Articles and Interventions

Strengthening the Media’s Role in Safeguarding Ghana’s Democracy

In a collaborative effort to fortify Ghana’s electoral process against Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) threats, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), and African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), have organised a media capacity-building workshop.

 

Empowering Journalists to Combat SOC Threats

The workshop, held on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at the Fiesta Royale Hotel, Accra, brought together over 30 journalists from various public and private media houses. The objective was to enhance the media’s capacity to contribute effectively to the fight against SOC during the lead-up to the 2024 elections.

 

Mrs. Beauty Emefa Narteh, Executive Secretary of GACC, expressed her gratitude to the distinguished guests, colleagues, and partners in her welcome remarks. Emphasising the workshop’s significance, she noted the challenges posed by corruption, misuse of state resources, and election-related malpractices.

 

She also highlighted the real and present danger SOC poses to the integrity of Ghana’s elections.

 

Expert Insights and Training

The event featured expert trainers from key institutions. Representatives from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) shed light on the nature and implications of SOC threats in the lead-up to the elections. The Office of the Prosecutor (OSP) provided insights into electoral corruption offences and sanctions in line with the OSP Mandate. Additionally, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) conducted training on producing fact-based reports on election-related corruption and organised crimes.

 

Communiqué and Recommendations

Following the workshop, a communiqué was issued, signed by media practitioners and civil society actors who participated. The communiqué affirmed their commitment to confronting the grave issues of SOC and using media platforms to increase awareness of election-related issues. They also pledged to be more deliberate and diligent in their coverage of SOC and electoral matters.

 

Recommendations included the need for government support to equip law enforcement and investigative bodies with high-tech crime units, cyber-sensitive training for law enforcement officials, collaboration between the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and various stakeholders for public education on SOC and ensuring state agencies are adequately resourced for innovative functions.

 

Looking Ahead: A Collective Commitment

As Ghana approaches the 2024 elections, the success of this endeavour rests on the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders involved. The media, as the fourth estate, plays a pivotal role in shaping the country’s democratic narrative. The workshop has equipped journalists with the knowledge and tools necessary to contribute significantly to the fight against SOC threats, fostering transparency, and safeguarding the integrity of the upcoming elections.

 

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, alongside its partners, remains committed to paving the way for a more resilient, transparent, and accountable democratic future for Ghana.

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