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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Le projet sur les Elections en Afrique (AEP) couvrira les élections législatives et présidentielles au Niger 2011

 

Communiqué de presse

Niamey Niger, 29 Decembre 2010

Le projet sur les Elections en Afrique  (AEP)  couvrira les élections législatives et présidentielles au Niger 2011

Le projet sur les Elections en Afrique  (AEP) http://www.africanelections.org/niger  couvrira les élections législatives et présidentielles qui se tiendront le Lundi 31 Janvier 20011 pour élire le président de la république et les 113 membres du Parlement.  AEP a été mis en place en 2008 pour renforcer les journalistes à couvrir les élections  grâce aux Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication à travers le continent 

AEP a couvert avec succès les élections au Botswana, Namibie, Ghana, Guinée, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritanie, Mozambique, Malawi, et au Togo. Les prochaines étapes du projet sont  la couverture des élections au Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda et  Cameroun.

 L'équipe d' AEP a lancé ce jour, le projet  AEP-Niger à Niamey au cours d'une session de formation qui a regroupé des  journalistes Nigériens.

Selon Kwami Ahiabenu, II, le Responsable de l'équipe d'AEP "Avec le Niger, le projet a couvert dix pays et notre vision est que le projet contribue à une meilleure couverture des élections au Niger, grâce au travail des journalistes professionnels, des organes de presse ainsi que celui des parties prenantes clés des élections  par la fourniture d'une information indépendante  et impartiale avec les TICs .

En plus du site web   http://www.africanelections.org/niger/, AEP couvre les élections avec d'autres nouveaux media comme facebook, blogs, frontline SMS et twitter  http://twitter.com/nigerelections.

Les personnes désireuses peuvent souscrire au service des info et résultats par SMS en envoyant un message au (00227) 97 16 30 37 au Niger ou à l'international au +447537401839

Le projet African Elections -Niger est coordonné par l'Institut International de TIC journalisme  (www.penplusbytes.org ) en collaboration avec la Maison de la Presse du Niger et d'autres partenaires clefs. Open Society Initiative for West Africa www.osiwa.org  est le principal et stratégique partenaire financier du projet au Niger.

 

Fait à Niamey le 29 décembre 2010

Boubacar DIALLO
PCA Maison de la presse
mobile +227 90444535 ou 96979622

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

co-author : Because Accountability Counts – A Journalist guide for covering post-elections

Because Accountability Counts – A Journalist guide for covering post-elections in Ghana is one of the key building blocks for Ghana Post-elections Intervention Project whose main objective is to help overcome the challenges and problems affecting citizens' ability to hold elected representatives accountable for promises they make during pre-election campaigns. The guide's main objective is to empower journalists and other stakeholders
with an information and knowledge resource for playing the watch and guide dog role in holding elected officers accountable. It provides an overview of post-elections landscape of Ghana, covering governance, legislative issues, political parties and their manifestoes,ruling party, opposition and governing after an election and provides guides for covering:
1. Parliament, Political Parties, Ruling Government (mapping campaign promises
& manifesto), Opposition and Key Governance Issues
2. Investigative journalism and post-elections coverage
3. ICTs and Covering Post-Elections
4. Covering Budget and Extractive Industries and
5. Lessons to be learned from the post 2007 election crisis in Kenya

Download a copy of the the guide here

 

Monday, November 15, 2010

African Elections Project - Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire

We are running up the coverage of Guinea runoff with the declaration of provisional results by Guinea Electoral Commission Chief - Siaka Toumany Sangare
The results shows  Alpha CONDE of RPG earning 1,474,973 votes representing 52.52% of votes cast while his rival Cellou Dalein DIALLO of UFDG closely followed  with  1,333,666 votes (47.48%)

We are now looking forward to Cote d'Ivoire second run elections scheduled to take place on 28th November 2010 between Laurent Gbagbo and  Alassane Ouattara

Hopefully launch coverage of Niger 2011 elections soon as well

follow us at http://twitter.com/africanelection

join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117355568298287

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beyond the Bank: The Rise of Mobile Money in Ghana

As the number of mobile phone subscribers in Ghana increases, so does the market for mobile money services. The majority of Ghanaians lack any formal bank account. Kwami Ahiabenu II reports on how mobile money could change the shape of financial transactions in the country.

By Kwami Ahiabenu II

An estimated 80 percent of Ghanaians are "unbanked" – meaning they conduct their transactions outside the banking sector with no access to financial services. Products like "mobile money," that enable safe and secure money transfers without the use of a bank account, could have a major impact on this unserved segment of the population. Mobile money gives anyone with a mobile phone the ability to transfer money, make cash payments and conduct other financial transactions over the phone.

Mobile money is a relatively new phenomenon in Ghana. It was first introduced by the telecom company MTN a year ago. MTN Mobile Money operates in partnership with nine banks. Currently, more than 2 million Ghanaians are registered as active users. MTN expects this number to grow as a result of the resources they have committed to educating subscribers about switching from the traditional mode of cash payments to electronic payments. Earlier this year, Zain became the second mobile operator to provide mobile money services through the introduction of ZAP, working with three banks.

How Will Mobile Money Help Ghana?

