Media Training in oil, gas opens in Uganda

The Fifth Media Training Programme for 30 journalists drawn from Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, has opened in Kampala, Uganda to introduce and update participants on the oil, gas and mining sectors in their countries.

Under the theme: “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors: Reporting On Oil, Gas, and Mining,” the 10-day training programme being run from the 4th to 13th June at the Africa Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) in Kampala, is organised by Revenue Watch Institute (RWI), in conjunction with Penplusbytes, Ghana, ACME, Uganda and Tanzania.

The key goal of the programme is to introduce journalists who cover the extractive industry to the critical issues surrounding the exploitation, management, and utilization of oil, gas, and mineral resources in their countries, enriched with a global perspective, a statement signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency by Mr Jerry Sam, Project Director, Penplusbytes said.

The training is designed to help journalists develop the knowledge and skills to stimulate and feed public debate on how best to ensure that the proceeds from natural resources are used to serve the interests of a country and its citizens.

The media training programme begun in 2011 by RWI, Penplusbytes and other partners, with the aim of increasing the quantity and quality of oil and gas stories, and has so far built the capacity of about 70 journalists to enable them play the critical role of helping to inform and engage citizens, civil society organisations and parliament, to effectively hold government and companies in the sector accountable.

Mr Kwami Ahiabenu the second, President of Penplusbytes, prior to his departure for Uganda from Accra said, the extractive sector revenues are important for wealth creation and poverty reduction in Africa.

“However, this promise can only be realized if all stakeholders, especially the media, are given the capacity to play an oversight role, and we are delighted that this week in Kampala, we are going to support the knowledge and skills set of 30 journalists to enable them play this crucial role effectively”.

Journalists from Ghana participating in this training programme are Mr Kodjo Adams, Reporter of Ghana News Agency; Ms Sheila Aklamanu Williams, Senior Reporter, Business Day; Mr Adu Koranteng, Business Reporter, The New Crusading Guide; Mr Dominic Hlordzi, Senior Editor/Assistant Manager (Radio), Ghana Broadcasting Corporation; Mr Isaac Robert Aidoo, Reporter/Deputy Editor, The Finder Newspaper; Mr Kofi Adu Domfeh, Reporter, Luv FM;

The other participants are Ms Malise Oblitey Otoo, Reporter, Spy News Agency; Mr Mark Kwabena Boye; Senior Reporter, The Enquirer Newspaper; Mr Marlvin James Dadzie, Reporter, The New Crusading Guide and Richard Annerquaye Abbey, Reporter, Business & Financial Times.

“This training programme has been an eye-opener, especially for journalists coming from the northern sector of Ghana, and has broadened our horizon particularly on activities at the downstream of the oil and gas industry and how we as journalists can engage stakeholders play the advocacy role in ensuring that revenues from the sector can benefit all citizens, as well as providing linkages for indigenous enterprises to provide local content for the industry.” Mr Adu Domfeh, Reporter, Luv FM, Kumasi has said.

Revenues generated from oil gas and mining can improve health care and education for the poor, and serve as a catalyst for economic growth if journalists are able to play an effective advocacy and oversight role over the sector, and this training seeks to achieve this goal.

Established in 2001, Penplusbytes is a leading organization in Africa working in three areas: governance and accountability, new media and innovations as well as oil, gas and mining. It consists of a network of media organizations and journalists interested in using ICTs to effectively advance high quality journalism.

The organisation has trained hundreds of journalists and civil society actors from various parts of Africa and across the globe in cutting edge new media technologies, governance and accountability and extractives sector.

The Revenue Watch Institute is a non-profit policy institute and grant making organization that promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good.

Through capacity building, technical assistance, research and advocacy, RWI helps countries realize the development benefits of their natural resource wealth. GNA

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