Resource persons and journalists at the training programme

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in partnership with the United States Embassy in Ghana has organized a two-day intensive capacity building training for 25 selected media journalists from the Northern, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, North East and Bono East regions.

The workshop held in Tamale from January 31 to February 1, 2024, brought together participants from both electronic and print media as well as social media influencers for the skills training on the media’s role in conflict resolution, peace building and democratic consolidation in Ghana through Peace Journalism and Fact-based Conflict-Sensitive reporting as the country gears up for this year’s general election.

The Programme Director, Media for Peace and Sustainable Development at the MFWA, Dr Kojo Impraim in a media interview said the project seeks to enhance the media’s role in peace building, conflict-sensitive reporting and how to enhance democratic consolidation in Ghana.

“The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is implementing a 12-month project with funding support from the US Embassy in Ghana to empower about 100 journalists from over 50 news media organisations and five fact-checkers across seven regions in Ghana to enhance their capacity to publish fact-based media content that promote peace, community resilience and democratic values,” he stated.

Dr. Impraim explained, “Why we chose these regions is that, when you look at the security profile of Ghana, the Northern part is quite vulnerable.”

Dr Kojo Impraim, the Programme Director, Media for Peace and Sustainable Development at the MFWA

He mentioned issues regarding chieftaincy conflicts, farmer herder conflicts, and the spillover of violent extremism from the Sahel among others as some of the threats exposing the area to danger.

“And because these regions are very closer in terms of proximity to the Sahelian countries such Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and other countries, the regions remain quite vulnerable” he stressed.

Dr. Impraim added, “We also have for the first time in our political history where the two major parties [NDC and NPP] having their flagbearers coming from the northern part of Ghana (which is progressive) but when you flip it, because these regions are quite vulnerable and when it comes to political mobilization, campaigning, especially the youth that are vulnerable and become instruments of violence, it is possible that the stretch profile and stakes of northern region could be high in this election.” 

Dr. Impraim said this necessitated the decision to equip the media with the requisite knowledge to understand the issues in order for them to do fact-based conflict-sensitive reporting and preach peace through their platforms to safeguard the country’s peace and consolidate the democratic gains as well. 

The Programme Director however bemoaned the role the media sometimes play in fueling the wrong narratives around elections and issues of security in the country.

“We thought it wise that let’s begin to orient the mindset of the media, let us enhance their skills for them to gain additional knowledge on fact-based conflict-sensitive reporting, on peace journalism, on how they will educate citizens in the communities to build community resilience against these threats that are looming when it comes to our peace and security” he stressed.