The 2018 edition of the Volta Journalists Awards organized by the regional chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA Volta) came off last Saturday night with some eleven media practitioners receiving laurels in various categories.
Among the awardees was Miss Ewoenam Kpodo, the lead reporter this news portal, voltaonlinegh.com, who was adjudged the Most Promising Young Journalist of the Year at the ceremony held at the Skyplus hotel in Ho under the chairmanship of Torgbui Binah Lawluvi VI, Paramount Chief of Ziope Traditional area and a former member of the Council of state.
The award, which was her first major honour in the inky fraternity, came as a big surprise to Ms. Kpodo, who was awestricken when she was called up for the special recognition ostensibly for her constant and accurate reportage on various sectors of the region.
“This was really unexpected, more so when I didn’t put in any entry for this year’s awards,” she told voltaonlinegh.com, and added that, the award would be a big boost for her journalism career into the future.
Also, three other contributors, whose stories were featured on this site; Tabitha Kugbonu, of Radio Tongu, Tilda Acorlor, of GBC Volta Star Radio and Jemima Achivors of KuulFM, were respectively adjudged best reporters in Education, Sports; Tourism and Disability.
Whereas, this was Ms. Acorlor’s second award in the sports category after a similar feat at maiden edition of the GJA Awards last year; Ms. Achivors was the only recipient this year to pick up awards in two separate categories i.e. tourism and disability.
Watch the Awards Ceremony Here
Other award winners include Sumaiya Salifu Saeed and Samuel Akumatey of Ghana News Agency (GNA) for Local Governance; Metro TV’s Christian Ahordie, Health; Harrison Belley, Lake News Paper – Agriculture; Kekeli Radio’s Kingsley Attitsogbui, Sanitation; Mary Anane-Amponsah, Daily Graphic – Business & Economics.
The best Morning show programme in English and Akan respectively went to GBC-Volta Star Radio, while that of Ho 92.5FM was crowned the Ewe Morning show of the Year.
Special awards were also presented to Public Relation Officers of some institutions, including Fred Baimbill Johnson, formerly of ECG-Volta, Foster Honu of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), George Tasiame of Ho Municipal NHIA, Isaac Meyir of Ho Technical University, Senam Bruce of Ho Municipal GES, the PR team at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) among others.
Two distinguished personalities, Mama Atrato II, Queen mother of Ho Dome and Mr. Dela Gadzanku, Eastern/Volta Zonal President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) were also granted honourary memberships of the GJA Volta.
Dr. Esther Offei-Aboagye, deputy Chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) delivered the keynote address on the theme, “Media-Key Partner in Local Governance” and called for closer collaboration between the two institutions to deepen the decentralization process in the region.
She underscored the need for both the media and the assemblies share a common goal of promoting active citizens participation in the local governance system, champion social accountability to ensure even distribution of development in the various communities.
Dr. Offei-Aboagye further urged the media to help promote the investment potentials in the various local areas in order to attract the needed investments to propel the ‘Ghana beyond aid’ agenda of the government.
The Regional Chairman for GJA-Volta, Mr. Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi said the media was prepared to work with the assemblies for a common good and entreated them to always be receptive to journalists as partners in development.
He said it was however unfortunate for some people to question the contribution of the media to national development, stating that as the fourth estate of the realm, the media continues to play outstanding role in shaping public opinion and strengthening society.
“We protect the public interest against malpractices and create awareness on government policies, programmes and projects, while providing feedback to both government and the people,” he added.
Mr. Edmund Attah Kudjo, District Chief Executive for North Dayi and Dean of Volta MDCEs, expressed the readiness of his colleagues to work hand-in-hand with the media to the benefit of the citizenry, as he commended the award winners.
A Deputy Information minister, Mr. Enam Hadzide who represented the substantive minister, hinted of the ministry’s plan to commence a programme dubbed ‘Time with DCE’, through which the president’s representatives in the various assemblies would have radio engagements with the citizenry to respond to their concerns.
Mr. Hadzide who also launched the GJA Welfare fund with seed money of GHS5000, once assured of government’s commitment towards the passage of the Right to Information law in due course.
The Volta Regional minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa also pledged the continuous support of the VRCC for the activities of the GJA in the region.
Several dignitaries graced this year’s awards ceremony, including the national GJA President, Mr. Affail Morny, the Press Attache of the American Embassy in Ghana, politicians from the two main parties, MMDCEs, MPs, traditional and religious leaders.