2017 GJA Journalist of the Year, Bernard Koku Avle has called on Ghanaians to rethink and shift their mind-set toward a national conversation aimed at bringing about development.
This according to Mr. Avle will necessitate and fast track the country’s economic growth, while putting pressure on people in authority.
Speaking at a public lecture on the theme; ‘Rethinking the national conversation’, the Director of Programming at Citi FM also urged journalists to be professional in the discharge of their duties.
Touching on some paradox alleged to be affecting the country, Mr. Avle named ‘activity without productivity’, ‘religion without morality’ and ‘free media without discourse’ as the major issues affecting the country.
“Currently our economy is suffering from growth without factual transformation. While we continue to record some economic gains it is not reflecting on the group. There is still high unemployment and a restlessness among the youth. When it comes to religion too, money has been elevated over life irrespective of how it is earned. We are now in an era of foot soldiers with people acting as hypocrites. Although we meet and pray and claim to be Christians we are not exhibiting the things of God which speaks of love and kindness and respect. The church today seems to be imprisoned. The message of prosperity has taken over and eclipsed the message of sufficiency and simplicity. We are fixated with a national cathedral when Christ has clearly said that God does not dwell in temples made with hands.’’
On corruption and politics in the country, Mr. Avle said it was important for a paradigm shift from electoral politics to a developmental one.
“The excessive powers of the president have created a situation where even within the same political party; people jostle to be closest to the centre of power because that is where the action is. The popular expression for what this has led to is ‘edidigya’.
Edidigya is now the biggest canker in town, which drives our political elites in creating a do-or-die situation for us every 4 years because the biggest fear among political elite is that once you lose power or your connection to it, people will ‘didi’ and ‘gya’ you.” He explained
He further added that, it was important for politicians to “shift from winning the next election to securing the next generation, move from comparison of records to refinement of ideas, transition from winning an argument to winning the fight against ignorance, poverty and disease and move from endorsing vigilante groups to citizen vigilantes. We must also learn to move from invisible forces and Azorka boys to occupying Ghanaians.”
Bernard Avle who is also the host of the award winning Citi Breakfast Show on Citi FM in conclusion admonished media personnel to be thorough in their reportage and diligent in their work. He stressed on the importance of investing in production of content for news and the need for research and data analysis.
The public lecture which was held at the Alisa Hotel in Accra had in attendance some prominent members of the Ghanaian society including lawyers, journalists, entrepreneurs and politicians. It was supported by Citi TV and the Ghana Journalists Association.