11 December 2013

Ghana: 72 Media Houses Join MFWA to Demand Whereabouts of Media Development Fund

press release

Dozens of media organisations across the country have joined the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), to demand information on the whereabouts of the Gh¢1million that was allocated in the 2012 budget as Media Development Fund (MDF).

The media organisations, majority of whom are based in districts where advertising and other sources of media revenue are literally absent, are calling on the government to honour its transparency and accountability obligations by letting Ghanaians, and the media community in particular, know the status of the fund.

On September 9, 2011, then Vice President (and now President) John Mahama announced government's plans to set up a Media Development Fund (MDF). The President made the announcement while addressing the 16th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards as the guest of honour.

Following the announcement, the then Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, in his presentation of the 2012 budget to parliament, announced that Gh¢1million has been allocated to the Fund.

Subsequently, in March 2012, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, then a Deputy Minister of Information, announced that the Gh¢1million MDF was ready and would be operational in the second quarter of 2012. In his State of the Nation on February 21, 2013, President Mahama told the nation that: "The newly established Media Development Fund aimed at improving capacity within the media will be operationalised this year." It was evident from the president's statement that the MDF was not operationalised in 2012.

Nine months after President Mahama's promise and with just a month to the end of 2013, there is no evidence of the operationalisation of the Fund. Following a media release by the MFWA on October 24, raising questions about the whereabouts of the Gh¢1million MDF, it emerged that all the key media stakeholders in the country including the national Media Commission, Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association are all unaware of what has happened to the Fund.

While there are pieces of information suggesting disagreements among stakeholders on how the fund should be managed, there has been silence on the fate of the Fund and whether or not there have been any disbursements.

Below are media organisations that have joined the crusade to demand information and accountability on the fund. The MFWA is calling on other media organisations to indicate their support for this campaign by indicating their endorsement through an email to alerts@mediafound.org

Greater Accra Region 1. The Enquirer 2. Asempa FM 3. Adom FM 4. The Lens 5. Net 2 6. Oman FM 7. Hot FM 8. Radio XYZ 9. The Statesman 10. TV Africa 11. Daily Guide 12. Guide Young Blazers 13. News One 14. New Crusading Guide 15. Ghanaian Observer 16. The New Independent 17. The Chronicle 18. Spy Ghana.com 19. Ghanabusinessnews.com Volta Region 20. Radio Jubilee 21. Faafa FM 22. Holy FM Eastern Region 23. Eastern FM 24. Rite FM 25. Life FM Western Region 26. De Beat FM 27. Space FM 28. Trickie FM 29. Kasapreko FM 30. Radio Rainbow 31. Golden Pod FM Central Region 32. Ankobra FM 33. Yes FM 34. Radio ATL 35. Spark FM 36. Radio Peace 37. Hope FM Ashanti region 38. Radio Xtacy 39. Freedom FM 40. Kessben FM 41. Spirit FM 42. Shaft FM 43. Metro FM 44. Sunsum FM 45. Fox FM Brong Ahafo 46. Success FM 47. Adars FM 48. Dormaa Community Radio 49. Vizen FM 50. Chris FM 51. Sky FM 52. Adepa FM 53. Royals FM 54. Asta FM 55. Omega Radio 56. Yankee FM 57. Max FM 58. Shalom Radio 59. Classic FM Northern Region 60. Diamond FM 61. Justice FM 62. Bishara Radio 63. Kesmi FM 64. North Star Radio 65. Filla FM Upper East Region 66. Word FM 67. Radio Builsa 68. Tanga Radio 69. Nabiina Community Radio 70. A1 Radio 71. Quality FM Upper West Region 72. Radford FM Issued by the MFWA in Accra on December 11, 2013 The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and of expression. Follow us on Twitter @mfwaalerts https://twitter.com/MFWAALERTS

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