Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) to hold a twelve (12) day training on the extractives sector for a group of Fifteen (15) journalists from Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania.
The capacity building training program which falls under the “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors” project will help to promote effective and consistent media oversight of oil, gas and mining activities as a pathway to increasing the number and quality of stories about extractives across all media platforms.
The training programme meant for early-to mid-career reporters will offer a wide range of benefits including providing holistic and comprehensive support to journalists through specialized knowledge and skills modules; professional mentoring; experiential learning; access to sources and vital information. It will also provide access to data as well encourage interaction with peers, experts, policy makers, and oversight actors.
Bringing on board experts from the extractives industry, participants will be taken through workshop sessions to discuss varied topics that include the Role of the Journalist, Natural Resource Decision Chain, Legal Frameworks and Checklist for Strong and Compelling Stories. Other lessons will be on the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and Revenue Management.
Penplusbytes’ Executive Director, Kwami Ahiabenu, II, believes that good governance of oil, gas and mining resources and the revenues they generate requires effective oversight. An effective oversight however hinges on an informed, responsive and dynamic media to provide necessary and accurate information to the public about critical governance issues. “Here lies an opportunity for journalists to develop more insight and skills on the sector in Africa in ways that that are self-sustaining,” he added.
As part of the training, participants will also take trips to Golden Star Resources in Prestea and Goldfields Mining Company in Tarkwa to experience at first hand, their operations as a means to broadening their scope and knowledge base about mining activities.
On his expectations, Godwill Arthur-Mensah of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and a participant of the training program said “the extractive sector remains one of the most critical areas of our economy and as a journalist, it behooves me to contribute to ensuring proper management of its revenue. This training is a chance to broaden my knowledge on the sector.”
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.
Penplusbytes believes that an active, knowledgeable press plays a critical role in helping to inform and engage the public, citizen groups and parliaments and thus help them hold government and companies accountable. However, in many resource-rich countries, journalists lack the knowledge and skills to report and write in depth on oil, gas and mineral issues.
The Natural Resource Governance Institute is a non-profit policy institute and grantmaking organization that promotes effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. Through capacity building, technical assistance, research and advocacy, the NRGI help countries to realize the development benefits of their natural resource wealth.