The Mwananchi Ghana project which is coordinated by PDA is focused on the flow of information and communication in governance processes. Working with the media is an important part of this project and over the last year, the project has had several meetings, programmes and capacity building sessions for selected media professionals from 6 regions of the country. The aim is to explore ways for interested media persons to be more involved in issues of good governance in Ghana.
On Thursday, 12th January, 2012, the first meeting of the year was convened with Professor Audrey Gadzekpo as the facilitator. 38 media persons from across 6 regions of the country met at the Paloma Hotel in Accra. The 4 hour discussion the following objectives:
- Meet with media professionals to discuss the need to expand the coverage of governance issues in Ghana.
- Share lessons from Mwananchi Ghana
- Explore the possibility of forming a media network on governance that is sustainable beyond the life of Mwananchi.
The meeting was very participatory with all present agreeing on the following:
Setup a media network under the name ‘Media for good governance’. This will be a formal network guided by a constitution. A registered network with a membership of Practicing journalists and other media practitioners with a passion for/commitment to the network’s objectives. Affiliate members would be Professionals who can assist the network in achieving its objectives which includes the following:
- Promoting/improving good governance and development through stories.
- Giving stronger voice to governance issues at the grassroots.
- Creating opportunities for the voice of the marginalized to be heard.
- Supporting journalists outside urban areas especially, to bring their work to national attention.
- Supporting the professional development and skills development of journalists to better report on governance and developmental issues.
Leadership – The network will be registered as a non-profit with a 3-member Executive Council. There will be an Interim Executive Body overseeing the affairs of the Network. This executive body will be an Interim body until new executives are voted. The interim executives will be in office for one year and then; subsequent to voting, the Executives will be in office for two years.
The Interim Executive Body to serve for a year was agreed upon and included:
- Convener Abdallah Kassim,
- Vice Convener Kofi Larweh,
- Secretary Kizito Abagoami,
- Vice Secretary Edem Agbenyave,
- Treasurer Sefakor Abusah.
It was decided that there would be regular use of new media such as Skype and Facebook for interactions between members.
Regional face to face meetings would be held every other month: WR meetings to be organized by Peter Gbambila, Greater Accra meetings to be organized Anita Nyarko, Volta Regional meetings to be organized Bestway Zottor, ‘SADA’ meetings to be organized by Benjamin Glover, Eastern Regional meetings to be organized by Gustav Amanor.
There is temporary funding from Mwananchi Ghana but for sustainability purposes, the network intends to seek and obtain Long-term funding from donor agencies and through membership dues and/or subscriptions.
The intern executives scheduled a meeting for 10th February to discuss further details.