Emperor Gaza International Foundation (EGIF), in collaboration with the?United Nations Information Centre?(UNIC), has?honoured?Samuel Agyemang, a Television News Anchor at Metro TV, with the award of Excellence?In Disability Advocacy.

daanaaHe was awarded for his contributions, demonstration of excellence, passion, vision and commitment to improving opportunities for persons with disability and his resolve to make their lives better.

The awards, named after Dr. Henry Seidu Danaa, Ghana?s Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, who is the first?visually impaired?to be called to the Bar in Ghana, and also the first visually-impaired person to hold the position of Minister of state, was the maiden Danaah Excellence Awards, held to acknowledge the efforts of persons who have worked for the betterment of the lives of Persons with Disability (PWD).

The award was also to encourage society to appreciate the challenges PWDs face in their daily lives, in order to lend their hand of support to them.

The annual awards took place this year on December 8 at the Holiday?Inn Hotel?in Accra with Dr. Danaa as Special Guest.

Awards were also given to dignitaries, PWDs and other stakeholders who have excelled in their various fields of endeavor to celebrate?excellence?and encourage others to give off their best to unfortunate ones.

EGIF has contributed significantly to the?disability?sector, sponsoring some activities of the Ghana National Team, the Black Challenge, and recently organized the Fusion Games, a game that seeks to bring together able-bodied and PWDs together to compete on the same platform in sporting activities as a means of integrating PWDs into mainstream society.

Before the ceremony, the National Disability?Excellence?Awards was, launched in Accra with a pledge to begin to right the historical wrongs of misperception about disability, create a new sense of possibility and expectation, and establish role models and ambassadors of disabled persons.

The maiden edition of the?Awards ceremony brought together the cr?me de la cr?me in the disability sphere and celebrated excellence and great achievements.

The Awards are in two categories, namely category A for PWD?Achievers?in sports, music, politics, the Academia and Entrepreneurship while category B Awards was for stakeholders such as individuals and organizations that advanced the rights of persons with disability;?Disability Advocacy?Challenge Awards for journalists/media institutions that have encouraged discussions on disability issues; and Business Awards for large and Small businesses which have improved opportunities for?people with disability, such as greater? inclusion, participation and employment.

It was established that despite the promulgation of a National Disability Act, and the ratification in 2012 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, the situation still persisted, causing untold hardship to many of the 5 million Ghanaian citizens with disability and their families, hence efforts of people like Samuel Agyemang to bring to fore the problems that still exist as far as disability is concern, were appreciated.

Samuel Agyemang, told spyghana.com that, over the years many of Heroes of the disability experience in Ghana had remained unrecognized and uncelebrated, thereby helping to perpetuate, the myth that disability equated to inability, adding his commitment to the issues of disability was to help end the darkness of that myth and replaced it with the dawn of a greater reality.

Samuel Agyemang has reported on wide range of issues and his?expos? of the plight of homeless Ghanaians and the dangers associated with growing slums has pushed government and UN agencies like the UN-HABITAT to commence a number of affordable housing and slum upgrading schemes in Accra, Ghana?s capital.

His vivid picture of the challenges of persons?living with disabilities?in Ghana urged government to include disability in the national transportation policy, and consequently the nation will be getting a disability friendly commercial bus for the first time in its history. His reports on infrastructure have caused roads to be repaired.

In 2009, he was named a United Nations Dag Hammarskj?ld Journalism Fellow, and presented the Ortega?Memorial Bronze?Medal by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for reporting on the UN in New York. In 2009, he was named Journalist of the Year and received the award for TV Features Reporting from the Ghana Journalists Association.

Also in 2011, the Vice President of Ghana presented him as the Best Disability Reporter in Ghana, the Commonwealth Broadcasters Association named him a Thomson Foundation Journalist of the Year, and the United Nations Correspondence Association awarded him the Ortega Memorial Gold Prize.



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