The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has formally adopted the Media-Corporate Response Initiative (M-CRI) as a development organ of the media.

The Business & Financial Times newspaper will therefore work with the Azongo Development Planning Consult to chart a path for media involvement in development in Ghana and Africa.

The partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the International Press Centre in Accra to promote the initiative.

The M-CRI agenda is in response to the incessant demands on the media landscape to offer more space for development issues, particularly, given the dire economic state within which the media operate in Africa.

The project is the direct outcome of DANIDA-USAID-EU sponsored Business Sector Advocacy (BUSAC) Fund, which recognizes the media as key to facilitating the development and growth of a competitive and vibrant private sector.

GJA President, Ransford Tetteh, says “the new initiative, being given birth with the adoption of M-CRI is to establish a system that transcends the agenda-setting and policy influencing role of the media to forging partnership for common programmes and advocacy aimed at promoting SME and Rural Economic Development”.

According to him, the objective is to forge partnership with government, development partners and corporate Ghana to implement nationwide programmes to build local partnership through participatory planning for an effective District Level Micro-Finance Model to promote SME & Rural Economic Development.

Mr. Tetteh said the GJA, under the M-CRI, will adopt and implement globally competitive models to provide a development path for appropriating SME and Rural Economic Development in not only Ghana, but Africa as a whole.

Daasebre Prof. Emeritus Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben Traditional Area and Life- Patron of the M-CRI has proposed the adoption of SME and Rural Economic Development as the twin-thematic area for the Media Development Agenda for 2012-2014.

Daasebre and the GJA have formally declared the month of October as a media development month in Ghana whose observance shall be climaxed on 25th October as the Media Development Day.

Daasebre pledged to personally lead a nationwide road-show under the initiative to promote the agenda.

He called for effective collaboration between the GJA, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and corporate institutions to promote healthy economic development competition amongst districts as well as provide financial, entrepreneurship and e-solutions for SME development in all districts in Ghana.