The Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), a policy think tank, has launched the African Journalists for Liberty (AJL) Conference in Ghana where selected journalists are trained periodically to advocate for a free society.
The African Journalists for Liberty also seeks to reward deserving journalists across Africa annually on their works that seek to promote and maintain economic freedom across countries on the continent.
Launching the AJL at the maiden conference in Koforidua, Executive Director of ILAPI, Mr. Peter Bismark Kwoffie, expressed that the African Journalists for Liberty had come to stay and would remain a relevant force in Ghana and in Africa as a whole to achieve economic freedom.
He expressed that there was the need to extricate corruption in african economies, stressing that, corruption in Ghana would persist for as long as most journalists continue to receive scanty remuneration from their employers.
Mr. Kwoffie, asserted that the low remuneration compelled journalists to engage in corrupt practices themselves.
He therefore called on the media practitioners to begin to propagate and front for better working conditions for themselves as much as they do for other institutions so they could boldly rid Ghana off corruption.
“They (journalists) are not well paid and sometimes salaries are halted for many months and this deprives them of doing their work diligently.
“If the media can also be talking about their own issues as well it will solve a lot of problems. We always say the police or the civil servants are corrupt but the media also become corrupt by covering up some information because they have taken bribe to do so,” Mr. Kwoffie said.
Key speakers at the day’s conference included, Mr. Evans Boampong, Deputy Director of ILAPI and Mr. Felix Yaw Adjei, an astute journalist and a researcher.
Others included Professor Brian Dwight Baugus, an astute governance expert based in the United Kingdom, and Mr. Daniel McLaughlin, an economics expert in United States of America.
The selected journalists were taken through topics as “bribery and the media”, ” understanding governance”, Basic economics knowledge for journalism”, “developing economic freedom content for political morning show” and “undermining economic freedom.”
ILAPI as a policy and educational research think tank exists to support growth and the sustainability of Africa through education, training, inspiration, research and policy analyses.
As part of its maiden African Journalists for Liberty conference, the ILAPI requested for entries in an essay competition which was on the topic, “The role of Journalism in a free society and holding government accountable.”
Subsequently, a freelance journalist based in Eastern Region, McAnthony Dagyenga, who took part in the competition emerged winner and was presented with an award at the conference.
The award package comprised a scholarship to pursue a course at the Ghana Insritute of Journalism and a customised website to promote liberty, economic freedom, property rights and non-agrrssion freedom.
It also included a recognised certificate from ILAPI’s partners (Network for free society and ATLAS International), CDs and books on ideas for a free society.