Thirty Ghanaian journalists attend
ICT training programme in Accra
A three-day training workshop to improve the capacity of Ghanaian journalists on Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) is currently underway in Accra.
The International Institute of ICT Journalism’s (PenPlusBytes’) training programme is designed to introduce the journalists to new ICT tools and make maximum use of the tools that local media practitioners are already familiar with.
Launching the workshop themed ‘Training Ghanaian Journalists for the Information Society’, the French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Pierre Jacquemot, said ICTs have become a powerful means of development and social change for the economic and social development of the world.
It is thus critical, Mr. Jacquemot added, for local journalists to acquire knowledge of trends and developments in ICTs to improve the quality of their work and to help accelerate Ghana’s development as well as its integration into the global Information Society.
The course is being attended by 30 print and electronic journalists from all over Ghana.
The course outline for the programme which started on Wednesday, April 26 includes topics such as ‘Ghana’s ICT for Accelerated Development Policy’, ‘Knowledge Management for the Media’, ‘Afrocentric Content on the Internet’ and ‘ICT Journalism’.
Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, out-going President of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) said the training programme was timely because many of the country’s media houses have prioritized ICT development and staff training but are hampered by a lack of the necessary resources including funds.
Ms Yeboah-Afari also noted that the national desire for accelerated development and its achievement is intricately linked to how well journalists understand and use these technologies in their work. “If we are to quicken the pace of our country’s development then we need to build the capacity of Ghanaian journalists in this very important sector (ICT)”.
Mr. D.A. Kwapong, Acting Director, Ministry of Information, speaking on behalf of the Minister said, “the globalized world demands that the journalist is a leader in Information Society issues. It is in this light that I consider this course as invaluable. It also confirms the complementarity of private sector initiatives to the achievements of one of the three policy areas of government – Human Resource Development.”
Indeed, although Ghana is one of the most wired countries in Africa, there is a noticeable low use of new media technologies and poor reporting of ICTs in general. Presently not all Ghanaian media houses are connected to the internet for example. Even those connected are under-utilizing the ICTs to enhance their work.
Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu II, the president of PenPlusBytes, expressed the hope that participants will acquire new essential tools and skills to improve the quality, content and the relevance of their work to the public.
The Accra workshop is being sponsored by the French Embassy in Ghana and Ghana Information Network for knowledge Sharing. The training programme for journalists is the sixth of such training courses designed and delivered by PenPlusBytes across sub-Saharan Africa over the last three years.
PenPlusBytes is currently pioneering the first ever online course on ‘Introduction to ICT Journalism’ in Africa. 43 journalists are from nine countries spread across three continents (Africa, Asia and Europe) are attending the eight week course which started on March 20, 2006.
In 2005 PenPluBytes organized two regional training programmes for journalists in West Africa and East Africa. The West Africa regional programme in January 2005 attracted sixteen (16) participants from seven countries including Ghana. The rest were Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia and Togo.
The East African training programme held in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 25-26 attracted seventeen (17) participants from the region.