GJA, foreign partners to promote media freedom in Ghana

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The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has held discussions in Accra with two foreign media partners to collaborate on areas that would promote freedom of journalists in the country.

A statement signed by Mr Kofi Yeboah, the General Secretary of the GJA and copied to the Ghana News Agency disclosed that the partners were Open Society Foundations (OSF), based in London, and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).

It said GJA and its partners were exploring opportunities for the capacity-building of Ghanaian journalists to enhance the effective discharge of their watchdog mandate.

The statement noted that the foreign delegation were Mr Edward Pittman Independent Journalism of OSF, and Ms Hawa Ba, the Senegal Country Officer of OSIWA.

The GJA National Executive members present at the meeting were the President, Mr Affail Monney; the Vice President, Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei; the General Secretary, Mr Kofi Yeboah, and the National Organising Secretary, Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, the statement said.

Also in attendance were the Tema Chapter Chairman of the GJA, Mr Dominic Hlordzi and the GJA Project Consultant, Mr Kojo Mpraim.

Mr Monney according to the statement, highlighted the critical role the media continued to play in deepening the country’s democracy and promoting national development.

He said over the years, particularly under the Fourth Republic, Ghana had enjoyed enormous media freedom, culminating in the country being ranked first in Africa in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders, the statement noted.

He, however, added that some recent developments, especially attacks against journalists, threatened to undermine press freedom in the country.

According to the statement, Mr Monney, therefore, welcomed the move by the GJA and its foreign partners to work towards promoting media freedom.

He also appealed to the partners to support in the capacity-building of Ghanaian journalists towards a successful coverage of the upcoming general elections in 2020.

The statement said responding to questions by Mr Pittman and Ms Ba on investigations into the killing of Ahmed Husein-Suale, a member of the Tiger Eye PI team who was shot dead by unknown assailants, the GJA President said the police were still investigating the matter.

He said the GJA had undertaken a number of activities to compel the police to expedite the investigations, adding, “We are keeping a keen eye on the investigative ball.”

On his part, Mr Pittman assured the GJA of the readiness of OSF to help promote media freedom in Ghana through capacity-building programmes, the statement said.

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