Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was established by law[2] in 1968 with a triple mandate as a State Broadcaster, Public Service Broadcaster, and a Commercial Broadcaster in Ghana.[3] Headquartered in the capital city, Accra,[4] it is funded by grants,[5] broadcasting television commercials and the levying of a television licence,[6] costing 36 cedis and 60 cedis for one or more TV sets in the same house every year. TV set repairers and sales outlets are to pay an annual sum of between 60 cedis to 240 cedis.[7]

Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)
TypeTerrestrial television and
radio broadcast network
IndustryMass Media
PredecessorGold Coast Broadcasting System-31 July 1935; 86 years ago (1935-07-31)
Founded1 January 1953; 68 years ago (1953-01-01)
HeadquartersAccra, Ghana,
Area served
Ghana, 16 regions
Key people
Professor Amin Alhassan[1]
(Director General) l
ProductsBroadcasting, radio, web portals
ServicesTelevision, radio, online
OwnerGovernment of Ghana
ParentGovernment of Ghana


Established under an act by the British colonial government in 1935, the Gold Coast first operated a Broadcasting outlet called radio ZOY.[8] This was the code name of a relay station the BBC operated. It was in the time of Governor General Sir Arnold Hodson.[9][10] It later became the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation after Dr Kwame Nkrumah changed the name Gold Coast to Ghana, upon political independence in 1957.[11] The broadcasting service, originally known as Station ZOY, was introduced on 31 July 1935 by the colonial Governor, Sir Arnold Hodson.[12][13]

It would be the first media outlet in Ghana to hit the centennial. It is the Primus inter Pares on its landscape within the nation state. First as the colonial government's mouthpiece, and continued to play similar role in the newly independent state. A rallying point for divergent opinions towards a single national purpose in totalitarian regimes in the immediate post colonial era. The other phase of the organization being a reflection of what the law seeks to achieve or it is required of it under constitutional rule. Having chart waters before others joined in, GBC had monopoly over audiovisual reference material. The corporation remains a vital turf for historical surveyors. Till this day, no other compares with this niche which is even solidified or enhanced by provision of tuition and practical training for up and coming professionals.

Back in 1965, Dr Kwame Nkrumah inaugurated the television division for black and white screens. Both radio and television became main components of GBC's electronic outlets for information dissemination. In 1996, the Supreme Court settled a key debate in Ghana when its ruling committed the state broadcaster to the equal opportunities doctrine in broadcasting. Thus, the corporation is obliged to be fair and grant equal publicity to all political parties in Ghana.[14] It expanded with time to meet ever increasing expectations occasioned by growth in human population. As a result, the station now operates seven television channels and thirty three radio frequencies which broadcast in twenty five languages.


Broadcasting began in Ghana on July 31, 1935, from a wired relay station opened in Accra. The brain behind the introduction of broadcasting into the country was the then Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Arnold Hodson, affectionately known as the "Sunshine Governor".

He was ably assisted by a British radio engineer, Mr. F.A.W. Byron. By 17:00GMT on that historic day, gramophone records of martial and light music were relayed and at exactly 17:45GMT the voice of Sir Arnold Hodson came through to break the tension and the suspense with this explicit message:

“One of the main reasons for introducing the Relay Service is to bring News, Entertainment and Music into the homes of all and sundry. This will bring to an end the barriers of isolation and ignorance in the path of progress and also to enable the people of Gold Coast to improve on their very rich cultural music".[15]


The new broadcasting Service, code-named Radio "ZOY", was manned by eight technicians and housed in a small bungalow on 9th Road near the Ridge Police Station in Accra. Broadcasting first began in four Ghanaian languages, namely Fanti, Twi, Ga, Ewe, and later Hausa. Part-time staff were engaged to translate and announce the news in these languages until 1943 when full-time staff were appointed. Between 1946 and 1953, the organisation was administered by the Public Relation Department, now the Information Services Department. The Corporation expanded with time to meet ever increasing expectations occasioned by growth in human population. As a result, the station now operates seven television channels and thirty-three radio frequencies which broadcast in twenty five languages.


