The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) at the weekend directed Media Houses to intensify public education on the proposed election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief (MMDCEs) in the country.

Mr Albert Dwumfour, the National Organising Secretary of the GJA, who gave the directive, lauded government’s idea to give “power” to citizens to elect MMDCEs, which would deepen accountability at the local and national levels.

But, he added that, such a decision had placed an enormous task on Journalists and media houses – print and electronic, to sensitize the general public to enable them to understand and embrace the idea and participate in all the processes to make the vision a reality.

Speaking at a training workshop held in Kumasi, Mr Dwumfour said the citizens ought to understand the concept and constitutional processes involved in the election of MMDCEs to enable them to make an informed choice.

Attended by 10 selected members of the GJA in Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions, the workshop was aimed at sensitizing them on a project being implemented by the GJA in the country.

The 18-month GJA-STAR Ghana project titled “enhanced media-CSO partnerships for Inclusive local governance”, is aimed at strengthening media and CSO collaboration for inclusive and accountable local governance in the country.

Mr Dwumfour reminded the media of its constitutional mandate – inform, entertain and educate the populace, saying that, “the citizens look and rely on the media to lead the agenda to influence and sharpen policy direction for their benefit.”

He said the media played an essential role towards the successful implementation of government policies and programmes, and advised practitioners to keep the citizens well informed and update them on policies such as the creation of the new regions and the proposed election of the MMDCEs to make them successful.

Mr Kojo Impraim, the Programmes Manager, GJA-STAR project, challenged the media to critically analyze and interrogate government’s policies and programmes and also make constructive criticisms on the policies before they highlight them.

Madam Rebecca Ekpe, the GJA-STAR Ghana Project Officer, said the media and CSOs collaboration would contribute to enriching the citizens’ access to quality information through structured media platforms and CSOs outlets.

The GJA in partnership with civil society actors will carry out integrated set of media interventions in order to strengthen the seemingly weak collaboration between the two institutions.

The GJA anticipates that the project will contribute to improving citizens’ access to information on public policy-making and implementation, and add value to the livelihoods of citizen, especially the vulnerable, marginalised and socially excluded persons in the communities.



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