Prime News Ghana

Frema Opare applauds media role in Ghana's development

By Vincent Ashitey
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Ghana’s Chief of Staff at the presidency, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare has called for strong support for the media for journalists to perform their duties without fear or favour.

She highlighted the vital role of the media in shaping public opinion, fostering democracy, and driving positive change.

Mrs Osei-Opare was speaking on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo at the formal opening of the 3rd African Media Convention (AMC), a landmark event aimed at shaping the future of African media.

The convention, which brought together over 2,000 media practitioners, policymakers, scholars, and stakeholders from across the African continent, served as a platform for robust discussions on the intersection of media and environmental sustainability.

The Chief Staff underscored the importance of providing the necessary support and resources to enable media professionals to fulfill their crucial mandate effectively.

“The media is a vital pillar of democracy and plays a pivotal role in informing, educating, and empowering citizens.

“We must recognize the invaluable contributions of journalists and media organizations and ensure they have the support they need to carry out their work,” she added.

Drawing attention to the challenges facing the media landscape, Mrs. Osei-Opare emphasised the need for collaboration between government, media stakeholders, and civil society to address issues such as press freedom, misinformation, and the environmental crisis.
The Chief of Staff also called for a concerted effort to create an enabling environment that fosters media freedom, innovation, and sustainability.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of a free and vibrant media in Africa, especially in the face of pressing challenges such as climate change and misinformation.

“It is imperative that we work together to strengthen the media ecosystem and provide the necessary support for journalists to fulfill their essential role,” she reiterated.

Government’s commitment

Echoing the Chief of Staff’s sentiments, Information Minister-designate Fatimatu Abubakar affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting the media industry.
She outlined various initiatives implemented by the Ghanaian government, including the launch of media capacity enhancement programs and the establishment of mechanisms to combat misinformation.
“We recognize the vital role of the media in our society and are committed to providing the support and resources needed to ensure journalists can perform their duties effectively,” Ms. Abubakar stated.

Press freedom

On his part, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfuor highlighted the importance of support for media professionals, especially in the context of Ghana’s improved press freedom index. Mr.Dwumfuor called for continued collaboration between media stakeholders and the government to address challenges facing the media industry.

“As journalists, we face various challenges in the course of our work, and it is essential that we have the support of the government and other stakeholders.

“We must work together to create an environment that promotes media freedom, innovation, and sustainability,” the GJ President added.

Also addressing participants at the convention, the Director of Information and Communication at the African Union Commisson, Leslie Richer emphasized the pivotal role of media in advancing the AU’s agenda for a prosperous and integrated Africa. Ms. Richer underscored the importance of collaboration between the AU and media stakeholders to effectively communicate the organization’s initiatives and achievements to the African populace.

She called for increased support for media capacity building initiatives to ensure journalists are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to accurately report on AU developments and promote the organization’s vision for the continent.

Again, Makmid Kamara, Regional Director for International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM), highlighted the need for a conducive environment for media freedom and independence across the continent.
Mr Kamara stressed the importance of safeguarding journalists’ rights and freedoms, particularly in regions where press freedom is under threat.

He called on African governments to uphold their commitments to press freedom and ensure the safety and protection of journalists as they carry out their essential role in society.