The Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) has launched its 60th anniversary celebration with a call on industry players in the media to contribute to the development of the institute.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the institute, Professor Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, who made the appeal during the launch at the forecourt of the institute in Accra yesterday, said the institute would continue to grow its programmes to keep up with the needs of industry and society as a whole.
He said the institute had put in place measures to ensure that its curriculum inculcated professionalism in its graduates.
“We are inspired to keep growing our programmes, deepening the development relevance of our curriculum and sharpening skills development for higher professional competence of our graduates,” he said.
The 60th anniversary will be celebrated on the theme: “GIJ: Celebrating Our Past, Inspiring Our Future.”
Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh said the institute had chalked up a lot of successes to warrant the celebration of the anniversary, saying: “We have a glorious past to celebrate in the brilliant and achieving journalists we have been turning out over the years.”
He also extolled the contributions of the institute towards the development of the country, adding that: “We celebrate our massive contribution towards the growth and development of our dear nation and beyond, as an Africanwide premier journalism and communication training facility.”
For his part, the Rector of the institute, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, said the anniversary would help the various stakeholders to review the past of the institute and re-strategise for an inspiring future.
He said the GIJ had helped to establish a vibrant media landscape in the country. “GIJ’s leadership in educating journalists and communicators for nearly 60 years has contributed to producing strong and vibrant media that seek to promote accountability and democratic principles for development in Ghana and beyond.”
Prof. Kwansah-Aidoo recalled that the vision of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the founder of the institute, was for it to train journalists to play a key role in the emancipation of the African continent and said it had lived up to expectation as the GIJ was credited with producing the majority of Ghana’s journalists, corporate communicators, advertising and public relations practitioners, who were at the forefront of their chosen fields of profession.
The Rector said in pursuit of one of its strategic objectives, the institute had embarked on a significant expansion of its facilities, development of capacities of its faculties and increased enrolment of qualified applicants.
The guest speaker, the Minister of Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, who is an alumnus of the institute, urged journalists to devote some time to the coverage on areas such as the economy, population and health, in order to help the public to make informed decisions.
He noted that journalism had gone beyond being used for only political reasons, it was now a tool for development, he stressed.
Dr Awal also called on journalists to help the government to transform and develop the economy, emphasising that journalists played a key role in the development of any country.
The Business Development Minister, who, also, launched the institute’s GH¢100 million 60th anniversary endowment fund, called on the past students of the school to contribute to the fund.
He pledged GH¢50,000 to the fund and also called on corporate bodies to support the institute saying: “When you support GIJ, you are supporting your business.”
The ceremony, which was attended by industry players, stakeholders, past and current students of the school, was spiced up with several performances, including recitations, saxophone music renditions and fashion modelling.
The 60th anniversary celebration will feature activities from March through to October this year, including exhibitions, public lectures and an academic conference, health walk and fundraising events.
It will culminate in October with an alumni homecoming grand durbar and gala night.