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Accra, May 17, GNA - Information Minister John Tia Akologu said on Monday government was committed to building the capacity of journalists for accurate and reliable information.
"Government is looking forward to supporting refresher courses and training opportunities organised by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) for journalists in the country". Speaking at the opening of a training workshop for West African Journalists in Accra, he said government intended to institute an award for the best Pro- Development Journalist as part of GJA's Award Scheme this year.
The one-week workshop on the theme "the contribution of big water infrastructures to the sustainable development of countries" was organised by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) in collaboration with Ghana Country Water Partnership (CWP).
It was to inform and sensitize the media on the challenges related to the management of water resources and their mobilization for development purposes, especially in the context of climatic change issues strongly highlighted by the COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009. Mr Akologu said it was the policy of his Ministry to facilitate the human resource development programmes of its sector agencies to enhance efficiency in the media and information sector, adding that it would leave no stone unturned in support of the media in capacity building programmes. To this end, government would provide scholarships to 20 media personnel, 10 for females in specialized programme every year, beginning this year to train in specialized fields.
Training Journalists, he said, would help them disseminate accurate and reliable information to the public on government policies and programmes, to ensure that the populace was enlightened and brought on aboard government's development agenda.
The enlightenment extends to the management of water, a vital resource especially at a point when climate change was recognized as the greatest threat to socio-economic development and certainly in a threat to the life-sustaining resources, water and land resources especially in the tropics, where high temperatures were forecasted, he said. He said the importance of water could not be overemphasized adding that water certainly ranked next to air, hence the crusade on awareness creation to ensure sustainable management of the resource.
The Information Minister commended organizers of the workshop for the inclusion of women in building capacity and undoubtedly putting into practice the four principles of the Dublin Conference in 1992, which among other things stated that freshwater was finite and vulnerable, essential to sustain life, development and the environment. Mr Nii Boi Ayebotele, chairman of CWP, said in making provision for water, there was the need not to focus on life alone but the ecosystem as a whole to ensure that countries did not compromise on the future. Water resources he said were a global challenge and needed to be managed by bringing all stakeholders on board. Mr Dam Mogbante, Executive Secretary of GWP, said the efficient management of water resources would help in Africa's poverty reduction agenda. The GWP, he said, believes the media has the capacity to influence and change attitudes in people, adding that the media had an important role to play in awareness creation for the development of infrastructure and the optimal utilization of water resources. 17 may 10
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