GJA wins bid to host 3rd African Media Convention
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has won the bid for Ghana to host the third African Media Convention scheduled for May 2024.
The Conference will bring together media experts, scholars, students, journalists, journalists’ unions and associations, editors, the public and private sector, including cooperating partners from around the African continent and beyond.
It would also bring on board representatives from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the African Union Commission.
This was revealed at a press briefing at the Accra International Press Centre in Accra on Wednesday.
The President of the GJA, Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour said that the GJA was able to win the bid due to Ghana’s vibrant media industry as well as Ghana’s media freedom and democratic credentials.
“Ghana performed exceptionally well on the 2018-2020 World Press Freedom Index, rating third in Africa in 2018, first in 2019, and third once again in 2020,” he explained.
On the state of Ghana’s media, he stated that although it was amongst the most liberated in terms of freedom and independence in Africa, more needed to be done as “our Press Freedom record in recent times has been a great cause for concern.”
He added that the convention would also provide the platform to discuss the revolving trends that impede freedom of expression and freedom of the media, media viability and sustainability as well as the safety and security of journalists in Africa.
The third edition of the largest gathering of media stakeholders and policymakers he said was the first to be hosted by an association of journalists noting that “the first convention was hosted by the East African Editors’ Forum in Arusha, Tanzania, and the second edition of the convention hosted by the Southern Africa Editors’ Forum (SAEF) in Lusaka, Zambia.”
“It is important to state that, GJA will be 75 years next year and the convention will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the GJA and also the 60th anniversary of the AU,” he said whilst expressing his excitement.
The President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, Mr Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, commended the GJA for successfully winning the bid as it would provide journalists in the country the opportunity to showcase their competence to the rest of Africa.
“This landmark event will help us position our country in terms of media and journalism in the right place so we have to internally start cleaning our house before the convention,” he stressed.
He underscored the need for all stakeholders to ensure that the challenges highlighted in the research document on the state of Ghana’s media by the communication department of the University of Ghana were addressed.
The head of Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Information, Mr Mawuli Segbefia pledged his outfit’s support to the GJA and the growth of the media in Ghana saying that “come next year we will give you our fullest support in mobilising the event.”
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE