By Redeemer Buatsi
The Lebanese Community in Ghana has given scholarships to four Ghanaian participants to attend a groundbreaking investigative journalism seminar organized by research and education think tank, Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA).
The scholarships, which will enable the participants to pay for the registration fees of the seminar, were presented to the participants by Mr. Ali H. Halabi, Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana on behalf of the Lebanese Community in Ghana. The beneficiaries of the scholarships are from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
The support to the four participants is provided under the Lebanese Scholarship Award Scheme. The scholarship award scheme has provided funds for over 100 Ghanaian students who are pursuing various programs at the Ghana Institute of Journalism; University of Ghana, Legon; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), as well as providing support for the children of fallen heroes in the security services.
Presenting the sponsorship package to the four participants in Accra on Thursday, Mr. Halabi reiterated the Lebanese community’s commitment to providing support to positive initiatives which are aimed at promoting public accountability and supporting the building of strong and transparent institutions in Ghana.
He emphasized that investigative journalism is key to building and enabling strong, transparent, and accountable institutions and welcomed efforts by ACILA in providing capacity building to the media to enable the media to play its watchdog role effectively.
Commenting on the choice of sponsoring participants to the ACILA seminar, Mr. Halabi said that the Lebanese Community decided to support the four participants to attend the investigative journalism seminar organized by ACILA based on the recommendationsthe Lebanese Community had received attesting to ACILA’s reputation and capacity in providing capacity building to the media in investigative journalism.
It was learnt that ACILA members have had substantial practice in investigative journalism and have also facilitated five capacity building workshops/seminars in investigative journalism for journalists in collaboration with organizations such as Dakar-based Panos Institute West Africa and Tiger Eye. In addition, ACILA recently delivered five lectures in investigative journalism gratis to about 400 students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
The two-day seminar, which is scheduled for June 23 -24, 2017, in Accra, will feature formal lectures by journalism professors along with case studies by award winning and practicing investigative journalists from JOYFM, Metro TV, Graphic, GH One, among others.
In a follow-up interview with Mr. William Nyarko, Executive Director of ACILA, he commended the Lebanese Community in Ghana for providing support to the four participants to attend the seminar.
He said that the participants will be equipped with knowledge and skills from the seminar to enable them to provide accurate and reliable information to the public to foster quality citizen participation in Ghana’s democratic governance and engender demand for responsiveness and accountability from duty bearers.
ACILA is incorporated under US law as a 501(c) (3) research and education, non-partisan, and non-profit think tank and also under Ghana law as a non-governmental organization. Its focus areas are good governance and anti-corruption (includes capacity building for the media in investigative journalism), international criminal justice, human rights, rule of law, and monitoring African states’ compliance with regional and international instruments.