On the recommendation of a commission set up in 1953, the Gold Coast Broadcasting Service (GCBS) was established and from there it became a department in its own right. On attainment of independence in 1957, the Gold Coast was renamed Ghana and the GCBS became Ghana Broadcasting System (GBS). The legislation that basically set up GBC as an establishment was National Liberation Council Degree number 226 (NLCD266) of 1968.

Television and radio stationsEdit

GBC operates the famous Ghana Television GTV (a channel for events that matter most to Ghanaians), which is broadcast nationwide on analogue terrestrial platform. Additionally, GBC runs four digital networks namely: GTV Sports+ (24-hour sports channel that provides premium sports programmes),[16] GBC News (24-hour news and current affairs channel), GTV Life (Religious and cultural channel), Obonu TV (a channel for the people of Greater Accra and window for the Ga-Dangbe). It has branches or affiliate stations across the regional capitals, partnered[17] with other private and Public Service Broadcasters across the globe,[18] and collaborated with other governments worldwide.[19]

The mandate of GBC requires that it provides services for all segments of the multicultural society, with the cardinal roles being timely information, education and entertainment. It quickly set up the GTV Learning channel to broadcast to school pupils and students forced to stay home as the academic calendar was suspended at onset of the novel Coronavirus pandemic from March 2020.[20][21] New cards on the table are the plans to establish radio stations in the six newly created regions in Ghana.

Regional FM stations nationwide:

Training schoolEdit

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, which is also an agency overseen by the Ministry of Information, runs a training school that provides tuition in radio and TV broadcasting and engineering.[22] It has over the years trained both locally and internationally renowned broadcasters. The training school has two faculties: Broadcast Journalism and Broadcast Technology. The Corporation also promotes training and educational programs and is central to fulfilling the GBC's mission to inform, educate and entertain.[23][24]


Year Event
1935 Radio ZOY Established (BH-1)
1939-40 British Government built BH-2 (now known as Old House)[25]
1943 Local Languages broadcast introduced
1946 Information Service Department handled Administration of GBC
1953 Gold Coast Broadcasting System Established as a Department
1955 Establishment of Engineering Training School
1956 Audience Research Department set up
1956 GBC News unit set up
1958 Broadcasting House (BH-3) built
1960 Mr.W.F.Coleman appointed first Ghanaian D-G
1961 External Service
1962 GBC Reference Library established
1965 GTV inaugurated
1965 Rural Broadcasting introduced
1966 Television Licensing Decree, N.L.C.D 89
1967 Commercial Broadcasting introduced
1971 Public Relations Department set up
1975 Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Decree, N.R.C.D 334
1985 Colour Television Introduced
1985 URA Radio established
1986 Accra FM Radio established
1987 Apam fm station commissioned
1989 Installation of satellite TV dish to receive CNN
1991 Television Licensing Regulations, LI 1520
1994 Dormaa Ahenkro Community station commissioned
1994 Twin-city radio commissioned
1995 Radio GAR now Uniiq Fm goes stereo
1995 Radio Savanna commissioned
1996 Radio Central commissioned
1996 Radio Volta Star commissioned
1997 Installation of satellite TV dish to receive Deutshe welle
1997 Installation of satellite TV dish to receive Worldnet
1998 Installation of satellite TV dish to receive CFI
2001 Radio BAR commissioned
2001 Radio Upper West commissioned
2002 Radio GAR re-commissioned to Uniiq FM
2002 Radio Obonu FM commissioned
2002 Radio Sunrise FM commissioned
2010 Pilot Digital Terrestrial Transmission DTT(MPEG2, DVB-T)started
2010 DDT Committee Inaugurated
2010 Upgrading and Expansion of DTT (MPEG2, DVB-T)to Greater Accra, parts of Central, Eastern and Ashanti Regions
2010 GBC marks Diamond Jubilee
2010 GTV Sports (All Sports Digital Channel) established
2011 GBC24 (24 hour News Digital Channel) established
2011 Obonu Fm marks 10th Anniversary
2011 GBC Life (All Life Digital Channel) established
2014 GTV Govern Digital Channel Established
2014 Obonu TV Digital Channel Established
2014 GBC Digital Set Top Boxes Launched
2015 GBC celebrates 80th Anniversary
2015 TV Licence Fee revised from 30p to 36 Ghana Cedis a year

