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A Former Minister of State, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, has said the greatest governance challenge facing the country has to do with protecting the national purse.

That includes being able to protect financial resources that the citizens have entrusted in the hands of the government.

At the launch of the second edition of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) Flamingo Awards in Accra, Mr Kan-Dapaah said, ?Protecting the public purse is one of the greatest governance challenge we have. Good governance means having good financial governance and you have good financial governance if you have proper accountability in the public sector.?

He explained that in as much as the government had a duty to account to the people on how their resources were managed, it was important for the citizens to also demand accountability from the government.

?If we want economic development, we must have good financial governance. We cannot achieve this if we do not have someone having that oversight responsibility, which is the job only you the media can do,? he said while speaking on the theme, ?Protecting the National Purse?.

The media, he said, had a responsibility to lead the campaign in demanding accountability from the government.

?In countries that have made it, the media have made it impossible for the government to misbehave.

?If the media refuse to do this then we are all in trouble, and that was why I grabbed this opportunity to have this conversation with you. Don?t blame the politicians for misappropriating your money, you made it possible for me to do that, you should check me and make it impossible for me to do that,? he said.

The awards

The IFEJ Flamingo Awards for Business and Financial Journalism was launched in 2014 to recognise business and financial journalists and editors who had provided high quality coverage of the business and financial environment in Ghana.

The 2015 awards is being partnered by the World Bank Ghana office, GIZ, the Agricultural Development Bank and Enterprise Life.

The President of IFEJ, Mr Lloyd Evans, said in the quest to improve business and financial journalism to reflect the country?s changing media environment, IFEJ instituted the Flamingo Awards to serve as a platform to raise awareness of the need for reliable, objective, analytical and comprehensive reporting on Ghanaian businesses.

?This award scheme is to complement the one slot provided for business and financial reporting at the annual GJA awards. IFEJ believes that better, accurate and in-depth reportage on the economy will generate more business interest and a better informed public on the Ghanaian business environment.?

In all, 10 competitive categories are available to members. These are best feature or news story in information and communication technology, finance, business, extractives, agri-business, tourism, developmental issues, rural banking/micro finance and savings and loans, and business of health. The ultimate is the overall best business and financial journalist.

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