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Penplusbytes to train Liberian Journalists

penplusbytesimgPenplusbytes in association with the National Black Programming Consortium is extending its successful African mining, oil and gas skills development opportunity to journalists in Liberia under the “Empowering the Media to Play an Active Watchdog Role over Mining Oil and Gas Revenue and Resources Project.”

Humanity United, an international foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, is funding the project, which would enable selected Liberian journalists to be provided with the skills required to undertake in-depth and investigative stories to better inform citizens and civil society organizations about pertinent issues regarding the oil, gas and mining sector in Liberia.

These journalists would play a critical role in holding public officials accountable while demanding transparency in government expenditures from revenues accrued from the extractive sector, a release signed by Mr Jerry Sam, Project Director, Penplusbytes and copied to Ghana News Agency said on Wednesday.

Liberia is endowed with a significant amount of natural resources notably iron ore, diamonds, gold, timber and rubber. The Liberian Basin now has proven oil reserves with a number of discoveries announced. This has intensified interest in Liberia’s oil and gas sector, albeit commercial production is yet to begin.

The release said there was the urgent need, therefore, to equip Liberian journalists with the skills and knowledge they need to play a greater role in the oversight of oil and gas resources to ensure equitable benefits to the people of Liberia now and in the future.

“We have designed this project to span a period of six months with the overall objective of improving the coverage of oil, gas and mining stories by the Liberian media, leading to an increase in the quantity and quality of media coverage of the extractive industry, using a combination of interactive sessions, discussions with technical experts, mentoring, field trips and interaction with civil society leaders”, said Mr Fred Avornyo, Oil and Gas Team leader.

Mr Michael Kleinman, Director of Investments at Humanity United said, “we are delighted to support Penplusbytes in making this learning opportunity possible for Liberian journalists as they continue their efforts to investigate and cover Liberia’’s mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.”

The project would also aim at increasing oil and gas information and knowledge exchange between the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) leading to effective opportunities for national dialogue on key oil and gas revenue management issues.

National Black Programming Consortium was founded in 1979, to develop, produce and fund media content about the Black experience for public media outlets, including television, digital radio and online.

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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