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "NMC appoints Director General for GBC, MD for Times Corp". Joy Online. 1 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Ghana profile - Media". BBC. British Broadcasting Corporation. 15 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Ivory Coast Ambassador visits Ghana Broadcasting Corporation". Reuters Archive Licensing - Screenocean. 30 June 1968.
  5. ^ "The National Budget". Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
  6. ^ Young, Kevin (18 January 2007). "TV licence fees around the world". BBC News.
  7. ^ "GBC to re-introduce payment of TV Licence fee". Graphic Online. 5 June 2019.
  8. ^ Gadzekpo, A (2021). "Tuning in to his-story: An account of radio in Ghana through the experience of B. S. Gadzekpo". Africa. Cambridge University Press. 91 (2): 177–194. doi:10.1017/S0001972021000012.
  9. ^ Head, Sydney W. (1979). "British Colonial Broadcasting Policies: The Case of the Gold Coast". African Studies Review. 22 (2): 39–47. doi:10.2307/523811. JSTOR 523811. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Sir Arnold Hodson, Introduction of broadcasting in Ghana". GBC Ghana Online. Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.
  11. ^ "Media Ownership Monitor Ghana (History)". Media Foundation for West Africa. Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
  12. ^ "Sir Arnold Hodson, Introduction of broadcasting in Ghana". GBC Ghana Online. Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.
  13. ^ Wells, Alan (1997), World Broadcasting: A Comparative View, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 162. ISBN 978-1-56750-246-6.
  14. ^ "Ghana votes (What of the media?)". BBC News. 3 December 2004.
  15. ^ Ghartey-Tagoe, David Kwesi (28 Jul 2010). David Ghartey-Tagoe: A Broadcast Icon. Xlibris Corporation, 2010. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-4535-4206-4.
  16. ^ "GBC secures Olympics rights (Tokyo 2020: Time, date, events and how to watch all 14 Ghana athletes)". Myjoyonline. 26 July 2021.
  17. ^ "First Lady Launches "Learning to Read, Reading to Learn project"". The Rebecca Foundation. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Japan supports GBC with state-of-the-art equipment". Citi Newsroom. December 1, 2020.
  20. ^ Kale-Dery, Severious (3 April 2020). "GES releases virtual learning timetable". Graphic Online.
  21. ^ "Ghana Learning TV May Timetable from KG to SHS". Ghana Education Service (GES). May 5, 2020.
  22. ^ "Ministry of Information - Six Agencies We Oversee"
  23. ^ "U.S. Partners with Ghana to Launch Learning Radio Program to Improve Reading for Ghanaian Children". U.S. Embassy in Ghana. 15 June 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  24. ^ "GES to start radio learning program June 15". Graphic Online. 9 June 2020.
  25. ^ "NATIONAL DIGITAL BROADCASTING MIGRATION TECHNICAL COMMITTEE" (PDF). National Communications Authority: 21. August 2010.

Primary sourceEdit

"About the GBC". Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. 25 March 2021.

Further readingEdit

  • Smith, Victoria Ellen, ed. (2018). Voices of Ghana: literary contributions to the Ghana Broadcasting System 1955-57 (Second ed.). Woodbridge, Suffolk: James Currey. p. 276. ISBN 9781847011930.
  • Kittoe., Napoleon Ato (July 31, 2021). "The pangs of public service broadcasting". GBC Ghana Online.

External linksEdit