With more than 15,000,000 mobile phone subscribers in Ghana, the potential market for these new services is significant. Mobile money presents certain advantages for Ghanaians without access to banks. It reduces the transaction costs of financial services for the poor, especially those in rural areas where financial services seldom exist. Mobile money saves the cost of travel and time spent visiting the nearest town to access financial services. As noted in AudienceScapes research , mobile money provides people with a way to transfer money safely and keep (or even increase) their savings.

Mobile money has the potential to create jobs directly through hiring in the mobile phone companies, partner banks and the more than 4,000 merchants involved in Ghana's mobile money system. Key partners in the provision of mobile money services include commercial banks, mobile phone operator's shops, distributor shops and accredited agents.

Jobs may be created indirectly as mobile money contributes to growth in Ghana's business and trade. If deployed successfully, mobile money could help individuals harness funds outside the banking system and channel them into the formal financial sector, thus making it easier to gather funds for investments.

Not surprisingly, the general manager of Mobile Money-MTN, Bruno Akpaka, sees many benefits for Ghana as it continues adopting this service. Akpaka believes mobile money will "help trade activities within the country and foster strong business partnerships."

"The creation of wide merchant footprints in places where traditional banks cannot go also contributes to bringing people into this new model of financial transactions," said Akpaka. "MTN Mobile Money is bridging this existing huge gap between the unbanked and the financial sector."

The Rise of E-Money Services

The introduction of mobile money service is taking place in isolation but in parallel with the advent and expansion of other financial electronic payments services. One of these is E-Zwich, an electronic platform that enables the loading and spending of electronic cash and also allows the settlement of inter-bank claims in addition to online transactions. Others are being made available over the Internet and through SMS-text messages.

The government regards these services as banking. They are strictly regulated and licensed by the Central Bank- Bank of Ghana under its branchless banking policy.

Both MTN and ZAIN SIM cards are enabled to utilize the service but each new subscriber needs to register for the service at before it is activated. Upon activation, the user is provided with a secure electronic "wallet" where funds can be disbursed or uploaded. The users can either exchange electronic money for physical cash (cash out) at shops, partner banks and accredited agents or make use of it in making purchases or transfers.

Enabling a Cash Flow to Rural Areas

In general, the most popular mobile money service is money transfer. The trend is for users in urban areas to transfer funds to recipients in rural areas. Traditionally in Ghana, city dwellers often send money to members of their extended family living in rural areas.

Other typical services include the purchase of mobile phone airtime, goods and services through electronic transfer of money from user's wallet to the merchant's account.

Commenting on money transfer via mobile phones, Carl Niikoi Ashie, an m-commerce (mobile commerce) specialist at Zain who works on ZAP, said: "The customers can 'cash in' by loading money onto their ZAP wallet, then send the money to someone else on their phone in a simple process. The person receiving the money can 'cash out' by going to any of our outlets and exchanging the e-value for physical cash. We're seeing tremendous growth in the service across the country, with more cash-in done in the major cities while cash-outs are seen predominantly in the smaller towns."

Ashie sees a lot of evidence that his product is reaching Ghana's unbanked. "Users do not need to have a bank account to use the service. Currently, there are a lot of monetary transactions that take place outside the confines of the banks and it will take a product like ZAP to fill the void while providing a secure, convenient and trustworthy channel of transaction," said Ashie. "Some customers have also requested products that will allow them to use their ZAP wallets for savings and hence enjoy interest on their savings, just as pertains in the traditional bank setting."
http://audiencescapes.org/ghana-mobile-money-branchless-banking-research-MTN-E-Zwich

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Texts a New Tool in Guinea’s Historic Election

Mobile phones turned citizens into election observers in Guinea's landmark presidential election. The technology will also be used to help voters in the upcoming September run-off poll.

By Kwami Ahiabenu II

On June 27, 2010, Guinea held what is widely being hailed as the nation's first freely run democratic election since gaining independence in 1958. A run-off between the two presidential candidates earning the most votes will take place on September 19, 2010. Another first in this landmark election process is the use of mobile phone technology.

Mobile phones have become a preferred means of communication in Africa because they are convenient and affordable relative to other methods. Most countries on the continent are now recording the use of mobile phones by all key stakeholders in their elections: from electoral officials, political parties and individual candidates, to electoral security agencies, civil society organizations, and local and international observers.

Candidates use mobile phones to raise funds and campaign. Voters can use mobile phones to verify their registration information and correct it if necessary before going to the polls. Mobile phones are also used to inform citizens about voter registration, and to inform registered voters about when, where and how to vote. And, in Guinea, phones have been used as a tool for election observation.

"If you have a problem during voting, send a text message to 8080." During the first round of elections in June, this was the message that Guineans around the country received at public forums, on the radio and in newspapers. The message advertised an election-monitoring service based on SMS text messages. The SMS service used a short code number, "8080," which enabled all mobile users in Guinea, regardless of their mobile operator, to send election-related queries, comments and report problems. The service was implemented by a coalition of government, private and business partners. These included the nonprofit group Alliance Guinea, the African Elections Project, Guinea's National Independent Election Commission (CENI), mobile operators (Areeba, Cellcom, Intercel Guinee, Orange or Sotelgui) and African Business Services.

