President Akufo-Addo delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of the African Media Convention in Accra. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
President Akufo-Addo delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of the African Media Convention in Accra. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
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Journalists role in environmental sustainability: Proffer solutions to climate change -President Akufo-Addo urges African media 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked the media to amplify the voices of those affected by climate change, especially in communities that are often overlooked.

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He said the media was a unifying force in a fragmented world, and that environmental sustainability should be at the heart of media practice.

Speaking in Accra yesterday at the closing ceremony of the third African Media Convention (AMC), President Akufo-Addo urged the African media to use their platforms to showcase innovative solutions and play a proactive role in educating and engaging the  public on environmental issues.

“It is essential to foster a culture of environmental responsibility among our citizens, particularly the youth, who are both the most impacted by climate change and the most productive agents of change”.

“Let us not forget that environmental sustainability is linked to economic and social sustainability,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

Summit

The three-day event, which commenced last Wednesday, was on the theme; Enhancing freedom, innovation and environmental sustainability in a dynamic media landscape.

The President, who closed the three-day convention, stated that the government remained committed to supporting a free, independent, responsible and innovative media. 

AI

In addition, he said, Artificial Intelligence (AI) held immense promise for the media industry. 

“This potential to enhance efficiency in news gathering and dissemination is unparalleled. AI can automate routine tasks, allowing journalists to focus on more complex and investigating personalised content, thereby increasing audience engagement and satisfaction,” President Akufo-Addo said.

However, the President cautioned the media about the dark side of AI.

“While AI holds great promise, we must also be vigilant of the potential threat that it poses to the integrity of our media systems, especially regarding the spread of fake news, misinformation and disinformation”. 

“As false information spreads rapidly through social media and other digital platforms, it becomes increasingly challenging for people to distinguish between fact and fiction. It is essential they are used responsibly and ethically,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

He, therefore, urged the media to work together and adopt ethical AI practices so that societies could be protected.

Drive innovation 

President Akufo-Addo also encouraged media practitioners to strive to enhance freedom, drive innovation and promote non-violent environmental sustainability in media practice.

“Your work is not just about reporting the news or entertaining the public; it is about shaping the future of our country,” he stressed.

Gratitude 

For his part, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, thanked the President, partners, stakeholders, committees and other sponsors for their contribution to the organisation of the event.

He also called on the African media to follow Ghana’s December election and have a feel of what Ghana’s democracy was about.

“We are hopeful that just like the other elections, this year’s will be another success,” Mr Dwumfour said.

He added that the media’s loyalty was to the truth and the citizenry.

Summary

The African Media Convention is a collaborative effort supported by the African media stakeholders to reflect on the fundamental role of journalism on the continent.

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At this year’s convention, African leaders were tasked to build a literate Africa and equip citizens with tools for Africa’s comprehensive progress.

However, to achieve this, the Chairperson for the African Media Convention (AMC) Steering Committee, Churchill Otieno, said there must be total freedom of speech.

“Let’s strengthen advocacy and collaborate more, let’s strive to establish a network that understands freedom of speech with an African lens,” he said.

The AMC brought together representatives from the African Union, UNESCO, journalists, bloggers, students, policy makers, heads of state institutions, media, students, among others.

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There were discussions on finding new models for media financing, media welfare, exploring new approaches to the media’s economic resilience, freedom of speech and media literacy.

Other topics explored included disability, equality in media: exploring new audiences, customers and users, AI and the media in Africa, empowering female journalists in   digital security training and capacity building.

Climaxed 

The convention was climaxed by a jamboree tour to Ghana’s scenic sites such as the Osu Castle, Black Star Square, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and the National Museum.

This was followed by a special dinner gala last night.

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