Accra, Oct. 24, GNA - Mr Frank Agyekum, Government Spokesman on Politics and Governance, on Monday called on the Ghanaian media to focus equally on development journalism and not to over concentrate on political reporting at the expense of development.
Mr Agyekum, himself a professional media practitioner, said journalists needed to recognise, follow up and publicise achievements of the unsung to serve as inspiration for excellence for copying. Mr Agyekum, made the suggestion in Accra at the launching of the website of the Perfector of Sentiments Foundation (POS), a youth oriented non-governmental organisation, which also launched its first awards ceremony scheduled for December 17, 2005 for distinguished Ghanaian youth between 13 years and 30 years.
The website for POS is www.posfoundation.org
Mr Agyekum expressed regret that many little achievements, which could have been taken up by the media, received less attention with the resultant killing of initiative and drive of such inventors.
Citing the case of the nominated award winner, Miss Mary Debrah, a pupil of Begoro Salvation Army Junior Secondary School, Mr Agyekum said Miss Debrah, who won the Gold Medal of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, with her science project on the Prekese fruit (Tetrapleura Tetraptera) in 1990, could not go to Japan to participate in the Youth Science Forum in 1991, partly because she could not get sponsorship. Additionally, very few people had known about the remarkable achievement of the Kintampo Secondary School, which stood tall out of 42 schools selected in Africa, for its project on nitrate levels in soils, for which it won recognition by the Washington based Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment.
Mr Agyekum reminded journalists that there were a great number of people, who were eager to read about development issues and urged them go behind the scenes and highlight the achievements of people in the midst of challenges to inspire their audiences. This, he said, would attract the necessary financial and material support for achievers.
Mr Agyekum advised the youth to put their energies to profitable use and commended the POS on its initiative.
Captain Nkrabea Effah-Dartey (rtd), Deputy Minister for the Interior, who launched the POS, lashed at the proliferation of NGOs, describing some of them as entities that existed on paper. He said some of the NGOs were exploiting children, women and poor people, by collecting money in their names, which rather ended up in wrong pockets.
Captain Effah-Dartey reminded the youth that one could not go back to youthful ages, and one must, therefore not waste that period on unworthy activities, declaring, "our lives are like burning candles". Mr Mensah Etsibah of the National Youth Council on behalf of Mr Kofi Addah, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, launched youth awards, dubbed "Distinct Youth Honour " to come off at the Dutch Hotel at Nungua in Accra.
Mr Addah praised the Ghanaian youth for distinguishing themselves in areas such as sports, education and technology and bringing honour to the country.
Apart from Ms Debrah and the Kintampo Secondary School, Mr Addah mentioned that Mr Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, the physically challenged cyclist, who gained international recognition recently; Margaret Simpson and Ignatius Gaizah, the two athletes who won bronze and silver medals at the Helsinki games; and Julius Azasoo of Mawuli Secondary School, who designed a siren which was serving some secondary schools, would be honoured.
The criteria for selection for the event, which would held every two years, are an age limit between 13 years and 30 years, significant impact of achievement on that nation and the world at large, and exhibition of high moral standard in line with Ghanaian cultural values.