Commenting on the SMS election-monitoring service, U.S. Ambassador Patricia Moller said at a briefing before the June election: "The United States is committed to ensuring that these are the freest and most transparent elections in Guinea's history. This innovative initiative will help to make this vision a reality…By providing voters with the means to protect their vote, we have helped to place the future of their country in the palm of their hands. This technology will allow CENI, local and international observers, and security forces to respond to incidents in real time."

After voters went to the polls, Alix Davilmar of the Guinea-based African Business Services, the providers of the short code service, declared the service a success. Davilmar said: "We received about 4,000 SMS [messages] before the day of election and on the day of elections there were approximately 8,000 SMS entries. After the Election Day, over 2,000 SMS entries also came in. These messages were all posted online and distributed as e-mail alerts to election administrators and observers, international media, civil society organizations or the general public."

The election did experience some glitches, according to the Carter Center, a U.S. NGO with expertise in observing elections which was on the ground in Guinea. In a statement, the Carter Center described some of the problems observed, "Confusion about several important aspects of voting and counting procedures, delay in allocation of polling stations, and late delivery of essential voting materials negatively affected the quality of polling."

Despite these difficulties, the period following the election has been calm and the results respected by all parties. The Carter Center itself declared the elections a success and noted, "the elections were marked by broad political participation, a spirit of open campaigning, and transparency."

Now all eyes are on the September poll, as Guineans prepare for the country's return to civilian rule.


http://audiencescapes.org/texts-new-tool-guinea-historic-election-mobile-communications-carter-center

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ghana – land of Gold, land of technology-Overview of ICT Sector

Kwami Ahiabenu,II

Introduction

Ghana can be counted among leading countries in West Africa's information and communication technology (ICT) space; its industry is growing with new developments being recorded each passing day. In recognising the potential of ICTs as an important tool, the government and industry stakeholders are aggressively pushing to accelerate the growth and development of the country in all sectors. Ghana's Extractive Economy with weak Industrial Base

At independence, the Ghanaian economy was relatively robust and well supplied with natural resources, skills and finance with an average per capita income of US $600.(1957). Over time, however, the structure of the economy has not seen any significant change, it is still an extractive-based economy with gold, timber and cocoa constituting its main sources of foreign exchange.

Another key characteristic of its economy is a heavy dependence on international financial and technical assistance in all sectors, which has inevitably resulted in an enormous external debt portfolio. In order to tackle its mounting external debts, 2002 saw Ghana opting for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) scheme, a World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt relief initiative. As a result of the HIPC programme, Ghana will save a total of US$230 million annually in debt service costs over 2004-2013, according to IMF estimates. To deal with the growing levels of poverty, Ghana has also developed Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) which chronicles its "agenda for growth and prosperity.

KEY ICT SECTORS IN GHANA AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

If the performance of a stock exchange is a strong indication of a country's investment climate, then Ghana is an attractive prospect for those seeking a good return on investment. The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is among the best performing markets in the world. In 2003, it outperformed the effective yield of the benchmarked 91 and 182 day Treasury bills with market capitalisation rising by 104% while market turnover in value terms was up 335%.

Furthermore there a rising number of entrepreneurs running a number of successful ICT and ICT-enabled businesses, a strong indication of the significant potential for growth of ICT enterprises in Ghana.

The ICT sector is enjoying sustained growth in key areas such as ICT training, internet service provision, business outsourcing processing, telecommunications and software.

Telecommunications
Telecommunications remains the top growth area both in the area of fixed and mobile telephony, though mobile telephony is the leader in this sector; currently there are two national fixed line operators in Ghana – Ghana Telecom (GT) and Westel.

Westel has not been able to meet its rollout obligations as a second national operator and the National Communication Authority (NCA) initially imposed a fine of a little over US $71 million on the company. While through government intervention the figure has being reduced to US$25milion, Westel continues to mount a court battle to avoid paying the fine.

Generally, GT remains the biggest ICT player in Ghana by the virtue of its combined fixed lines; mobile telephony, international bandwidth wholesaling and ISP service offerings.

Mobile Telephony
Long waiting periods for fixed telephony – in some cases up to a year - plus limited availability in most areas of the country, has fueled the rapid growth of the mobile telephony business in Ghana. With four mobile operators, namely GT (One Touch) Milicom (Mobitel), Scancom (Spacefon) and Cell Tel (Kasapa) servicing the needs of an estimated one and half million mobile phone subscribers. Spacefon remains the market leader with 800,000 plus subscribers. Furthermore, with the recent introduction of advanced mobile communications technology such as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), the operator is able to offer multimedia services including Internet browsing.

Kasapa prides itself on being the most inexpensive provider of cellular calls. Its business model has to date proven to be highly successfully, cost effectively offering cheap call rates by avoiding the use of fancy technology. It remains the only non-GSM cellphone provider to date, relying rather on analogue technology, and offers free activation and starter packs.

