana and the other countries of Africa have to make to world civilization and to the peace and welfare of mankind, but also that our continent is capable of a political union.
Through this service, therefore, we shall step up the effects which we are already making to show that ours is a progressive and vigorous country, ready to make her contribution to the peace of the world and the progress of mankind.
To our African compatriots and freedom fighters, to our brotherly independent states of our continent, our message is: for too long have we been subjected to vile and vicious propaganda designed to cast doubts on the ability of the African to manage his own affairs. Even when we became independent, the whole apparatus of colonialism was turned on us in an effort to disunite and separate us. There are no signs that the flood of this malicious propaganda is diminishing. On the contrary, it has been increasing; but the greater the pressure and attack, the stronger and firmer is our stand of non-alignment and neutralism. This means that, the voice which will go out will be truly African — African in content, outlook and imagination.
It will speak in clear unequivocal tones in defence of our rights. But it will be directed against no one, except those who wish to trample upon our freedom and who desire to reduce us to a position of subservience, political and economic dependence; always working for their own interest and caring little about our own African humanity.
We stand for peace and friendship with the world. We are neither anti-West nor anti-East. We have our own way of life, a socialist way based on a sound cultural foundation and an African background. Those who wish to understand our actions must first begin to study and appreciate this background. They should not judge us from ignorance and they should not expect us to become mere copy-types of their past or present, however good these may be to themselves.
In this External Broadcasting System, we now have a voice which will boom and resound across the shores and over the mountains and valleys, carrying with it a message of hope and encouragement to our compatriots in our beloved continent. The voice of this service will not necessarily be the Voice of Ghana; indeed, it will be the voice of Africa.
From this station will go out a force and power based on goodwill, which will generate a new confidence in the African, especially those of them who are not yet free from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism. From this station, symbol of the true Voice of Africa, we shall continue to fight for our complete emancipation, assisting in the struggle for the total liberation of the African continent, and the political unification of the African states. This voice will rise in a steady crescendo, and it will never fail or falter on the cause of peace, friendship and understanding between men and the nations of the world.
We are confident that the services which we are formally inaugurating today will be a powerful force, sustaining the assault that we have launched against the ramparts of colonialism and imperialism in all their forms and manifestations.
Your Excellencies, Mantsemei, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen, I now have the greatest pleasure in declaring this building and this service open and in commissioning it to the service of Ghana and Africa and, indeed, to the whole world.