Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Moving Journalism Forward

by Benjamin Price (Projects Abroad)

Mrs Nyomi (left) congratulates a student.
The Managing Director of Coastal Television, Mrs Nyomi, delivered a seminar talk to the graduating students of the Central Press College in Cape Coast.

The graduates were presented with a discussion entitled, ‘The Role of Female Journalists in Nation Building’. This talk was part of a series of seminars organised by the Central Press College for its students.

Introducing the guest speaker, the chief executive of the college, Mr Kwamina Bamfo-Agyei said:

“This is the batch [of students] that has many women participating, that is why we thought it wise to have a woman to be our guest speaker so that it can be a motivation to females in this media profession.”

The main focus of Mrs Nyomi’s presentation was the central role she believes female journalists have to play in the gradual development of Ghana as a nation. She stressed the importance of the way in which a newsworthy story is presented to the public and how this is key to the success of good print and broadcast journalism.

The timing of this speech delivered to the students was also an important factor as it was placed in the context of the upcoming elections later this year. Mrs Nyomi highlighted to the students that the education they were receiving in such a place as the Central Press College was equipping them with the required skills to practice a higher standard of journalism:

“With this kind of education that you have, you are going to make an impact wherever you find yourself.”

The concept of a more informed journalism was coupled the idea of being more innovative and creative while producing and presenting news stories. Mrs Nyomi called for a more colourful way of presenting the news, a style that is more Ghanaian in the form of its presentation, in contrast to the straight broadcast style adopted by many western media networks. Mrs Nyomi added:

“There is one radio station in Ghana that sometimes exaggerates, but I like it because they are telling stories. They tell it like we would tell a story to our children or among ourselves.”

Mrs Nyomi, lecturers and students at Central Press College
Mrs Nyomi concluded her speech by stressing the need for journalists in Ghana to make an impact and to ask the important questions that will provide the answers to many of the big issues in Republic of Ghana today. This point was explained in further detail in the context of politics. It was explained to the students that their level of education in the practice of journalism gave them the power to ask the burning questions of the day to the politicians and get the answers that would essentially create a greater sense of transparency and understanding in the politics of Ghana today. As a result, it is believed that freedom of the press will develop further, thus contributing to the wider concept of nation building.

Speaking on behalf of the students and members of the Campus Journalists’ Association, its President, Shaderik Boakye said:

“We should all try as much as possible to abide by all the rules and regulations given us and the code of ethics of the Ghana Journalist Association.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012


by Caleigh McLelland & Benjamin Price (Projects Abroad)

Some Gold that was extracted from the soil at the beach
Before its independence, Ghana was called the Gold Coast by its British colonisers; and rightly so. Ghana has been a world leader in the export of gold for centuries, but until recent weeks, most people were unaware that gold existed in Elmina.

Rumours spread that the indigenous peoples of Elmina had been mining gold in the area. Since this discovery was made, the government has sent a Geological Survey Team to Elmina to confirm these findings so they can decide whether the gold quantities have potential commercial value.

 “The government wants to know if the gold is of commercial quantity,” said Edmund Houphouet, Public Relations Officer of the KEEA Municipal Assembly. “Once they know this, they will discuss the pros and cons.”

Some Volunteers of the Geological Survey Department
The Geological Survey Team will report to the government by Friday, and an official report will be published by the end of the month.

“What we intend to do now is to fast-track the process of ensuring that we investigate and find exactly what is in the deposits,” stated Minister of Land and Mineral Resources Mike Hammah. “Once the deposits are in, we will be sure to come out and let the people know exactly what the situation is.”

Despite the uncertainty as to how much gold there is at Elmina, an official from the Geological Survey Team said he has seen some promising results from the tests that have been carried out so far.

“We have dug eight pits, and four seem encouraging,” he said.

Some of the fisherfolk fishing for Gold
Yet even with such encouraging results, it is believed that there will not be enough gold for commercial use. This is not only due to the quantities that have been discovered so far, but also due to the narrow area between the homes of locals that line the beach and the sea, which would make it difficult for serious mining of the extremely valuable mineral.

