With almost one and half years to Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the United Nations Development Program, UNDP Ghana in collaboration with its partners has kicked started series of training for journalists on conflict sensitive reporting.
The training aims at equipping the journalists who are selected across the country with the necessary knowledge to report accurately and professionally devoid of sensationalism which is likely to mar the peace in the country.
The training falls under UNDP’s project “Ghana Peace and Governance Joint Assessment”.
Speaking at the one day workshop in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, Peace and Governance Analyst at the UNDP Ghana, Melody Azinim said conflict sensitive reporting is critical to enhancing peace and good governance.
She said a Multi-stakeholder Platform has been established through which activities will be carried out to prevent electoral violence.
The Platform includes Centre for Democratic Development CDD, National Peace Council, Ghana Journalists Association, (GJA), National Development Planning Commission, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Office of the Senior Minister and YES Ghana among others.
The Peace and Governance Analyst noted that the UNDP is working together with partners above to come out with interventions to address issues that affect the people.
Electoral violence, she said is the focus of the Platform this year because election 2020 is just around the corner.
Madam Azinim said “the UNDP believes in preparing well ahead of time instead of waiting till last minute to prepare. “You are the people who report from various locations during elections.
How do we ensure that some of these reports are conflict sensitive”. Madam Melody said.
A Research Analyst at the Centre for Democratic Development CDD Mawusi Dumenu said corruption is one issue that is drawing the development of the country backwards and must be tackled with all the seriousness it deserves.
He lauded the passage of the Vigilante Bill waiting for presidential approval and the mediation of the National Peace Council between the two major political parties, the NDC and the NPP to address political vigilantism.
Mr. Dumenu said CDD is also tackling the menace using the down-top approach to find a lasting solution.
He hinted that the organization will conduct a research on electoral violence and political party vigilantism.
He expressed the hope more resources will be made available for that and other activities to be carried out to promote peace and good governance.
Story filed by GBC’s Sualah Abdul-wahab