Mobitel is Ghana's first cellphone company, and initially dominated the industry as a leader for some time prior to the introduction of competing operators. Unfortunately, it did not recognise that GSM was the driving force of mobile telephony, and thus it did not rush to implement the technology. Failure to capitalise on this market current cost it dearly as competitor Spacefon introduced GSM and subsequently took a very significant share of the market. In the interim, however, Mobitel has successful implemented its GSM system and it is working hard to gain market share.

With a strong sales drive, One Touch was dominant for some time, but the company has taken a decision to stop selling services to new subscribers due to lack of capacity on its switches. It recently expanded its network significantly and it is poised to take a healthy proportion of the growing Ghanaian cellular market.

Developing human capital for ICTs
Ghana has adequate human resources to drive ICT growth and development, but faces the well documented issue of the significant skills gap that persists in Africa, especially in the high level ICT skills area. This situation is compounded by a brain drain effect, where top professionals - including ICT-trained individuals – are lured away to First World countries. Currently there is enormous demand for ICT training, which presents a host of investment opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The ICT human resource landscape is characterised by four types of ICT training opportunities. At the upper level, tertiary institutions - mostly universities - are focused on producing computer science, engineering and information system graduates. In recent times, an increasing number of private universities have initiated operations in Ghana, with most providing ICT-based training, filling the training gap resulting from the lack of capacity of public sector universities.

The second type of training is competence-based instruction, which is aimed at producing specific ICT skills as required by industry verticals. This level of training is a niche market with few institutions offering services in this area; there is therefore a significant level of opportunity that can be tapped by appropriate providers.

The next level of training is end user training at the mass market level. There are a number of training schools providing service in this area; at this level the market is somewhat saturated.

A growing phenomenon is teaching computer literacy in schools. This opportunity carose as most formal schools in Ghana do not provide computer literacy. With many schools now outsourcing their training needs to third parties instead of developing their own computer centres, opportunities exist for providers of such facilities and equipment to address the market need for basic computer literacy at the school-learner level. The Ministry of Education is encouraging and working with such training schools, but it is constrained by lack of a policy to guide the process, as well as the absence of predefined ICT curriculum for the schools.

Internet Service provision
Internet service provision is also another area of considerable growth and opportunity in Ghana. There are a number of ISPs working under an industry body, Ghana Internet Service Providers (GISPA) which is working to regulate the provision of Internet connectivity on the country. The success of the body in regulating the industry has been demonstrated in a recent case where Ghana Telecom was offering cheap bandwidth through its ISP division, while selling at a higher price to other ISPs - GISPA successful negotiated price reduction to create a fair environment in which the ISPs could conduct their business.

Though a considerable number of end users make use of dial up Internet access, most Ghanaians tend to use the Internet at public access cyber cafes, which are dotted all over the country. However, due to high costs including that of bandwidth, most cyber cafes in Ghana are struggling to break even.

Outsourcing in Ghana and Software Development
There are a number of outsource service provider companies in Ghana, including Affiliated Computer Services, Rising Data Solutions, AQ Solutions and Supra Telecom.

However, Supra Telecom has closed shop, since its parent company in the US filed for bankruptcy.

Ghana is positioned to benefit from outsourcing business opportunities, but it must establish an enabling environment including a pool of high quality yet affordable English-speaking computer literate workers as well as an inexpensive telecommunication infrastructure. Generally, Ghana has a long way to go before it can call itself a true outsourcing location.

Local development of software is becoming popular with a number of software companies and consultancies providing solutions in this area; some are already exporting their products. Local software development, however, remains an industry in its infancy and therefore presents an area of potential growth.

Government ICT
The Ministry of Communication is the leading government organ responsible for ICT in Ghana and is charged with the responsibility of coordinating government use of ICTs. In 2002, it developed an ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4D) policy which articulates the vision of transforming Ghana into an information-rich knowledge-based society and economy through the development, deployment and exploitation of ICTs within the economy and society. The key focus of the government is to create enabling environment to nurture the development of the ICT industry in the country.

Challenges facing ICT development in Ghana
Perhaps the most significant issue facing development in Ghana is a reality that confronts many African countries – it has a cash-based economy with limited development of its financial services infrastructure. With over 80% of money in circulation outside the banking system, finding affordable loans and credit is very difficult if not impossible. This situation has lead to the small scale nature of most ICT businesses since they are constrained in their capacity to expand. Furthermore, the size of the ICT market is relatively small since most organisations which can benefit from ICTs products and services are slow to invest in this area.

Lack of policy implementation, lack of telecommunications infrastructure and poor regulatory environments are also affecting the growth and development of the industry.

Ghana's ICTs industry is highy visible internationally with a lot of opportunities yet to be leveraged. It has chalked up many successes but there is a long way to go for ICTs to contribute significant to growth and development of the country and overtake the traditional resources exports which include gold, cocoa and timber.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nurturing Media in West Africa

The West African Media Development Fund opens it doors to facilitate the growth of media in the region. AudienceScapes interviewed the fund's CEO about their plans to sow the seeds of a vibrant and pluralistic media sector.

By Kwami Ahiabenu II

The growth and development of the media as a business venture in West Africa is hindered by a number of factors. The region possesses a limited professional capacity to produce journalism, operating a media outlet is expensive, access to credit facilities is limited and the cost of borrowing is typically high. These factors are threatening the growth of pluralistic media in the region.

