The Hunger Project (GHP) Ghana, a non-profit organisation, has hosted a workshop for journalists from public and private media organisations in the Eastern region to empower them on effective reporting on local governance issues.
The workshop was conducted as part of the project “Strengthening sub-district institutions for community-led public services in Ghana,” which is being implemented by THP-Ghana with funding support from the German Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ).
In an address, Mr. Samuel Afrane, the Country Director of THP-Ghana, emphasised the pivotal role of the media as a conduit for information exchange.
He stated how the media served as an essential link, fostering the flow of information from communities to the municipal and district assemblies, while also enabling the transmission of feedback from the assemblies back to the communities.
He stressed the crucial role of the media in promoting good governance across different levels of the governance structure, particularly at the local level, where citizens are educated about their fundamental rights and the corresponding responsibilities.
However, he noted that: “It is dangerous when communities talk about rights and downplay their responsibilities. When this happens poverty can hit them, and they may fall on the assembly for assistance which may not be available at that moment.”
“It is time the media joined hands with the municipal assemblies to reach out to communities helping them know their rights and responsibilities,” he added.
Mr. Afrane acknowledged the numerous challenges journalists faced in the eastern region.
However, he urged them to persevere in their duty with unwavering professionalism, emphasising the importance of their role in fostering good governance.
Mr. Eric Banye, Consultant to The Hunger Project, led participants in a comprehensive discussion on diverse topics including the Medium-Term Development Plan, citizens’ charter, community development plan, and social accountability.
He highlighted that the workshop’s objective was to actively involve the media in developing initiatives aimed at fostering the involvement of local government and communities in the pursuit of effective governance.
In attendance were journalists from the Ghana News Agency, UTV, Asaase Radio, TV3, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Trust FM, Oman FM, Multimedia, and Rite FM.