It�s Free�It�s Like A Scholarship � Okudzeto Ablakwa

Government is setting aside GH�1 million for the establishment of a Media Development Fund. The Fund would be administered by a Board of Trustees and is aimed at improving the profession output and competence of media organizations and personnel in Ghana. Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffour announced this when he presented the 2012 Budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday. According to Dr. Duffour, �donors and corporate organizations will be invited to contribute to the Fund�. It would be recalled that in September of this year, Vice President John Mahama, speaking as guest of honour at the 16th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards, announced the government�s intention of setting up the fund which was advocated by the GJA to support media development in the country. It will strengthen both private and state media to develop their human resources for the promotion of rule of law, accountability, human rights, democracy and national development. Speaking to the issue in an interview during PeaceFM [email protected], Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa explained that government believes firmly in equipping journalists who want to specialize in core areas, hence the setting of the fund to enhance their work. �Government has decided that beginning next year 2012, they will endeavor to equip journalism as a profession. We need to appreciate the fact that the media is doing well and for that matter needs to be helped�Now that we have discovered oil, it is important to train core journalist that can specialize in the oil sector; we need to build the capacity of journalists. So if you are a journalist and you want to further your education or you want a scholarship to specialize in a certain area, you can apply to the board of trustees,� he said.