To solve some of these challenges, media funds have been established to provide media organizations with affordable and readily available lines of credit. Examples of media funds active on the continent include country-based funds like the Tanzania Media Fund, regional funds like the Southern Africa Media Development Fund, and at the global level, the Media Development Loan Fund.

Media organizations in West Africa were encouraged when the West Africa Media Development Fund (WAMDEF) was set up. Launched in April of this year, WAMDEF will provide financial support to privately owned, independent media organizations established on weak capitalization and operating under precarious economic regimes.

From its headquarters in Accra, Ghana, Kwasi Owusu Asare, chief executive officer of WAMDEF, spoke to AudienceScapes about the progress of the fund and his vision for the future:

AudienceScapes: Can you tell us more about WAMDEF, when it was established and why the need for such a fund?

Asare: WAMDEF was launched on the 13th of April 2010 as an initiative of the Media Foundation for West Africa and Free Voice of the Netherlands. This was after comprehensive research had been conducted which showed clearly the challenges independent media had in accessing credit for growth.  The WAMDEF Fund does not only provide credit, but also provides technical support which is critical to the support/sustainability of these businesses.

AudienceScapes: What is your geographical coverage and do you have country offices or representatives?

Asare: Our mandate is to work in all West African countries, but currently we do not have in-country offices, though we are planning to develop this in the near future. We are currently using an in-country representative of MFWA which has a presence in all West African countries.

AudienceScapes: Why is a special case being made for media funding in the region instead of the media being empowered to apply for commercial lending?

Asare: This is because the media has the challenge of not being able to meet the requirement for credit of most financial institutions in the subregion, plus the media is generally seen as a high-risk venture.

AudienceScapes: Who qualifies to tap into the fund and what is the procedure for doing so?

Asare: Basically, any registered news and information disseminating agency, registered and operating within the subregion, is qualified to apply. An applicant has to visit WAMDEF to download an application form. After submission of the form, it will be assessed and a decision communicated to the applicant within 8 weeks.

AudienceScapes: Does WAMDEF have any particular focus in the types of media organizations it will select for funding? Any priorities?

Asare: WAMDEF is particularly interested in news and information-dissemination independent media organizations.

AudienceScapes: Do you providing funding for new media?

Asare: Yes.

AudienceScapes: Do you have any funding opportunities for freelancers or sole proprietorship-type media operations?

Asare: Each media organization is assessed based on its merit.

AudienceScapes: Are funds provided interest free? And typically what is the duration for paying back such funds?

Asare: Our portfolio includes:

* Quick operating loans of up to $10,000, repayable between 60-120 days.
* Short-term loans between $10,000 and $50,000, repayable between 120 days and 2 years.
* Medium-term loans between $50,000 and $100,000, repayable between 3 and 5 years.
* Long-term loans between $100,000 and $200,000 repayable between 5 and 7 years.

Please visit our website for more information. These options are not cast in stone but are assessed and dealt with on case-by-case basis. These loans are not interest free but are offered at much lower interest rate (60-70% less) than prevailing commercial rates in the country of the applicant.

AudienceScapes: How many applications have you received so far?

Asare: Some 30 applications have so far been received, and more keep coming in.

AudienceScapes: Has WAMDEF made any investments yet?

Asare: We will be making our first investments in September 2010.

AudienceScapes: What kind of technical assistance do you expect to deliver the most? What do you see as the greatest technical assistance needs for media organizations?

Asare: The greatest technical assistance media organizations needs are its internal systems. Most of them have no software to harness revenue, ensure internal control, track performance, etc. Closely following these are the human resource capacities especially in the areas of management and general leadership.

AudienceScapes: What are some of your key challenges and achievements over your short period of operations?

Asare: The general volume of financial requests is a testament to the fact that private independent media needs support and we need more partners in this venture.

AudienceScapes: What is your vision for the fund and how do you see contributing to the growth of free and vibrant media in the region?

Asare: The fund will definitely make a major contribution to the strengthening of democracy in the subregion.

source: http://www.audiencescapes.org/intermedia-nurturing-media-west-africa-media-development-fund

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Africa Media and Democracy Conference PROGRAMME DETAILS

ACCRA- GHANA -PROGRAMME DETAILS:

 

DAY-1 – 18   AUGUST 2010

 

7.00 am-10.00am - REGISTRATION

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9.30am WELCOME COCTAIL RECEPTION & CULTURAL PERORMANCE BY    THE GHANA DANCE ENSEMBLE.

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10.00 am –10.05 am - INTRODUCTION & WELCOME: MRS - DEMAY ALARBI

10.05 am– 10.15am - CHAIRMAN OPEN REMARKS - PROF. KWAMI KARIKARI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (Media Foundation For West Africa-MFWA)

10.15 am -10.25 am- ADDRESS BY DIRECTOR OF AMDMC- BARIMA ADU-ASAMOA

10.25am- 10.50 am-OFFICIAL OPENING ADDRESS BY H.E. JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMAH - THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF GHANA.

