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HomePoliticsGJA Inaugurates Committee for 75th Anniversary Celebration

GJA Inaugurates Committee for 75th Anniversary Celebration

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The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Friday (February 23, 2024) inaugurated a 11-Member Committee for the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the GJA.

In a welcome address, the GJA President, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour said the year long anniversary celebration will be a momentous one bigger than the 70th Anniversary.

GJA President Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour

“The 70th Anniversary Celebration was a mega one but we will make the 75th Anniversary, a momentous and more memorable one”,

Some Members of the Committee

The GJA President later paid glowing tribute the Forbears who fought for Press freedom.

He also commended former Presidenr J.A Kuffour for repealing the criminal libel law that was used to imprison some Journalists.

The Director General of GBC Prof. Amin Alhassan who was the guest speaker called on Journalists to be each other’s keeper stressing that the only profession that defends everybody but itself is Journalists.

He therefore appealed to the media to fight for press freedom in one unison.

Below is the full statement

SPEECH DELIVERED BY GJA PRESIDENT, ALBERT KWABENA DWUMFOUR AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE 75TH GJA ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE HELD IN ACCRA ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2024.

 

Former GJA Presidents
Representatives of NMC
Senior Editors
Colleague Journalists
Invited Guests
Ladies and gentlemen

I am filled with so much joy as I address you on the occasion of the Inauguration of GJA’s 75th Anniversary Planning Committee.

Indeed 75 years in the life of every institution or organisation is a significant milestone that is worth celebrating.

Such is the joy and excitement that is greeting all of us here gathered as we inaugurate the planning committee.

The 70th Anniversary Celebration was a mega one but we will make the 75th Anniversary, a momentous and more memorable one.

Director General of GBC, Prof. Amin Alhassan

Let me remind ourselves that the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has come a long way but it still has a long way to go.

Initially christened “Africa Press Association”, the institution was birthed on August 15, 1949, and has since transitioned through different identities such as the “Ghana Press Club”, “Association of Journalists and Writers”, to its present name, the GJA. This is a clear-cut case of a metamorphosis.
Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t be doing this inauguration without the acknowledgment of our forebears, the likes of Kabral Blay Amihere, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Kweku Baako, Gifty Afenyi Dadzie, Adwoa Yeboah Afari, Ransford Tetteh, Affail Monney. I say Ayekoo to these illustrious personalities who fought for the Association and Press Freedom.

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Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the GJA 75th Anniversary Planning Committee is chaired by Godwin Avenorgbo, a former Director of Radio at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

Other members of the committee are Marian Kyei, media consultant and private legal practitioner; Kobby Asmah, member of the National Media Commission and former Editor of Graphic; Peter Agbeko, former Head of Public Affairs, Ghana Standards Authority; Ellen Avorgbedor, former Central Regional Director of the GBC, and Maxwell Kudekor, Eastern Regional Chairman of the GJA.

The rest of the members are Boahene Asamoah, Editor of Graphic Business; Zambaga Rufai, former Western Regional Secretary of the GJA; Alice Tettey, Central Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency and former Central Regional Chairperson of the GJA; Dr Etse Sikanku, lecturer at the University of Media, Arts and Communication, and Mathias Tibu, former Vice President of the GJA.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the 11-member committee is expected to plan activities for the 75th anniversary across the country, beginning from March to the climax in September at this year’s GJA Media Awards.

These activities will include a major event on August 15, which will mark the 75th birthday of the GJA.

The National Executive is profoundly grateful to the chairman and members of the committee for accepting to serve the GJA in that capacity.
We all as an Association have every reason to be happy for this day but it must be emphasized that the journey has not been a smooth one. It has been fraught with intense oppression against the media from past dictatorial and oppressive governments leading to the prosecution and detention of journalists who dared to give a voice to the voiceless.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the year 2001, however, turned out to be a turning point that would remain indelible in the minds and hearts of Ghanaians, as the then President, John Agyekum Kufuor, repealed the criminal libel law, which sought to suppress the development of media freedom and gag Journalists and media practice in Ghana.

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Let me seize the opportunity to commend Former President J. A Kufour who listened to the appeal of our forebears and repealed the obnoxious criminal libel law. But for the repeal of the criminal libel law, a lot of Journalists would have been in jail by now.

It is important to emphasize that the repeal of the criminal libel law also helped in deepening our democracy as well as freedom of the media.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, another important thing worth mentioning is the passage of the Right to Information Bill into law. In 2019, under the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the much-awaited Right To Information (RTI) Bill, was passed into law to help journalists demand accountability and transparency from duty bearers.

Within these years, the media has benefitted from the exploits of prolific journalists who risked their lives to demand media freedom while contributing to building the foundation and shaping the national and international brand of the GJA. We say ‘Ayekoo’ for their hard work and professionalism. The GJA and the media in general deserve tonnes of commendation for their role in consolidating Ghana’s democracy.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, while we commend the government and other social partners for supporting the GJA to push the frontiers of the Ghanaian media landscape, we cannot overlook recent attacks on Journalists. Suffice it to say that attacks on Journalists are an attack on media freedom. In 2024 alone, about 3 Journalists were attacked in the line of duty occasioning the GJA’s media blackout on Hawa Koomson and Farouk Aliu Mahama. Let me emphasize that Hawa Koomson’s ban has been lifted but Farouk’s is still in force.

As we inaugurate the Planning Committee, we call on the government to intensify its collaboration with the GJA in ensuring the safety and security of journalists in Ghana. We also wish to use this platform to appeal to the Attorney General to expedite action on the Ahmed Suale murder case. It’s been 5 years since the Investigative Journalist was murdered and nothing seems to be happening.

I also want to appeal to anyone who has information on those behind the murder of Ahmed Suale to assist the Police in getting to the bottom of this matter.

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The media cannot thrive without the support of the public. We, therefore, call for collaboration in this regard as we work towards addressing our developmental challenges.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, as I bring my remarks to a close I wish to state that the occasion of the GJA’s 75th anniversary should be an occasion for journalists to see ourselves as one people and marshal efforts to consolidate the gains made devoid of lies but upholding truth and diligence.

Media freedom does not mean we can operate outside the rule of law. This is the path Ghanaians have chosen, to uphold transparency and accountability and no one including the media should feel above the law.

With the 2024 elections around the corner and the fact that the GJA and US Embassy are currently embarking on the Peaceful Journalistic Discourse project, which is an initiative to conscientize Journalists and Stakeholders on the need to ensure peace, I have no doubt that Journalists in this country will stand the test of time and make all of us proud after the elections.
Long Live GJA
Long live Ghana

Below is the members of the 75th Anniversary Committee 

The GJA 75th Anniversary Planning Committee is chaired by Godwin Avenorgbo, a former Director of Radio at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
Other members of the committee are Marian Kyei, media consultant and private legal practitioner; Kobby Asmah, member of the National Media Commission and former Editor of Graphic; Peter Agbeko, former Head of Public Affairs, Ghana Standards Authority; Ellen Avorgbedor, former Central Regional Director of the GBC, and Maxwell Kudekor, Eastern Regional Chairman of the GJA.
The rest of the members are Boahene Asamoah, Editor of Graphic Business; Zambaga Rufai, former Western Regional Secretary of the GJA; Alice Tettey, Central Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency and former Central Regional Chairperson of the GJA; Dr Etse Sikanku, lecturer at the University of Media, Arts and Communication, and Mathias Tibu, former Vice President of the GJA.

 

source:newsflashafrica.com

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