Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has announced plans by her Ministry and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to create an award category to honour journalists for their work on foreign policy issues.
The award category is to be part of the annual GJA Awards ceremony. It is expected to begin in 2020.
The Minister disclosed this when leadership of GJA paid her a courtesy call on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, in Accra.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey highlighted the Ministry’s decision to explore the possibility of rotational travels with the Press Corps to enable them cover Ghana’s international engagements and as well attain the necessary exposure and network at the professional level, among others.
Furthermore, she noted the Ministry’s willingness to continue to support the work of the Ghanaian media abroad, including documentary makers and media outlets such as Premier Productions – producers of Greetings from Abroad, and Hal Solutions – producers of Diplomatic Affairs.
Again, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey expressed the need for continuous cooperation between the Ministry and the Ghanaian media to better educate and inform the citizenry about the work of the Ministry and its benefits to the Ghanaian people.
During the meeting, the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association, extended invitation to the Foreign Minister for her to participate in the 2019 GJA Awards as a Special Guest.
The meeting was meant to formally congratulate the hardworking Minister for her unrelenting desire for a robust Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration-Media relations for the advancement of Ghana’s Foreign Policy through her continuous engagement with leadership of various media houses and the Ghanaian media at large.
During the meeting, Mr. Monney pledged the continuous support of the Association to the projection of the work of the Foreign Ministry.
He seized the opportunity to request assistance to host international leaders from various media Associations in Ghana for the 24th GJA Awards and the climax of the 70th Anniversary of the Association.
The Minister also seized the opportunity to congratulate the GJA on its 70th Anniversary and its great gate-keeping role over the years.
She also congratulated the Association on its upcoming 24th GJA Awards, and observe that due to hard work and dedication, the Awards have become attractive and an important event in the Association’s calendar.
According to her, the theme for the 70 years celebration of the GJA: “Freedom, Democracy and Independence of the Media in Ghana,” is appropriate since the media has been an important institution in Ghana’s democratic development since the return to constitutional rule.
The Minister expressed the hope that the anniversary celebration will spur the media on to greater heights.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey lauded the Association for its commitment towards its members and for working to promote and sustain journalistic standards, particularly on matters of Ghana’s foreign policy.
She went on to acknowledge and thank the newly-constituted MFARI Press Corps for working with the Ministry to promote and project Ghana’s foreign policy issues in an objective and professional manner over the past one year.
In her view, foreign policy is a delicate and sensitive area which has to be handled with tact in order to avoid misrepresentation which can damage relations with external partners and friends – the reason specialisation in the area for journalists is important.
The Minister recognized the need for the Ministry to partner the Council on Foreign Relations, the GJA and other relevant bodies to offer support towards media capacity-building on matters pertaining to foreign policy.
Finally, she observed that the Ministry’s doors are opened to discussions and proposals on matters within its jurisdiction and how relations with the media can be improved for the benefit of Ghana and the execution of its foreign policy.