10.50am – 11.10am - CHAIRMAN CLOSING  REMARKS

 

 *GROUP PHOTOGRAPH - ALL DELEGATES AND VIPS

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11.10am – 12.00pm TEA & COCOA BREAK

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PLENARY -1: NEW MEDIA & DEMOCRACY

Dedicated To The Memory of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (1909 - 1972)

 

TIME: 12.10pm -1.10 pm                  

                         

CHAIRPERSON: BAFFOUR ANKOMAH, EDITOR - NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE (UK)

 

(1)YANG JIOA- Identity, social rights and the role of the internet media: A case study of Chinese entrepreneurs in Ghana. University of Florida. (USA)

(2) EDDIE CAVINES OMBAGI- Digital Media and Democracy: How the internet is changing the Face of African Politics. Kabianga University College. (MALAWI)

 (3)AKIN IWILADENew media, Intermediality and the future of Democracy in Nigeria.Obafemi Awolowo University. (NIGERIA)

(4) DR. CHRISTY BEST-The New Media as Tools for Participatory, Democracy and Good Governance. University.(NIGERIA)

(5)MESHACH OFUAFOR - The Influence of "New Media" forms on Media Reportage and Democracy in Nigeria. Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife.  (NIGERIA)

(6) AHIABENU KWAMI, II- Covering elections in Africa using mobile phones.

 (Director, International Institute for ICT Journalism and Consultant, African Elections Project. (Ghana)

 CHAIRPERSON CLOSING REMARKS

 

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1.10pm– 2.00pm - LUNCH

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PLENARY -2: MEDIA & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MADAM FATHIA NKRUMAH (1932-  2007).

 

TIME: 2.00pm- 3.00pm

 

CHAIRPERSON: MR. GABBY OCHERE-DARKO, DIRECTOR, - DANQUAH INSTITUTE

(7)  ORLANDO BAMA: Assessing media development in developing societies: in search of a new paradigm for Africa in the late modern age.

(Institute of Communication Studies – University of Leeds)

(8) IGINIO GAGLIARDONE: New media, new players, new questions: towards new models for media development. (UK)

(Stanhope Centre - London School of Economics)

(9) PROF.RAN JIJUN Transcending the African paradigm: seeking a PR strategy with Chinese characteristics.

(Department of International Studies – Foreign Affairs University – Bejing)

 (10) DR. LI XIFENG: Perspectives on the role of China in the development of the CHINA. African media sector. (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)(CHINA)

(11)  DR.NICOLE STREMLAU: Problematizing press freedom rankings

(Programme of Comparative Media Law and Politics – Oxford University)

CHAIRPERSON CLOSING REMARKS

3.00pm – CLOSE

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THE ACCRA TOUR - 19th AUGUST 2010 – TIME: 3.00pm – 5.00pm

THE ACCRA TOUR:  Visit the Mausoleum of one of Africa's most influential political leaders and political philosophers in the 20th century, Osagyfou Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first President of Ghana and principal advocate of Pan-Africanism. Take a trip to the Dubois Centre in memory of leading African – American scholar and major intellectual icon of the Africana World, then follow up to the George Padmore Library, dedicated to the memory of Dr. George Padmore, the West-Indian Pan-Africanist and special adviser to Ghana's first President. George Padmore greatly influenced Dr. Nkrumah's Pan-African project: The political liberation of Africa.

 W.E.B DuBOIS CENTER: The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture is a national historic monument of Ghana, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture.  The final resting place of W.E.B. and Shirley Graham Du Bois, this major World tourist site houses the mausoleum, personal library, and museum of the Du Boises' rich lives as influential American and Pan-African thinkers and activists.  The Centre was created, in 1985, as a research institution for Pan-African history and culture, and as a crucible for African/Diasporan creativity and promotion of the social, political, cultural, and intellectual legacy of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois.

THE ACCRA  TOUR   SCHEDULE (Local Time)

  • Date: 19th August 2010 (Tuesday)
  • Departure from  Conference Venue:  3.00 pm – 5.00 pm
  • End of tour:  5. 00pm

 

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6.00pm  – 8pm SOCIAL/NETWORKING @NIC

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DAY-2 – 19th AUGUST 2010

 

7am -10am-REGISTRATION

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10.00 am – 10.05am -Introduction & Welcome

10.05am – 10.10am – CHAIRPERSON:  PROF. DR.DR. DANIEL BUOR, VICE-CHANCELLOR, VALLEY VIEW UNIVERSITY.

10.15am- 10.25 am– KEY NOTE ADDRESS: DR. KWADJO AFARI DJAN (Chairman Electoral Commission of Ghana)

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PLENARY- 3 – MEDIA, ELECTIONS & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF DR. W.E.B  DUBIOS (1868 – 1963)

 

TIME: 10.00am -11.00am

 

CHAIRPERSON DR. GARETH STANTON, GOLDSMITH, UNIVERSITY OF LONDN

 (12)FREDRICK OGENGA-Fast-Track programme, electoral land grabs or local South African press expressing fears of a Zimbabwe in South Africa? The representation of economic collapse in Zimbabwe. University of Witwatersrand.(SOUTH AFRICA)

 (13) TAYE C. OBATERU- Ethnic in Media Coverage of Elections and the Electoral Process. University of JOS. (NIGERIA)

