Professor Benjamin Honyenuga, Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Ho Technical University (HTU), has launched the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Volta Premier FM, the campus radio station of the University.
The station was established in 1995 when a group of students produced a transmitter with a 200-meter radius, and in July 1996, was formally established as the first radio station in the Volta Region.
The VC said, “what began as a small dream is impacting lives and playing a pivotal role in the media landscape in Ho and the Volta Region as a whole.”
He paid tribute to all entities of the University who helped nurture the broadcasting concept, adding that the invention of the transmitter in 1995 inspired further its TVET programming.
He said the radio station remained the competition in the Volta and Oti Regions and trained some competent professionals through student volunteering programmes.
“This is a University idea working for the good of the University and it is delivering on its mandate as a vital disseminator of information,” Prof. Honyenuga said.
The VC said the University’s management was redesigning the station, incorporating it into the public affairs unit, and standardising its accounts structure while hooking it on to it’s power network for uninterrupted supply.
He said the radio would disseminate information to farmers in the Region and appealed to the National Communication Authority to permit transmission beyond the Oti Region.
Prof. Honyenuga also hinted on ongoing arrangements with the French embassy and Radio France International to provide French language education.
Mr. Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi, Chairman of the Volta and Oti Chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association, said the media landscape in the Region had benefited from the “many” talents produced by the radio outlet.
He said the station maintained high standards of professionalism both on and off the field and had become a “household radio”, which kept the Region alive.
Mr Kanyi urged the station’s management to keep the achievements in pace and appealed to the academic management of the HTU to consider a programme in media communication, preferably in technical communication.
Esther Naa Ajele Sowah, Manager of the radio station, described the pioneers as “daring”, and said the support of the various managerial boards of the University helped the station deliver upon its mandate as the main broadcaster.
The anniversary celebration is on the theme “Campus Radio: A Learning Resource In Higher Education In Ghana”, is being marked by a series of activities including the hosting of radio programmes by employees and board members which would provide free airtime for clients, blood donations, a food bazaar, and a grand durbar.
Present at the launch were major stakeholders, including Chiefs of the Asogli State, political leaders, and Dr. Sidick Ahmed, Chairman of the Campus Broadcasters Association.
Dr. Ahmed, who was the special guest of honour, said funding remained a major challenge for campus radios despite being the pioneers of private owned broadcasting and breaking the monopoly of State broadcasters.
He said campus radios remained a “panoramic education resource”, and called on stakeholders, including government, to work together to provide the needed support for transformation, which he said could be considered within the current digitization agenda.
“A recognition of this reality and an effective collaboration between government, institutions of higher learning and other stakeholders could stimulate the transformation needed for the development of the country’s human resource in this regard.
“I believe this could be a separate project in the current digitization programme led by the Vice President Dr. Alhaji Mahamoud Bawumia,” Dr. Sidick stated.
Professor Kwamina Kwansah-Aidoo, Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, said the Institute would consider collaboration with the HTU on developing campus broadcasters.