The forum, which is organized by the by International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes), is being held at the iLab in Sinkor, Monrovia. It brings together seven Liberian journalists. The seven journalists, including this writer, were selected among 40 journalists, who initially applied for the training.
Penplusbytes is a registered company limited by guarantee since 18th July 2001. The organization seeks to empower the media through the use of ICTs to advance the work of journalism. It consists of a network of media organizations and journalists interested in using ICTs effectively to advance journalism.
Speaking at the start of the forum, an official of Penplusbytes, Mr. Kwami Ahiabenu, II, explained that the workshop is intended to build the capacity of the Liberian media to play a watchdog role in Liberia’s emerging oil and gas sector.
Mr. Ahiabenu described the oil and gas sector as a “big game change” not only for today, but for future generations.
Against this backdrop, the official of Penplusbytes underscored the need for the media to be adequately informed in order to adequately inform the larger society.
“Such a training forum like this is intended to make sure that politicians reduce corruption, since it cannot be eradicated completely,” he stated.
“The natural resources belong to the people. Every citizen deserves direct benefit from the oil and gas industry,” he added.
For his, the Executive Director of the African Center for Energy Policy, Mr. Mohammed Amin Adam, pointed out that even though the oil and gas sector comes with greater revenue generation and job opportunities, it also comes with dangers.
He named some of the dangers as conflict, environment issues and corruption.
Because of this, Mr. Adam, who is a former official of the Ghanaian Government, wants a vibrant media that will ensure accountability in the sector.