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A conference on Out of Home Advertising, with a focus on validating a draft policy document to regulate activities of advertising agencies in the Accra Metropolis, has taken place in Accra.

The one-day conference, the first of its kind in Ghana, sought to provide a platform for stakeholders to make valuable inputs into a draft policy guidelines and standards to ensure sanity in the metropolis.

It was organized by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in collaboration with the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG).

Addressing participants, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Chief Executive Officer, AMA, noted that despite the gains made from outdoor advertising, its related activities had had some negative impact on the city’s beautification, security and safety, adding that AMA was committed to ensuring sanity in the industry.

Mr Sowah said A DRAFY POLICY “Smart Procedures and Standards for Out of Home (Outdoor) Advertisement” THAT outlined the measures and procedures on how the Assembly could effectively and efficiently manage Out of Home Advertising activities, WAS BEING DEVELOPED. 

He said views and inputs were solicited from the AAG, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Institution of Engineers, National Petroleum Authority, Ghana Highway Authority, Ghana Road Safety Authority, Department of Urban Roads and other key stakeholders to ensure that all interests and concerns were properly addressed in the draft of the policy document.

The document, he said, was in three parts, namely the Legal and Institutional Framework Governing Out of Home advertising while the second and third spell out the Procedures and Requirements for obtaining a Permit, and the Standards (Specifications of Advertising Infrastructure) for Out of Home Advertising, respectively.

Mr Sowah urged participants to embrace the new systems and standards that would contribute towards making the city and nation ‘smart.’ 

He reminded advertisers about the temporary ban on Out of Home advertising and its related activities, and expressed the hope that the document would be finalized and ready by the end of December 31, 2017, for the ban to be lifted.

He warned that those who ignored the ban would have their billboards removed.

Mr Joel Edmund Nettey, President, AAG, and Chief Executive of Innova DDB Ghana, who also addressed the conference, identified the lack of clear demarcations of boundaries for the Assemblies as one of the major challenges facing the industry.

 Mr Nettey said advertising agencies had had to deal with contemptuous issues between the AMA, Ga South Municipal Assembly, LEKMA and LADMA, Tema and LEKMA, and Tema and Kpone Katamanso.

He, therefore, commended the AMA for developing a document to regulate outdoor advertising within the metropolis and appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to invite other Assemblies across the country to collaborate with AAG to sanitize the system. 

He expressed the hope that the decisions and agreements made at the end of the conference would create a conducive environment for out of home advertising agencies.

Some participants who spoke to the media pledged to work with the policy document when ready.

Source: PR Unit (Accra Metropolitan Assembly)