Monday, September 26, 2016

RSVP NOW: Accra Tech Salon - How can tech and new media throw more light on the extractive sector?

Accra, Ghana - September 28th - RSVP Now

The oil and gas sector is a relatively new field in Ghana. There has been progress in terms of transparency. However, issues still remain on accountability with regards to management of revenues accrued from the sector. Top on the minds of many citizens is how best to hold duty bearers to account. Whiles the most lingering questions have centered on prudent revenue management from this important natural resource, elsewhere, technology has improved access to information and knowledge on the sector and provided a platform for civil society and citizens to hold governments to account. 

Ghana is yet to take full advantage of what technology and new media offers to promote good governance of the sector. For this reason, experts on the subject matter are gathering to discuss how tech and new media can highlight activities within the oil and gas industry to ensure the sector delivers high dividends for the citizenry. 

Please RSVP now to join our discussions at the 11th Technology Salon Accra where tech and new media experts as well as other key stakeholders will dissect the key issues related to technology and new media and its relevance in promoting good governance in the Ghana’s extractives sector. The focus of the discussions will be around the following key questions:  

  • What is the status of transparency and accountability in Ghana’s extractive sector?
  • How can technology and new media help in empowering citizens to monitor revenue from the sector?
  • How can technology support information and knowledge sharing about the sector?
  • How can stakeholders convert data from the sector into actionable programmes?
  • What are some of the new digital technologies, which are driving transparency and accountability in the sector?

Please RSVP now to share your thoughts and ideas on the topic with the following key discussants and thought leaders: 

-           David Mumuni, Project Lead for Our Oil Journey
-           Seji Saji, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, ACEP
-           Kwami Ahiabenu, Extractive Leader at Penplusbytes

We will have hot coffee and breakfast treats for a refreshing morning, however, seating is limited. Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!

Technology and New Media on Ghana’s Extractive Sector
11th Technology Salon Accra.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
8:30am - 10:30 a.m.
New Media Hub at Penplusbytes
No.1 Ostwe Close, Ako Adjei, Osu,
Accra, Ghana (
RSVP is required for attendance

The Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
           technology’s impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
           private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 35 people – and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged.
It’s also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Call For Expression Of Interest: 2016 Media Course On Oil, Gas And Mining Governance

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) is calling for expressions of interest from journalists in GhanaTanzania, and Uganda interested in attending this year’s training program on governance of oil, gas, and mining. The training consists of a series of two core courses each lasting two weeks.

 The first course is a regional foundation workshop and will take place in Tanzania on October 17–28, 2016 with participants from Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The second course is a national follow-up workshop. Three parallel editions of this workshop will take place in each country in November/December on dates to be determined.

The courses offer knowledge and skills modules within a context of holistic and comprehensive support to journalists. This support is through mentoring, site visits, coaching, access to sources, vital information, and data as well as interaction with peers, experts, policy makers, and oversight actors. The courses are interactive, practical, and participant-driven.

The training will be delivered in partnership with Penplusbytes in Ghana, Journalists' Environmental Association of Tanzania, and African Centre for Media Excellence in Uganda.


This call is intended for early- to mid-career journalists working with media organizations in the three countries, including online platforms and freelancers.
The journalists selected to participate will be sponsored and required to commit to and complete all aspects of the training program before, during, and after the courses.


Send an email to by September 23, 2016.
Provide the following information in your email:
 _Your full name 
 _Your phone number 
 _Name of the media organization or platform you report for 
 _Website of the media organization or platform you report for 
 _Name, email, and phone number of your editor or editorial supervisor who will approve your participation in the training

Include in your email three to five samples of your stories on oil, gas and mining. If you have not reported on these issues, provide story samples on other topics you have covered. Samples may be submitted as online links or attached as scanned copies or audio and video files.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Penplusbytes Engages News Editors On Highlighting Oil & Gas Agenda In Ghana Elections 2016

Penplusbytes after a successful launch of its project “Ghana Elections: Amplifying oil and election issues” held a two-day editors liaison for twenty (20) news editors in Takoradi.

The liaison which started on Friday, 9th September, 2016 was attended by editors from print, broadcast, wireless and online media including Daily Graphic, Citi FM, EIB Network, Joy News, TV3, Metro TV among others, who came together to discuss trends in the sector for effective reporting.

The liaison was premised on the fact that since the production of oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, the political discourse in the sector has been characterised by questions on how much revenue has been generated, what has been done with the revenues, and whether the investments made with the oil revenues yielded any value for the electorates. Issues based campaigning has also been excluded from the election discourse over the years.

Facilitators at the Editors’ liaison included Dr. Ishmeal Ackah, Head of research at Africa Center for Energy Policy and Dr. Steve Manteaw, co-chair of Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

Dr. Ackah started the discussions with a presentation on ‘the state of transparency in the oil and gas sector’.  He encouraged editors to fine tune their reportage to demand transparency from managers of Ghana’s extractive sector.

He stressed that news stories must set the agenda rather than follow the agenda. The editors agreed that the notion in media houses is that stories from the oil and gas sector doesn't sell thus there is the need to package these stories in an appealing manner.

Highlighting some key mandates and field investigations undertaken by the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), he concluded his session challenging editors to probe the utilization of oil revenues for development.

Dr Steve Manteaw also led discussions on the topic ‘Does oil and gas matters in news coverage of Ghana’s election 2016. He reiterated the need to integrate the oil and gas services into the local economy so that it benefits all Ghanaians; adding that the media must find out from the political parties how they would manage the volatility of the oil prices on the international market as well as other essential commodities in this electioneering period.

Moses Aklorbortu, an editor at the Daily Graphic lauded Penplusbytes for the initiative. He further called on his colleagues in the media fraternity to acquire enough knowledge on the sector to produce quality content that the public is looking for, adding that the oil and gas sector is quite technical and should be well researched on before reports are published.

The Editors liaison was held to address the concerns affecting citizens and media’s ability to question and hold politicians accountable on the extractive sector using their platforms.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Kwami Ahiabenu, II named Highway Africa Fellow 2016

At the recently held Highway Africa 2016 on the theme “The Internet and the Media – Celebrations, Reflections and the Future.“  Penplusbytes’ Kwami Ahiabenu, II was conferred the highest award of Highway Africa Fellow during the 2016  Telkom-Highway Africa Awards & Gala Dinner held in Rhodes University, South Africa.

The citation accompanying the award read : “Kwami Ahiabenu is a Ghanaian visionary. 15 years ago he set Penplusbytes – an institution dedicated to the training of journalists in digital media. From the outset Kwami reached out to Highway Africa and sought to collaborate around joint training and the covering of elections on the continent using mobile and social media. Over the years, Kwami has made his way to Highway Africa to deliver presentations and training workshops. This year he will be focusing on Social Media and Elections. A true friend of Highway Africa, we wish to recognise Kwami Ahiabenu as a Highway Africa Fellow”.

Elated about the award, Mr. Ahiabenu, II said “ It is a great honor to be named Highway Africa Fellow, I dedicate this award to my family, hardworking board and team members of Penplusbytes and it is our expectation that this award propels us forward in our vision of being a leading institution for promoting effective governance  using technology in Africa and beyond”.

Highway Africa is the world’s  largest annual gathering of African journalists to deliberate on new digital technologies and its related issues.

The 2016 event marked 20 years of championing Africa’s debates on journalism, media and information and Communication Technology (ICT).