The International Institute of ICT Journalism’s (Penplusbytes) on Monday started a 10-day media training programme with the focus on the effects of the fledging oil sector on fishing and other aquatic life.
Mr Kwami Ahiabenu, President of Penplusbytes told the Ghana News Agency at the opening of the programme that the impact of the oil and gas sector on fishing has become a major national issue, hence the need for the journalists attending the training to be aided to explore the phenomenon.
Penplusbytes in collaboration with Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) is undertaking the “Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors dubbed “Reporting on Oil, Gas and Mining” Course B training workshop. It is being attended by journalists from media organisations across the country.
Phase one of the course took the participating journalists to Uganda where they joined their counterparts in that Uganda and Tanzania to learn about the challenges in the oil and gas industry among other issues.
Mr Ahiabenu said the journalists would also discuss issues like “local content” and look at which group of Ghanaians are involved in the oil and gas local content and where they are positioned.
Oil workers agitation on salary disparities as well as issues on oil production law, revenue, illegal mining and other technical matters would also be looked at, he noted.
He explained that there would be expert presentations by top industry players as well as a practical field visit to the Western Region, Ghana’s key oil and gas production region where the journalists would meet with community members and leaders to discuss pertinent issues affecting the exploitation, utilisation, benefits and challenges of oil and gas from the affected population perspective.
“The training programme is simply a testament to our recognition of the importance of the role of a well-informed media in ensuring that Ghana reaps the utmost benefit of her natural resource exploitation through training a knowledgeable breed of committed journalists in the media to uphold and help safeguard the advantages that would accrue from the sector,” Mr Ahiabenu said.
Mr Emmanuel Kuyole, Africa Regional Coordinator, NRGI who took the journalist through the overview of the oil and gas law asked the journalists go to the right sources for information regarding oil sector so that they could well inform the public.
Other speakers expected to address the trainees are Dr Mohammed Amin Adam of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Dr S.K Donyina, Senior Lecturer of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology , and Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu of the Central University.