 (14) AKPOJIVI UFUMA-The fairness clause: an examination of media freedom during electioneering period in Nigeria. (UK)

(15)  JEFF JOHN KABONDOThe Media and Democracy in Malawi: Reflection on Malawi's Electoral Democracy. (MALAWI)

 (16) JANICE WINTER, Mediating Polarities in South Africa's Defensive Democracy. Axes Programme on Journalism and Democracy - (UK)

CHAIRMAN CLOSING REMARKS

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11.00 am– 11.15am TEA & COCOA BREAK

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PLENARY -4:  MEDIA, SOCIETY & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF DR.  JOHN CLERKE   (1915-1998)

 

TIME: 11.15am -12.45pm

 

CHAIRPERSON:  PROF. KWESI  YANKAH  -  PRO VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF GHANA.

(17)DR. SIMEON H.O. ALOZIEUWA- Media, Ownership Influence and Crisis\Conflict Situation in a Multi- Ethnic Society: Toward a Framework for Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria. (NIGERIA).

 (18) UTULU, ANTHONY U & AWOPEJU AYO -The role of the Media in the Concept of good Governance in Nigeria. (NIGERIA)

(19) DANIEL NKRUMAH-Defying the odds: Ghanaian media thrive despite difficult challenges. (Daily Graphic – Accra) (GHANA)

(20)TIMOTHY QUIASHIGAH-From " Radioracy" to " Radiocrazy": The Evolution of (GHANA.)

 (21) DAN ELLA, Media truth and crisis management: The Jos Experience (NIGERIA)

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12.45pm– 1.45pm LUNCH

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1.45-2.45: CULTURAL PERFORMANCE BY THE GHANA DANCE EMSEMBLE@NIC

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MEDIA WORKSHOP PRORAMME-1

2.45 pm – 3.45pm

 

CHAIRPERSON: AMBASSADOR KRABAL BLAY-AMIHERE

(Chairman, National Media Commission, Ghana)

 

LEAD SPEAKER: ALOYS BATUNGWANAYO:

'THE BURUNDIAN EXPERIENCE' (LA BENEVOLENCIJA BURUNDI). The session is based on the research of 15 Journalists from different media houses currently implementing a media/election program in Burundi. Mbariza Ntore ("inform us so we can vote"): journalistic unity in the land of political pluralism. A media synergy project in Burundi to Improve Journalistic Reporting around the 2010 Elections. The presentation will be structured around two concepts: first, understanding the Burundian (central African) context and second, the explanation of a combined media synergy project that accompanies the elections of 2010.

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MEDIA WORKSHOP PRORAMME-2

 

3.45 – 4.45:

OVERVIEW: Informing responsibly: A National Duty? The focus of this programme is to provide participants with critical insight on the role, responsibility and pitfalls in covering/reporting elections. It is intended to provide participants with a legal, constitutional and ethical framework in a local context, but equally draws on diverse examples such as United Kingdom, U.S.A etc.

 

PANEL MEMBERS:

CHAIRPERSON: BOBBY W. LIVINGSTONE, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INFORMATION NATIONAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION. (LIBERIA)

 

(a)   Panel Member :  BAFFOUR ANKOMAH, EDITOR - New African Magazine

(b)   Panel Member : GABBY OTCHERE-DARKO,  Director, -  Danquah Institute

(c)    Panel  Member: PROF. KARIKARI ,  Executive Director, -Media Foundation For West Africa.

(d)   Panel Member : NANA SERWA ASAMOAH –(LLB, FC, LB)

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(e)    4.45pm – 5.45pm - CUTULRAL PERFORMANCE BY GHANA DANCE ENSEMBLE

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6.00pm - CLOSE


DAY-3 – 20th August 2010

 

7am -10am-REGISTRATION

10.00 am – 10.10am -Introduction & Welcome

10.00am – 10.15am – CHAIRPERSON: DR. AUDREY GADZEKPO

 

10.15 – 10.45 – KEY  NOTE ADDRESS: PROF. KWAME  KARIKARI , (Executive Director MFW).

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10.45 – 11.00 TEA & COCOA BREAK

 

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PLENARY -5 MEDIA & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF SOJOUNER TRUTH  (1797 – 1883)

 

TIME:11.00-12.00

 

CHAIRPERSON: DR. AUDREY GADZEKPO  AG. DIRECTOR SCHOOL OF

COMMUNICATIONS,  UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON.

 (22)MISS JOYCE N.OMWOHA- Talk Radio In Kenya: Mediating Public Discourses On Democracy And Good Governance .University Of Witwatersrand.(SOUTH AFRICA)

 (23)MISBAHUDEEN AHMED-RUFAI- Lessons From The Past And Lessons From Abroad.Harold Washington College.(U.S.A)

 (24)  EKUNDAYO AFOLABI- The Africa Media And Democracy.(NIGERIA))

(25) JENDELE HUNGBO - Talking to the polls: election discourses in two radio talk shows in post-apartheid South Africa. (WITWATERAND-SA)

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PLENARY -6 :MEDIA, GENDER & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF DR. PATRICE LUMUMBA (1925–1961)

 

TIME:12.00 -1.00

 

CHAIRPERSON : MRS. JEANNETTE QUARCOOPOME, MFW

(26)NICHOLAS A.BASTINE-The Role Of The Media In Protecting Womens and Children's Rights in Democratic Ghana- Lensing The Trokosi System In Ghana.Canada.

