Government to revive Media Fund

Accra, The Government is working on modalities to revamp the Media Fund to facilitate the development of the capacities of journalists, the Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Hamid, has said.

He said the Government was determined to supporting the growth of the media to be able to effectively investigate and communicate on all aspects of social development.

Mr Hamid disclosed this on Tuesday in Accra at the opening of a three-day training workshop on investigative journalism organised by Media Response.

The workshop, dubbed: Support to Free Movement of Persons and the Migration in West Africa, was funded by the European Union in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission.

Mr Hamid said the workshop was being held at a time the country was bracing itself to deal with the unprecedented challenges of irregular migration and human trafficking currently confronting the whole world.

The recent reported incidence of trafficking of girls from Ghana to the Gulf States is a typical example, he added.

Mr Hamid said Ghana was a signatory to several international protocols and conventions, which sought to promote safer migration and guarantee the rights of migrants such as the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Goods and Persons and Rights of Establishment as well as the ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration.

He said given the contemporary migration realities and dynamics as well as the current global processes of urbanisation and development, the media could not afford to ignore migration and its impact on economic development.

He noted that it was imperative that the Ghanaian media had a key role to play in the promotion of safe, secure and intra-regional migration.

Mr Hamid said the coming into force of the National Migration Policy in April 2016 as well as the high number of communications and policy documents addressing the issue also signified government’s commitment towards ensuring the country derived optimum benefits from the positive aspects and minimise the negative consequences.

Mr Dominic Afriyie Agyemang, the Deputy Director/Head of Migration Unit of the Ministry of Interior, said: Ghana does not find itself in a very favourable position in the books of the United States Department of State Report on Trafficking in Persons.

Ghana remained on Tier Two Watch List for the third consecutive year. This does not put Ghana in a very good picture in the eyes of the world with regards to eliminating child labour and human trafficking with the tendency to losing the essential courtesies from the United States.

He explained that the Interior Ministry was, therefore, seeking the support of the media to redeem Ghana’s image.

Mr Samuel Nii Dodoo, the Executive Director of Media Response, said when it came to migration issues, the focus of the Ghanaian media tended to dwell on the lack of political will, suspicion and detestation.

He said recent media reports also suggested that migrants posed a significant threat to the country’s development due to their alleged involvement in illegal mining activities, nomadic grazing, trading in the open market as well as the electoral process.

Mr Dodoo said given the afore-mentioned, there was no doubt that the media had a crucial role to play in the promotion of safe and secure intra-regional migration.

He said the workshop was to train journalists to improve their knowledge on the various legal frameworks that promoted the free movement of persons as well as the protection of migrants for the promotion of their rights and public awareness on safer migration.

Mr Eric Akomanyi of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said the Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa was being implement in 16 ECOWAS member states including Mauritania.

He said the project aims to strengthen the capacities of the ECOWAS Commission to lead an intra-regional dialogue on free movement and migration issues and act as a platform for policy development and harmonisation.

Source: Ghana News Agency