Furthermore, as it is not feasible at the moment to consider mining for gold at sea, there is a possibility that tests will be carried out later on at sites further inland in order to establish where exactly the gold deposits at Elmina beach have come from.

Patronise made in Ghana Goods

by Benjamin Price (Projects Abroad)

Osagyef Amanfo Edu VI
Osagyef Amanfo Edu VI, Omahene of Mankessim Traditional Area, has called for the patronisation and buying of goods produced by the people of the Republic of Ghana at the launch of the Rural Enterprise Programme (REP).
The programme was first piloted back in 1995 in 13 districts in the Ashanti and BrongAhafo Regions. Based on the success and lessons of this pilot scheme, a second phase of the project was launched in 2002 covering 66 districts nation-wide. The main aim of the Rural Enterprise Programme is to combat rural poverty and help raise the living standards of the participants living in the rural areas of the country. It is believed that this will be achieved mainly through the promotion of micro and small enterprise activities.
However in order for this project to truly succeed, Osagyef Amanfo Edu, said:
“We as people have to make their businesses grow by participating or buying the goods that they produce. We have to be the markets for their products.”
The Vice President inspects the manufacturing equipment
The launch of this development programme in December was attended by many high profile figures including the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H. E. John Dramani Mahamah. The Vice Presoident described the Rural Technology Services Centres (RTSCs), that was developed under the REP, as something remarkable due to the facilities and equipment they provide for the local districts. The RTSCs were established at district level to provide sustainable services such as skills and technology promotion and transfer to local communities.
Addressing the crowd gathered at the Project’s launch, the Vice President said:
“One of the unique features of this project is that it is fully decentralised and integrated into the local government system.
This development project has the highest rate of investment than any other development scheme the government and their partners are currently managing. Following his praise for the success of the scheme thus far, the Vice President turned his focus to the unemployed young people of Ghana and urged them to get involved in the Rural Enterprise Programme.
“This programme, among others, would be useless if our young people don’t take interest in them and don’t take advantage of the opportunities that they present.”
As part of the activities to mark the launch of the REP, some of the projects’ clients held an exhibition and trade show to depict some of the product and skills introduced to the rural poor. The annual trade shows are organised by the Project to provide a platform to explore new market opportunities and also learn useful lessons from other colleagues and districts.


by Benjamin Price (Projects Abroad)

Youth holding the PPP flag.
The newly formed Progressive People’s Party (PPP), which has yet to be certified by the Electoral Commission, has held its inauguration ceremony.

After resigning from his position as a member of the Conventional People’s Party (CPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the founder of the Progessive People’s Party, and executives from all the 19 constituencies of the region were inaugurated into the PPP with the regional executives.

Supporters pledge allegiance to the party.
A large crowd of enthusiastic Ghanaians attended the inauguration ceremony at Cape Coast’s Town Hall on Saturday (January 7th) to show their support for Dr. Nduom and his party, which includes a 450 member-strong executive at present. These executives are responsible for the running of the party’s activities at the regional and constituency level in Central Region.

Back in December, the leader of the CCP’s women’s wing, Mary Ankomah, was recorded saying that it is a great loss for the CCP to lose a member like Dr. Ndoum. However, at the time she also highlighted that it would seem as though many women members would also defect from the CCP to join the Progressives.

Dr. Nduom told his supporters who gathered at Cape Coast Town Hall that the PPP, Ghana’s newest political party, would improve the livelihood of the citizens of Central Region.

Inaugurating the 20-member Central Regional Executive, Dr. Nduom said:

“Ours is a broad-based national movement with people who have been crying for the change we need after experiencing NDC and NPP administrations that have not delivered to their expectations.”

Dr Nduom (left centre) and PPP interim executives.
According to the party’s leader, an important principle of the PPP is inclusiveness. He stated that this progressive political organisation supports opportunity for all Ghanaians irrespective of ethnicity, religious affiliation or political affiliation.

Many other executives of the PPP also spoke at the inauguration ceremony, including the Interim Chairman of the progressive movement, Mr Nii Brew Hammond. Mr Hammond emphasised the need for unity across the new party and to ensure complete organisation at the polling station level.