 (27) AUGUSTIN-UFUA ENAHORO: Media, Gender And Democracy: The Nigerian Video  Industry As A Paradigm.University of JOS, (NIGERIA)

(28) SAMUEL BENAGRVestiges of the Postcolonial in Ghanaian video film practice.University Of Bedfordshire.

PROF.  KATE ADOO ADEKU AND AMIE JOOF, .Gender, Media and Governance : Experiences from some African countries. (GHANA/SENEGAL)

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1.00pm – 2.00pm  - Lunch

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PLENARY -7  MEDIA, CONFLICT  & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF  CHEIKH ANTA DIOP (1923 -  1986)

 

TIME:2.00-3.00

 

CHAIRPERSNON : MRS. JEANNETTE QUARCOOPOME

(29) BAMIDELE OLUWASEUN- Utilizing Informatioin Media To Revitalize The Political Education For Sustainable Democracy In Sub-Saharan Africa.Faith Acadamy,Ota.(NIGERIA)

 (30) GODFREY DANAAN- Ethnic Conflicts And Media Interventions In A Democracy: The Jos Episode.University Of JOS.(NIGERIA)

(31) ELIJAH CHIWOTA: Doing Good Governance From The Grassroots- A Mwanachi Perspective.Zimbabwe.(ZIMBABWE)

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PLENARY -8 MEDIA & DEMOCRACY

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF AMY GARVEY ( 1895– 1973)

 

TIME: 3.00pm -4.00pm

 

 CHAIRPERSNON: PROF. BARFUOR ADJEI-BARWUAH

(32)AKPOJIVI UFUOMA- The Fairness Clause: An Examination Of Media Freedom During Electioneering Period In Nigeria .(UK)

(33)YANG JIAO- Internet, Investment Policies And Chinese Entrepreneurs In Ghana. University Of Florida.(U.S.A)

(34)BARNABAS  THONDHLANA- Media, Political Rhetoric's And Political Violence.Zimbabwe.(ZIMBABWE)

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 MEDIA WORK SHOP -3

 5.00pm-  6.00pm  SESSION-2: PANEL DISCUSSION: 'Announcing of elections results' ahead of an Electoral Commission: When does 'announcing' become 'endorsement' of a particular political party contesting a democratic election?

The Panel aims to address and examine among others the location of such media practices, their constitutional legitimacy and their relevance to freedom of information in a democratic dispensation. It will seek to address media practises such as the 'announcing of elections results' ahead of an Electoral Commission or the 'deployment of Press Conferences' by political parties as political posturing during voting and ballot counting period of an election. The conference will address both the constitutional and ethical issues that arise from such practices and provide context for comparison, dialogue and analysis between media practices situated in different cultural-political environment. When does 'announcing' become 'endorsement' of a particular political party contesting a democratic election? What is the impact on the electorate of such early announcements of election results from electoral constituencies? What are the implications for social and national cohesion of such practice in fiercely contested elections? what is the way forward?

The  Panel  is represented  by the Four (4) major political parties in Ghana  that contested the  last (2008) General Elections.

 

CHAIRPERSON: DR. YAW BAODU-AYEBOAFOH (General Manager –Newspapers-Graphic Corporation)

 

Panel Member: MR.  BERNARD MONAH  - PNC ( General-Secretary)

Panel Member: MR. WLIIAM  DOWOKPOR - (Communications Director) CPP

Panel Member: MR. ASIEDU-NKATIA  - (General –Secretary) NDC

Panel Member: MR. AKOTO AMPAW - LLB ( Member Ghana Bar Association,& Coalition on the Rights of Information Bill) Ghana

Panel Member: MR.  DAN BOTWE  -  NPP

 

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6.00pm-6.30pm: OFFICIAL CLOSING CEREMONY ………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 


 http://amdmc.org/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MCT starts election reporting training for journalists

The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) will run training on election reporting for print-media journalists in the country between now and early August, this year. The MCT Manager for Publications, Research and Documentation, John Mireny said a total of 230 journalists will be trained under the programme supported by the UNDP Election Project Support (EPS) for Tanzania for the 2010 general elections. Nine trainers who will conduct the election reporting training began a five-day Training of Trainers (TOT) course at the MCT headquarters in Dar es Salaam on July 12.

Two facilitators – one Tanzanian Fili Karashani of Tanzania Press Centre and a Ghanaian - Kwami Ahiabenu,II   a consultant at  African Election Project,  are running the course attended by editors and senior editors drawn from a number of media  houses and media training centres. According to the MCT Executive Secretary, Kajubi Mukajanga, the course is intended to hone the professional skills of the journalists in covering  the  forthcoming general elections.

He told the participants for the TOT course at a brief opening ceremony, that they are expected to coach and mentor the mid-career journalists between now and November, this year. The trainers will conduct three-day courses for journalists in zones throughout the country.

The general elections in Tanzania are expected to be held on October 31, this year.

end