UN System in Ghana supports maiden media awards on SDGs reporting

Oct 26, 2016

Top awardees at the maiden SDGs media award ceremony in Ghana. L-R: Umaru Sanda Amadu, Abdul Amponsah and Nina Antwi-Kusi. Photo credit: Daily Graphic

The maiden media awards on SDGs reporting has been held in Accra with Mr. Abdul Hameed Amponsah of Radio Peace, Winneba clinching the top prize. The special awards ceremony which occurred on October 24, UN Day, was to recognize Ghanaian journalists who have demonstrated excellence in reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The initiative forms part of a project supported by the UN system in Ghana and implemented by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) to enhance the media’s capacity to contribute to advancing public understanding, support and involvement in the implementation of the SDGs. The project is also aimed at encouraging and supporting the media to mainstream the SDGs in development reporting.

Under the project, which is funded jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), dozens of journalists across Ghana were trained on the 17 global goals as well as how to support their effective implementation through quality reporting.

Following this, some of the trained journalists were supported with small grants to research, produce, and broadcast or publish stories on the SDGs. Journalists who produced reports were invited to submit their works for consideration for awards. Out of the several entries received for the awards, the judging panel settled on six nominees, including the overall best reporter as well as the first and second runners-up.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Mr. Bossman Owusu, UNDP Communications Analyst applauded the nominees for the quality work done in promoting the SDGs. He also commended the MFWA for implementing the initiative so well on behalf of the UN system, and the judging panel for the hard work in selecting the awardees. He hinted that the UNDP and other UN agencies will consider supporting the institutionalization of the initiative as an annual event.

Also present at the event was the President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association, Dr. Affail Monney, who commended the joint UN-MFWA initiative to motivate journalists in development reporting. Prof. Kwame Karikari, a Board Member of the MFWA praised the journalists for showing interest in SDGs reporting. He encouraged the media to be committed to monitoring the implementation of the global goals in Ghana.

All six nominees received certificates of merit. They included Bubu Klinogo – GBC Radio, Accra; Theresa Oppong – Ultimate FM – Kumasi;  Umaru Sanda Amadu –Citi FM, Accra; Michael Mfum Sarpong – Starr FM correspondent – Sunyani; Abdul Hameed Amponsah: Radio Peace, Winneba and Nina Abena Antwi-Kusi – TV3 Network Limited

The overall winner, Abdul Hameed Amponsah of Radio Peace received a plaque, a citation and a cash prize of GH¢ 6,000; while the first runner-up, Umaru Sanda Amadu of Citi FM and the second runner-up, Nina Abena Antwi-Kusi – TV3 Network Limited received a plaque, citation and cash prizes of GH¢ 3,000 and GH¢2, 000 respectively.

More than 60 journalists and media practitioners witnessed the award ceremony which took place at the Ghana International Press Centre.