The leading finance and business newspaper in the country, Graphic Business, has once again demonstrated its prowess as a leader in the industry after its journalists swept four out of nine awards at the 6th edition of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) Flamingo Awards held in Accra last Friday.
Mr Charles Benoni Okine, the Assistant Editor of the paper, was adjudged the Best in Finance Reporting (Feature/News category), while Mrs Ama Amankwah Baafi, a Staff Writer, won the best in ICT. Ms Jessica Acheampong, a Senior Reporter, was adjudged the Best in Extractives, while Mr Emmanuel Bruce, also a Senior Reporter, annexed the Best in Local Economy Report.
Mr Emmanuel Bruce receiving his award
Mr Masahudu Ankiilu from the African Eye Report won the overall IFEJ Journalist of the Year. He also won the Best in Development and Best in Agribusiness Awards.
Ms Francisca Sedina Dickson Arhin of GHOne TV also won the Best in Business/Manufacturing.
The theme of this year’s IFEJ Flamingo Awards was: “Towards agribusiness and the sustainable development goals”.
At the awards ceremony, the President of IFEJ, Mr Rayborn Bulley, said economic and financial reporting was a critical part of journalistic practice as citizens got informed about developments in the economic space.
He said the more the citizenry understood the developments in the sector, the better it was for them to hold the government accountable for transparent and good governance.
“Recently, the Bank of Ghana instituted a number of actions to demand good corporate governance from financial institutions. We are not unaware of the fact that the writings were on the wall for some of the collapsed banks. There were times customers were turned away because their banks could not honour their cheques.
“These were reported but did not gain traction in daily discussions on the airwaves. IFEJ has always believed that the process of nation building is everybody’s responsibility, but a greater responsibility lies with the journalists to continuously be on point to be constructive and not destructive,” he stated.
He said stories that were submitted for awards were, therefore, expected to inform, entertain and advise the policy makers to reconsider the import of some policies that did not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians.
Ms Jessica Acheampong receiving her award
Quality of entries
The Chairman of the jury for the awards, Professor John Gatsi, for his part said they received 33 entries in audio, video and print.
He advised the journalists that the quality of an entry into an award should be a function of good planning, hard work and professionalism to ensure the key scoring criteria influenced the submission.
He said the jury assessed the stories based on originality, creativity and initiative, potential to better inform the public and contribute to public policy formation and enhancement, professionalism and quality reportage.
The jury, he also said, looked at balance, fairness and use of multiple sources, clarity of writing and appropriateness of language used.
In his keynote address, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Advisor to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kwesi Korboe, said agribusiness went beyond farming to include all processes in the agricultural value chain.
He said although farming was part of agribusiness, it included all activities of production, processing and distribution, hence the need for business and financial journalists to help deepen discussions around agribusiness and ensure that the country derived maximum benefit from the sector.
He said it was, therefore, necessary for the leadership of IFEJ to put together experts to train members of the sector to further deepen their understanding to help discussions.
From left: Mr Charles Benoni Okine, Ms Jessica Acheampong, Mr Theophilus Yartey (Editor, Graphic Business), Mrs Ama Amankwah Baafi and Mr Emmanuel Bruce during the award
Relegation of agribusiness
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST), Mr Edwin Alfred Provencal, who was the Chairman for the ceremony, said the bane of African development was the relegation of the agribusiness sector to the background.
“We can only develop when we take advantage of our comparative advantage, which is agriculture,” he stated.
He said there was, therefore, the need to align the government’s initiative of one-district, one-factory with agribusiness in order to take full advantage of the agriculture sector.