An intensive virtual training for journalists in Finance and Economics has ended with a closing ceremony in Accra. The training christened the Finance and Economics Clinic held for journalists from Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Volta regions, was organized by El de D Consult, a marketing communication firm and supported by the Public Affairs Section of the United States of America Embassy in Accra.
The training workshop which begun in November last year ended in June with the participants, taken through various topics including Introduction to Macro Economics, Economic History of Ghana, Introduction to Finance and Financial Markets, Covid-19 and the Economy and the National Electronic Payment System. Other topics treated included Originating and Execution Debt Transactions and the workings of the World Bank in Ghana among others.
The training programme though virtual, had face-to-face sessions held in Ho, Takoradi, Kumasi and Accra, for data journalism sessions. All the face-to-face sessions except in Accra, had the Regional Economic Planning Officers of the respective regions interact with the participants and made presentations on the form and nature of the regional economies.
Speaking at the closing ceremony in Accra, the Counselor at the Public Affairs Section of the United State Embassy in Accra, Virginia Elliott, urged the journalists to put the knowledge acquired to good use. She said the US government is a strong advocate of free speech and will therefore assist any effort to build the capacity of journalists to enable them to perform their roles more effectively.
The President of the Ghana Journalists Association Afail Monney, said he was unapologetic of his firm believe in equipping journalists with the requisite knowledge to do their work. He therefore commended El de D Consult for the initiative and urged the organization not to relent in its efforts to train journalists in the specialized area of Finance and Economics.
Other speakers at the closing ceremony was the External Affairs Officer at the World Bank Ghana Office, Ken Fosu, who linked the work of journalists to the fight against poverty and development of a country, which he explained was a major focus of the World Bank. He said the Bank was therefore interested in the capacity building of journalists as that complements the work of the Bank.
Chief Executive of El de D Consult, Fred Avornyo noted that building the capacity of journalists in financial reporting is non-negotiable.
He explained that “it is only when the leaders know that they are being watched and watched by those who have the capacity to analyze the implications of their policies, that they will be forced to sit up and do the right thing, at all times”. He said that despite the daunting challenges, efforts will be made to sustain the Finance and Economics Clinic and call on organizations to support this worthy cause.
Although the 4th edition of the Finance and Economics Clinic sought to train 30 journalists, over 25 journalists actively participated in the virtual training while 15 other journalists were invited to participate in the face-to-face sessions. A virtual platform has been created to continue to engage the journalists beyond the formal closing of the training.