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Let skills in conflict management impact on Election 2012 – Minister

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Mr. San Nasamu Asabigi, Deputy Northern Regional Minister on Monday tasked women and gender based groups to apply their skills in conflict management to deal with possible threats as campaign activities for Election 2012 warms-up.

“Women by their peaceful nature and ability to influence their husbands and children, who may be leaders in their own right, are best tools in conflict management.

“As the grounds for Election 2012 warms-up we need women and all other stakeholders to lead a crusade for peaceful environment before, during and after the December 7 polls”, Mr Asabigi stated in Tamale.

The Deputy Regional Minister who was opening a two-day workshop on election reporting organized by the Ghana News Agency for its reporters and stringers from Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions, appealed to all stakeholders and democratic institutions to make a firm commitment to peace.

The workshop was on theme: “Upgrading GNA’s Human Capital for in-depth coverage of Election 2012 and Beyond”.

Mr Asabigi observed that most conflicts that occurred globally were as a result of scramble over scarce resources, stressing that with enough resources at the disposal of the people, conflicts will generally be reduced.

He called on the youth to equip themselves with employable skills while government took appropriate measures to distribute national resources equitably.

Pointing out the positive role of the GNA in news dissemination, the Minister said the Ghana News Agency had been pivotal in news coverage in the country, noting that the role of the Agency in the Northern Region was impressive.

He urged other media houses particularly the private radio stations to emulate the professionalism of the GNA in order not to inflame passions especially in the run-up to the upcoming elections.

Mr. Mawusi Afele, Acting General Manager of the GNA explained that the Agency had always stood for the dissemination of the truthful, accurate, fast and unbiased news to its subscribers both local and international, and had stood tall in the communication industry.

He urged media practitioners, especially GNA reporters and stringers to adhere to the professional standards and code of ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association and the National Media Commission.

He tasked media practitioners to help maintain the peace that the country was currently enjoying.

Mr Afele challenged the participants not to compromise their profession for material inducements from politicians but to maintain the highest professional standards, saying: “You belong to the state media and so the interest of the state must be upheld in all times”.

The Acting General Manager advised media practitioners to refrain from aligning themselves to any political party but continue give fair and unbiased coverage to all the political parties for the Ghanaian public to make their choices.

Similar workshops have been organized for editorial staff of the GNA in Western, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti, and Brong Ahafo regions at Ho and Sunyani, all aimed at equipping them with the right skills and knowledge to report accurately, truthfully and professionally for a peaceful general election.

The workshops are all sponsored by STAR-Ghana a multi- donor pooled funding mechanism (Funded by DFID, DANIDA, EU and USAID) to increase the influence of civil society and Parliament in the governance of public goods and service delivery, with the ultimate goal of improving the accountability and responsiveness of Ghana’s government, traditional authorities and the private sector.

Source: GNA

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