The Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) today July 7, 2015 launched its 2015 Awards in Accra. This year’s Awards is the second edition.
Only fully subscribed members of the Institute can contest for the awards, known as the ‘IFEJ Flamingo Awards for Business and Financial Journalism 2015’.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, The former MP for Afigya-Kwabre-North and Executive Director of Financial Accountability and Transparency (FATS-AFRICA), a civil society organisation, called on financial journalists to protect the national purse.
Admitting that after achieving good governance in Ghana, even though, the work of protecting the national purse from being stolen by politicians is a difficult one, the financial journalist has the tools to do the work.
He challenged journalists to work harder to ensure that the excesses of government is curbed and to also make sure that government works transparently.
“The biggest governance challenge is financial governance, and the media has the power to hold government to account,” he said, adding that, “the most potent accountability institution is the media, especially financial and economic journalists.”
In her opening remark, Mrs. Philomina Johnson, the lead judge for the awards, urged Ghanaian financial journalists to scale up their reporting, urging them to take note of the critical role that they play in the society.
She called on journalists to write to bring about change, “write feature stories that can influence policy,” she said.
Mr. Kofi Tsikata, head of the Communication Unit of the Ghana Country Office of the World Bank who described himself as IFEJ’s most ardent critic called on the Institute to partner with other tertiary institutions to establish a more formal training programme for financial and economic journalists.
“Do this and push towards the frontiers of accountability,” he said.
He also called on journalists to work to hold politicians and bureaucrats to account.
“The politicians come and go, but the bureaucrats are always there,” he said.
The awards are in 10 competitive categories.
The categories are; Best Finance Feature – News Story; Best Business Feature – News Story; Best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Feature – News Story; Best Extractive Feature – News Story; Best Agribusiness Feature – News Story; Best Tourism Feature – News Story; Best Rural Banking, Microfinance/Savings & Loans; Best Business of Health Feature – News Story and the Overall Best Business and Financial Journalist (The Ultimate Award).
The World Bank, the GIZ, Enterprise Life and the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) are some of the partners for the awards. The ADB presented a cheque for GH¢10,000 and Enterprise Life is supporting the awards with GH¢15,000.
The GIZ is working with Deutsch Welle to provide a £4000 sponsorship for the awards – under this award, one winner will be sponsored for a four-week training with the German broadcaster.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi