In order to strengthen the capacity of the Ghanaian media to cover extractive industries as a whole and oil and Gas sector to be specific, Revenue Watch Institute and International Institute for ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes) in conjunction with the Ghana Journalist Association are organising three day retreat from 13th to 15th in Ghana's Eastern regional Capital of Koforidua.
This retreat will bring together senior editors from print, radio and TV as well as government, Members of Parliament, oil and Gas companies, leaders from Civil Society Organisations working in the oil and gas sector to deliberate on key areas such as the latest development in the extractive industry; the role of Civil Society Organisations in the oil & gas sector, status of oil and gas legislations, policies and regulations. In addition, a focus-group discussion will take place on how to stimulate oil & gas stories in the Ghanaian media and strategies for strengthening the overall capacity of the media in oil & gas reporting.
This retreat forms part of Revenue Watch Institute and Penplusbytes "Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors Pilot Program" in Ghana. The program aims at promoting good governance and an effective oversight of the oil, gas and mining (extractive) resources and revenues. The ultimate objective is to have a knowledgeable and active media which is critical to having an informed and engaged public, civil society and parliament that can hold government to account.
Currently a group of 8 Ghanaian journalists are undertaking an 8 month capacity building process. During this period, journalists participate in an overview course to consolidate their understanding of the oil and gas sector, followed by a more in-depth course, mentoring programme, bursaries support for stories, international field trips and awards. Two more groups of journalists are also expected to benefit from this program.
Kwami Ahiabenu, II of Penplusbytes stressed the importance of the retreat and believes that "by bringing Ghana's leading editors together for this retreat, it will go a long way to enable the media in Ghana to effectively perform its accountability role while at the same contributing to the improved use of oil, gas and other minerals for the public good.
He added the urgent need to increase the quantity and quality of oil and gas stories which he opined "can only be achieved not only by providing training for journalists but also ensuring key editors are also part of and parcel of capacity building process."
GHANA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION (GJA) founded in 1949 as the key professional umbrella organization representing Ghanaian Journalists.
REVENUE WATCH INSTITUTE www.revenuewatch.org promotes the transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good.