The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, has asked media practitioners, stakeholders and corporate entities to support the Association in its bid to host the Third African Media Convention (AMC), in Accra, in 2024.
This comes after the Association was selected to host the 2024 Edition of the AMC in Ghana at the Second Africa Media Convention held in Lusaka, Zambia from May 11-13, 2023.
The GJA will be the first journalists association or union to host this event after the first Convention was hosted by the East African Editors’ Forum in Arusha, Tanzania, and the second edition hosted by the Southern Africa Editors’ Forum (SAEF) in Lusaka, Zambia.
The AMC coincides with the 75th anniversary of the GJA and the 60th anniversary of the African Union.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, on Tuesday, to officially announce Ghana’s successful bid to host the Convention, Mr Dwumfour lauded the Ghanaian media for its vibrancy and democratic credentials.
“It is essential to note, ladies and gentlemen of the media, that at the same time that the GJA was making a strong case to host the AMC, other countries were also lobbying vigorously for it,” he said.
“ But, we beat them to it, thanks to Ghana’s vibrant media industry as well as media freedom and democratic credentials in the past.”
Ghana performed exceptionally well on the 2018-2020 World Press Freedom Index, rating third in Africa in 2018, first in 2019, and third again in 2020.
Despite the media in Ghana being among the most liberated in Africa, the recent Press Freedom record was a great cause for concern, Mr Dwumfour said.
He said the AMC, therefore, offered “a moment of reflection by African media stakeholders on 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.”
The AMC is the largest gathering of media stakeholders and policymakers on the continent.
The Convention, an initiative of The African Editors’ Forum, is designed to safeguard the hard-won media freedoms and safety of journalists on the continent.
The maiden edition of the Convention was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2022.
The AMC brings together media experts, scholars, students, journalists, journalists’ unions and associations, editors, public and private sector, including cooperating partners from around the African continent and beyond as well as representatives from UNESCO and the African Union Commission to share ideas and chart the way forward.
Mr Dwumfour commended the Government, specifically the Ministry of Information, for the unwavering support for the achievement of this successful bid.
He applauded Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO’s Ghana Country Representative, and Abdul Hamid Yakubu, Programme Officer, Communication and Information at the UNESCO Accra office, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Zambia, Madam Khadija Iddrisu, as well as other stakeholders for their support.
Mr Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, the President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, indicated that hosting of the AMC is an opportunity to showcase Ghana’s media to the rest of Africa.
“This landmark will help us position our country in terms of media and journalism in the right place. So, what it means is that, we have to internally start cleaning our house before the day, so that that day, we will be able to display it well,” he said.
Mawuli Segbefia, the Head of Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monetary and Evaluation, Ministry of Information, assured the leadership of the GJA that, the Ministry, come next year, would give its fullest support towards the hosting of the Convention.
He tasked the Association to quickly prepare a roadmap to get on board all stakeholders to ensure a successful event.
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