Sixteen Ghanaians from the business and journalism fraternity are participating in an intensive three day fellowship programme to better communicate effectively economic issues to the general public in the media.

The fellowship programme, Africa Means Business, is a Pan African media initiative aimed at contributing to the continent?s economic development through the media.

The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and run by Thomson Media Foundation, a United Kingdom based media development agency. The participants, comprising eight journalists and eight economists, were selected through a competitive process in March 2012.

?The project proposes two ways of going about its goals by building the capacity of economists to tell their stories better, translate their research better as well as engage the public through the media and building the capacity of business journalists to cover economic issues especially economic research??, says Mr Nigel Baker, the Chief Executive Officer of Thomson Media Foundation at the launch ceremony in Accra.

Ghana and Kenya were selected for the start of the project as a result of strong media freedom and financial sectors, said Mr Baker in an interview.

Rose Page from the Oxford University says ?Ghana and Kenya have a very strong financial sectors so the idea is to build up a programme to make Kenya the East Africa hub and Ghana West Africa hub of the project, so that other countries can be drawn into it??.

?The idea is that journalists will learn from the economists how to ask searching questions of governments and companies about financial matters??, said the Director of the AMB, Mr Chaacha Mwita.

Prof Ernest Aryeetey, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana says the programme would help economists and journalists to stimulate debate of economic issues in the media.

?Economic research done by economists is not adequately captured in the media, and a collaboration of this nature would go a long way to address the gap??, he added.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Seth Terkper said the programme is a sustainable project for the media and urged other educational institutions in Ghana to develop practical trainings for Ghanaian professionals.

The other partners of the project include Oxford University? s Centre for the Study? of African Economies, the Financial Times? Wincott Foundation and the African? Economic Research Consortium.

The participants would have other training sessions in September and October. A total of 32 journalists and economists will benefit from the project by the end of 2013.

 

Source:?Samuel Hinneh

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