Gov't to promote specialised reportage (May 18, 2010, Spread)

In a move to enhance increased efficiency in the media, the government, beginning this year, is to award scholarship to media personnel to promote specialised reportage in Ghana.

The Minister of Information, Mr John Tia Akologo, who made this known at the opening ceremony of a five-day workshop on water resource management in Accra for media personnel, indicated that the government also intended to institute an award for the Best Pro-Development Journalist as part of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards scheme this year.

The workshop, which is on the theme: “The contribution of big water infrastructures in the sustainable development of countries in West Africa”, brought together more than 40 journalists and policy makers in the water sector from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region.

The workshop, which is a collaboration between the European Commission and the Global Water Partnership (GWP), has objectives including informing and sensitising the media to the challenges related to the management of water resources and their mobilisation for development purposes, especially in the context of Climate issues highlighted at the Copenhagen Conference held last year.

Mr Akologo said training journalists who disseminated accurate and reliable information to the public on government policies and programmes would ensure that the populace was enlightened to contribute their quota to national development.

The Chairman of the Country Water Partnership-Ghana, Nii Boi Ayebotele, stated that “water is an undeniable development factor whose good governance leads to poverty alleviation and the improvement of living conditions of a population”, adding that the bad management led to the degradation of not only the environment but lives as well.

He said even though dams allowed improved agriculture and energy production, there was a need to constantly regulate the operations of such infrastructure in order to prevent environmental degradation.

He said the challenge confronting water resource management in the country were issues concerning climate change which remained a threat to an efficient development and use of water.

Mr Ayebotele urged the participants to use the workshop as a platform to contribute to the water sector in the West African sub-region, saying, “You are the voices of the voiceless and the essential relays of the will of the authorities and the people in your countries.”

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