“The chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it is hatched” was a profound statement made by Mr. Kobby Asmah an immediate past Editor of Daily Graphic in relation to what Albert Kwabena Dwumfour the current GJA President has been able to achieve in just one year in office.
This bold statement comes on the back of the myriad of feats chalked by the man many have referred to as the Legacy President.
GJA Wins Bid to Host African Media Convention (AMC)
Inspite of the twists and turns that characterized the election process, Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour put all behind him and held the bull by the horn and broke the glass ceiling. Several mouthwatering initiatives have been recorded under one year since assuming office-the primus inter pares being winning the bid for Ghana to host the African Media Convention (AMC) next year which is the biggest gathering of Journalists on the continent.
Refurbishment of the Press Centre
Another important progress made was the face lift given to the International Press Centre where its look and feel has changed dramatically-evoking heartwarming comments from Visitors and Journalists who are seeing the transformational change of the edifice.
Visibility of the GJA
Worth mentioning is the fact that the aesthetic transformation of the Press centre coupled with, now the high visibility status of Albert Dwumfour led GJA has made the Association attractive to Journalists and the outside world. This has also led to the Association recording a high voluntary payment of dues by Journalists which hitherto was not existent. The Association can now boast of about 400 fresh membership applications owing to how attractive the Association has become-occasioned by the charismatic Albert Dwumfour.
Gargantuan 26th GJA Awards
Then came the GJA’s 26th Awards which was epoch event held at the Kempinsky Gold coast. The Awards is the biggest gathering of Journalists whose works in the year under review, was rewarded, lest the array of VVIP personalities who graced the occasion.
Historic Dinner Dance
One of the achievements of Albert Dwumfour was his decision to separate the Dinner Dance from the Awards for the first time which received high thumbs up from the Practitioners. The decision became necessary after Journalists complained that often time the Awards presentation takes chunk of the time thereby dragging the event to late night.
As a leader who listens to his people, the legacy President responded to the wish of his people and organized a mammoth dinner dance in December last year. The event saw the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo Addo and many Ambassadors in attendance. The dinner dance, infact is one that would linger in the mind of the attendees for a very long time because there was more to dine and wine. Journalists were very excited and commended Albert Dwumfour for the history made. The icing on the cake was when President Akufo Addo mounted the podium and remarked “this is one of best dinner events I’ve ever attended; kudos Mr. Dwumfour”.
The truth is that any person who wish to catalogue the achievements of Albert Dwumfour would have to go through a long haul because the achievements are just to many to catalogue however I will mention a few taking solace from the quotes from William Feather who says “Blow your own horn loud. If you succeed, people will forgive you, if you fail they will forget it”.
Journalists Support Fund (JSF)
As a Journalist myself with rich decades of practice, the day I learnt of the launch of Journalists Support Fund was the day my respect for the Legacy President accentuated. This is because Journalists have been attacked in line of duties and sometimes raising money to seek medical attention has been a major challenge. My joy is that this Fund has come in at the right time to deal with issues of assault. The mantra “ I dont have money to hire a lawyer” is now a thing of the past with the introduction of the JSF. I dare say that since it was launched, attacks on Journalists has taken a nose dive which is an indication that indeed the JSF has served a purpose hence qualifies to be in the “hall of fame” of the current GJA President.
Day with Retirees/Support Scheme
Periodic meetings with Retiree Journalists adopted by the President is another great fillip that deserves commendation. It is a fact that some retirees are faced with financial challenges ranging from seeking medical care and other social needs.
So for the GJA President to think of them and Institute Day with the Retirees to contribute towards their welfare as part of Retiree Support Scheme is something that deserves mention.
From a Reactive State to a Proactive State/Mediation of Cases involving Journalists
Under the new GJA leadership, led by Albert Dwumfour, the Association has been able to mediate some cases in a manner many have commended the approach. The Executives resolved to adopt an approach which was simply non-confrontational but rather a dialogue to resolve the issues amicably. A critical case in point was the case involving the Kumasi based Oyerepa fm and the Manhyia Palace. The non-confrontational posture by the GJA in resolving the matter led to Manhyia reversing their earlier order for the station to be closed.
This approach was one that can pass for experienced- ingenuity and intelligentsia on the part of the GJA. The GJA had earlier prevailed upon the Ada Traditional Council to reverse an earlier decision by the Council to ban Ada Radio Reporters from covering the Asafotufiam festival. On this same matter, the GJA adopted a dialogue approach where a delegation was dispatched to go meet the Traditional Council to resolve the matter.
It must be noted however that dialogue stalled as the Council was unwavering with their position, causing the GJA to address a news conference. This news conference which caused a lot of disaffection for the Council, compelled them to reverse the decision.
At this juncture, it is glaringly clear that achievements in one year of Dwumfour’s regime has been phenomenal but I do not want to put people in a state of “diminishing marginal utility” so I will pause here and come back again with other initiatives and projects that would follow in the second year and subsequent years.
The Writer, Efo Mawugbe is the Managing Editor of Senaradioonline.com,
Communications Consultant and Social Justice Practitioner.