In a time of uncertainty, the Asaase Radio team took the bold step of kickstarting a vision of quality content for social impact. Their secret? A polyvalent, hardcore, and dedicated team. In a conversation with Naomi Nelson Barnes and Prince Moses OforiAttah, we were given a deeper insight into the inner-workings of Asaase Radio, and their strategy of prioritizing their people, who in turn, prioritise the vision. This is the conversation that ensued:

Naomi Nelson Barnes

HRFA: Kindly share with us the vision with which Asaase Radio took off.

AR: The vision of Asaase is really simple: to present platforms for our listeners and viewers credible and reliable source of information. With that in mind, we make sure that the people who relay credible information are professional, objective and present viewers and listeners with raw data and not opinions. Our passion is speaking to the issues that matter to people in the society and influence some form of positive change in society.

HRFA: What structures have been put in place to ensure that Asaase Radio sails to its desired destination?

AR: We have gone out of our way to handpick people that are well equipped to deliver excellence to our customers, and tackle actual issues in the society. For any organisation to be successful, the kind of staff you pick is key. Another thing we put effort into, is the bespoke programming that we have put together for our viewers and listeners. They are meant to tackle issues in society and be relatable instead of just being reportage. We use the voice we have to tell the right stories with the hope that the right people will hear it and make the right kind of changes in our society; by ‘our society’ we do not only consider Ghana as our space of operation. We are a pan African station and it reflects in everything we do; every show we air, and every discussion we have.

HRFA: The radio station’s first air date was right in the middle of a pandemic; wow! How did the Asaase Radio team manage to pull this off?

AR: Yes! Our first air date was 14th June; right in the middle of all the COVID-19 drama that has been happening all over the world. That period was hectic, stressful and crazy; but on the grand scheme of things, it was a bold step that was worth it. Seeing the vision, we have realized so far, it has been very much worth the long hours and dedication. For example, our office manager, Joana Davis for the kick-off period was here 24/7 to ensure everything was on course.

Everyone jumped in, as we all felt the importance of what we are building and were willing to bend over backwards to make it happen. From every level of operation, we were all fully committed to making it a successful launch – and it was!

HRFA: How would you describe the organizational culture within which the staff of Asaase Radio operate?

AR: The people we have here are very dedicated. Management has done a great job in involving everyone in everything we do as much as possible. With that, we have everyone’s buy-in from day one. As members of staff, we all know we are contributing to a bigger picture, and that is the culture that exists here. A friendly and professional environment filled with dedication, a hands-on attitude and can-do spirit. The people at Asaase Radio do what they need to do to get things done the right way. Even so, at a time where people were losing their jobs, we managed to stay afloat and support each other through losses and struggles in the pandemic. 

The Leadership

Prince Moses Ofori-Attah

HRFA: Which people form the leadership of Asaase Radio?

AR: The leadership of Asaase Radio includes: the CEO, Nana Opoku Agyemang, the General Manager, Prince Moses OforiAttah. There is also a line management system we have in place consisting of Joana Davis, who is the HR Director, we have Naomi Nelson Barnes in charge of marketing and Communications. The head of programmes/ the programmes director whose name is Nana Otu Gyando, the finance Head, who is Benjamin Offei-Addo and we also have the head of sales in the person of Edwin Adinkra. And we have our director at large; he is a board member, and an anchor at the radio station. He is the person we go to, being the one with the most experience, Kojo Mensah 

HRFA: As a leadership team, what challenges have you faced since the radio stations’ inception.

AR: We started off right in the middle of COVID so that has been quite challenging. We had to re-adapt our business plan to fit this new environment. They say it is a new normal, so we are trying to find our way through. I think because we had to start off in such challenging times, we have been able to readapt quite easily, perhaps, more than our competitors who have had to change course entirely. Due to the global pandemic, we are battling, we have had quite a number of deaths amongst the families of some members of staff – that has really shaken up our emotions. We have also had to battle with smear campaigns against our product, because of some professional people who are involved with this project. However, we have stayed focused and objective. So much so that The European Commission Election Observer Team gave us reason to jubilate as we were publicly recognized as extremely objective in our news reporting during the electoral season.

 HRFA: What is the team’s leadership style and how has it been successful in running the station so far?

AR: Our leadership style is a very flexible one. We have to be flexible primarily because these are not normal times so we are readapting as I said; It is a very polyvalent group of persons we have here. We all have very atypical backgrounds so coming together, we are able to find our bearings very quickly, as things change all the time. The marketing environment around the world Is not what it used to be, so we keep adapting to make it work.

HRFA: Where will Asaase Radio be in the next five years?

AR: Honestly, we’ll never know. Businesses have folded up while others are thriving. We started during COVID and for that reason, we have a clear understanding of the challenges that face this industry. We are still going through what you would call growing pains and we are hopeful that we will be able to actualise the ambitions we have. We are planning on expanding our organisation to be able to do other things other than our core mandate which is what we are doing now. Asaase is about quality programming, and quality journalistic values. We hope to maintain that and we hope to be a beacon to the industry. We are not here to change people’s habits. We are just here to propose quality.

HRFA: If anyone wishes to be a part of the Asaase Radio team, what core skills and competencies should they possess?

AR: As I said earlier, everyone at Asaase Radio is very Polyvalent with atypical backgrounds. So, if anyone is interested in joining the team, that is a requirement. We live in a world today that is not clear cut – a lot of things can be thrown your way unexpectedly and this pandemic has shown us that. We have to be able to readapt very quickly. If you would like to join us, you have to be well equipped in a lot of core competencies. There’s a saying that I completely disagree with: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” I have personally had a lot of experience in a lot of things, and though I have stayed faithful to media, I have a lot of core competencies in other areas as well. In summary, you must be polyvalent, you will need an atypical background and you should be able to change at the drop of a hat.


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