Nine journalists in the Volta region have won laurels at the first ever Volta Journalists’ Awards organized by the regional chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA Volta) in partnership with the Eastern/Volta region branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

The awardees, who were chosen by a four-member panel chaired by seasoned journalist Kofi Akordor, had their works scrutinized from 125 entries.

There were nine award categories at the colourful awards dinner held at Skyplus Hotel in Ho, on the theme, “Promoting the Industrialization of the Volta region, the role of the media,’ and attended by dignitaries including the Minister of Information, Mr. Mustapha Hamid; Tourism and Creative Arts Minister, Madam Catherine Afeku; GJA President, Mr. Affail Monney; Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa and his deputy, Mr. Maxwell Blagodzi.

On the honours list were Accra-based Citi FM correspondent, King-Nobert Akpablie (Business and Economics); Joy FM’s Ivy Setordjie (Sanitation); Sumaiya Salifuo Sayeed (Ghana News Agency, for Disaster Prevention); and Mawuli Yevu-Agbi of Ho-based Volta Premier FM/JoyFM (Health).

The rest are TV Africa’s Benjamin Attipoe for Tourism; Tilda Acorlor of GBC-Volta Star Radio, for Sports; Fred Mensah Duhoe of Global FM in Ho, for Agriculture; Shalom Lumor of Ho-based Kuul FM, for Court/Crime; while team TV Africa, won the best report in the Education Category.

They were all presented with plagues, hampers of assorted products from sponsors and cash prizes, with the best Business and Economics reporter receiving a laptop in addition donated by the AGI.

Citations were also presented to some distinguished retired journalists and broadcasters in the region.

Media must project development potentials and challenges
The Founder of the African University College of Communication (AUCC), Mr. Kojo Yankah, speaking on the theme, underscored the importance of the media towards the socio-economic development of the region and urged the journalists to positively project the potentials of the Volta region to attract investors.

He said, the media should also identify and partner with Small and Medium Enterprises in the region and highlight their prospects and challenges so as to get the needed attention from the appropriate authorities.

The GJA and AGI partnership, he noted, should be expanded to form investment committees which would package and market the investment potentials of each district in the region.

Mr. Yankah also called for a closer collaboration among the media, the Regional Coordinating Council and the AGI to monitor the implementation of government’s industrialization programmes such as the one-district-one-factory and assess its impact on the populace.

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa said the region was ready for investment in sectors such as tourism, agriculture and agro processing, and added that government was also on course to rollout its industrialization programme in the region.

While commending the leadership of GJA Volta for instituting such an award scheme, he also entreated media practitioners to take advantage of the Planting for Food and Jobs policy to venture into farming as a secondary source of livelihood.

The Eastern/Volta branch president of AGI, Mr. Dela Gadzanku indicated the readiness of his outfit to strengthen its ties with the GJA Volta by offering to empower a journalist in each district to become a successful entrepreneur.

The Minister of Information, Mr. Mustapha Hamid, who launched a media fund for the regional inky fraternity, decried the poor condition of service of many journalists and urged the association to take up the charge in that regard.