The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in collaboration with the US Embassy has launched Ghana Elections 2024 Project “Journalists for Peaceful Discourse” in Accra on Thursday (November 9,2023)
The Project which is being financed by the US Embassy is under the theme “Promoting Peaceful Journalistic Media Platforms Ahead of Elections 2024”.
In his address the GJA President, Mr. Albert Dwumfour said the 2024 election is crucial; therefore, the media and the inky fraternity which is the Fourth Estate of the realm have a bigger role to play in safeguarding our democracy, hence the launch of the project.
He said it is the reason Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) carefully selected, “Leveraging Media Freedom to Sustain the Democratic and Security Architecture: The Litmus Test of Election 2024” as the theme for this year’s Media Awards, which was held on 29th October 2023 at the Accra International Conference Center.
“Today’s launch of GJA/US Embassy Ghana Elections 2024 Project: Journalists for Peaceful Discourse is a further testament to the fact that journalists in the country are willing and ready to ensure that democracy is guarded and secured even beyond 2024”, the GJA President emphasized.
He revealed that the Journalists for Peaceful Discourse is a 12-month project that provides the opportunity to uphold the tenets of press freedom and freedom of expression while promoting professionalism, and empowering the Media and related entities to contribute to violence-free and credible polls next year.
He added that It is also an opportunity to exchange knowledge and foster an environment conducive to discussions on safeguarding freedom of speech and building strong electoral and democratic institutions.
The President therefore entreated the media to take advantage of this project in order for them to contribute to violent free elections.
On his part, the Press Attache of US Embassy in Accra, Mr. Kevin Brosnahan stressed that Journalists have an important role to play in reporting on corruption, human rights, governance, peace and security.
He added that press freedom is critically important in ensuring that Ghana’s democracy is accountable to its people, hence the support by the US Embassy for this project.
Whilst expressing worry over the attacks on UTV and Citi TV staff, the US Press Attache emphasized that well-trained and well-prepared reporters are never more important than when a country holds elections.
“Elections always challenge democratic institutions, but resilient democratic institutions rise to that challenge”, Mr. Brosnahan said.
He later touted the longstanding relationship between the US and the GJA saying it is aimed at defending press freedom and providing resources and training for Ghana’s journalists.
He therefore called on Journalists to use their voices to empower the Electorates to vote based on informed decisions whilst also educating them on the registration processes.
Mr. Brosnahan expressed the US Embassy’s commitment to continue supporting the GJA in deepening press freedom and Ghana’s democracy.
“Next year will be no different: we will support GJA’s regional training for Journalists to improve their fact-based reporting on elections, help fight election mis and disinformation, and support high-quality public information related to the elections”, he emphasized.
The event was graced by notable personalities who took turns to speak on the theme of the project.
They were Executive Secretary of National Peace Council, Mr. George Amoh, the Director General, in charge of ICT of Ghana Police Service, COP Mr. Iddi Lansah Seidu and Mr. Palgrave Boakye Danquah who represented the Information Minister.
The Rest are the NDC and NPP Communications Directors, Kakra Asamuah and Richard Ahiagbah respectively and PRINPAG Organizer Emmanuel opare Djan.