Ghana’s 2023 Press Freedom Ranking – Mahama’s claim completely false

Former President John Mahama has been on a regional campaign tour interacting with delegates and members of the National Democratic Congress ahead of the party’s upcoming presidential primaries. 

Addressing delegates of the Bolga East and Bolga Central on Wednesday 3rd May 2023, at Bolga, the Former President said Ghana has dropped 10 places in the new press freedom index. 

Fact-Check Ghana has verified this claim and presents the details. 

Claim: “I just heard that the new press freedom index report is out. The last one Ghana went down 30 places. This time again we have gone down another 10 places.”

Verdict: False

Explanation: According to the annual Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Ghana was ranked 62nd globally.

This ranking shows that Ghana fell from 60th place last year to 62nd in 2023. However, among African countries, Ghana placed 9th, an improvement, in terms of rankings, from its 10th position in the 2022 report. This is Ghana’s worst performance in 18 years since it placed 66th in 2005.

In 2022, Ghana fell from its 30th position in the global ranking in 2021 to 60th in 2022. 

Ghana’s Ranking over the Years 

Year Ranking in Africa Ranking in the World
2012 7th 41st
2013 3rd 30th
2014 3rd 27th
2015 2nd 22nd
2016 2nd 26th
2017 2nd 26th
2018 1st 23rd
2019 3rd 27th
2020 2nd 30th
2021 3rd 30th
2022 10th 60th
2023 9th 62nd

Source: Reporters Without Borders 

The World Press Freedom Index measures pluralism, media independence, the robustness of legislative frameworks, and the safety of journalists in 180 countries and five regions.

The 2023 Press Freedom Index spotlights the rapid effects of fake content on press freedom. Per the report, in 118 countries most of the index questionnaire’s respondents (two-thirds of the 180 countries evaluated by the index) reported that political actors in their countries were often or systematically involved in massive disinformation or propaganda campaigns.

Ghana recorded its best performance when it ranked 22nd globally in 2015. In 2018, the country was ranked number one in Africa and 23rd in the world.

From the above, it is clear that Ghana has not dropped 10 places in the index as the former president claims.

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