Sector 1: Freedom of expression, including freedom of the media, are
effectively protected and promoted.

1.1 Freedom of expression, including freedom of the media, is guaranteed in the
constitution and protected by other pieces of legislation.

In 1992, the republican constitution of Ghana was accepted through a national
referendum. This was after Ghana’s longest period of military rule from 1981 to
December 1992. The first multi-party elections were conducted in December
1992, giving recognition to the constitution. Since then, the country has
successfully conducted three elections, which have been declared to be
transparent, free and fair. During this period democracy has been gradually
consolidated through the building of democratic institutions, the growth of a
liberal civil society environment and a generally democratically acceptable
political environment critical to economic development and social cohesion.
The 1992 constitution guarantees freedom of expression broadly in Chapter Five
Article 21. Chapter 12 article 162 (1) of the constitution specifically stipulates:
“Freedom and independence of the media are hereby guaranteed”. The following
clauses state that “there shall be no censorship in Ghana”; “no impediments to
the establishment of private press or media; and in particular, there shall be no
law requiring any person to obtain a licence as a prerequisite to the
establishment” of any media.
Chapter Twelve also obliges parliament to establish a National Media
Commission to be responsible, among others, for the upholding of journalistic
standards and the “insulation” of the state-owned media from government
control. The Commission was created by the National Media Commission Act in
The National Communications Authority (NCA) is responsible for allocating
frequencies for broadcasting operations, in accordance with the National
Communications Authority Act (1993). The granting of frequencies is
necessitated by the fact that they are a scarce and limited national resource and
is therefore not seen as “licensing” which would be unconstitutional. There have
been discussions, though, on whether the allocation of frequencies by a statebody like the NCA does not constitute an indirect limitation of broadcasting
activities. Foreign radio stations, for example, have been granted frequencies

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