The Managing Editor for Environmental Guide, Mr. William Sarpong and two other Journalists emerged winners of the 6th OFAB 2023 Media Awards held in Accra.
The award ceremony is to celebrate media personnel who have worked with OFAB Ghana for years
Mr. Reuben Quainoo of Ghana Agricultural & Rural Development Association (GARDJA) won the the radio category and was presented with a plaque and other items including cash.
The online category award went to Lydia Ezit of Graphic Communications Ltd and the Runner-Up went to Mr. Williams Sarpong, Managing Editor for Environmental Guide platform.
The OFAB Champion 2023 award went to Dr. Ibrahim Atokple, the first Principal Investigator who started the PBR Cowpea project in Ghana and took home a plague.
The National Coordinator at the OFAB Ghana, Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw in his welcome address indicated that, OFAB have been in existence in Ghana for so many years and has taken upon itself to honour journalists reporting on science related issues .
Scientists and the media according to almost do the same job of research to educate and inform for betterment of humanity.
He expressed appreciations to the awardees for their excellent write ups to create awareness of biotechnology associated GMOs to the general public.
Dr. Richard Ampadu therefore, called for the involvement of more media personnel in creating awareness to ensure food security for Ghana and Africa in general through biotechnology approach adding that, food is essential in human life. Food security he mentioned is a matter of Concerned to everyone.
He revealed that very soon, Ghana is going to release the first GMO Cowpea crop to benefit the entire nation and Africa as well.
The Chairman for the occasion, Prof. Paul Bosu, Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Science and technology on his part stated that, Science is a catalyst for innovation which drives economic growth. “The potentials of scientific breakthroughs and Innovation, remains untouched if they are not protectively communicated to the public, policy makers and the business community”.
Prof. Bosu averred that, credible science reporting translate complex scientific findings into understandable language making it accessible to the general public adding that, by doing so, it does not only educate but empowers them to make an informed decision and advocate for policies that support scientific advancement.
He pointed out that in agriculture, science reporting have enable farmers to adopt modern agricultural practices, access crop varieties and improve their yields.
In the health sector, Prof. Paul Bosu pointed out that, credible science reporting jas played a significant role in sharing vital information using COVID-19 period as an example. “It has helped to educate the public about preventive measures, vaccination and latest treatment available. This knowledge has not only saves lives but also provided essential guidance for policy makers in managing a crisis”.
He was of the view that to continue ripping the benefit of credible science reporting, investment in science communication is crucial.
He commended OFAB for providing avenue for Ghanaian Journalists in science reporting, trained scientist in effective communication technics, support science Journalists, promote fact checking and accountability, engaged the public and collaborate with international partners.
Credible science reporting according to hin, is not just a communication tools but, a catalyst for science lead economy. He congratulated the three (3) awardees for their excellent performance.
Mrs. Linda Asante-Agyei, the Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), commended OFAB Ghana Chapter for instituted such an award.
She underscored the critical role of the media for economic development in nation building .
A “Credible Science Reporting, a Tool for Science-Led Economic Development in Ghana”
Help to achieve food security,
Journalists according to the GJA Vice President, play a critical role in nation-building through information and education saying in science, there is always the need to provide evidence, and transparency.
She charged journalists and communicators to see it as their responsibility to quote Ghanaian and other African scientist for what they have been able to discover as a way of promote them.
Madam Asante-Agyei however, urged Ghanaian and African scientist to ensure that they always named products discovered in the local names for easy adoption.
Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) is a platform that brings together stakeholders in biotechnology and enables interactions between scientists, journalists, civil society, industrialists, lawmakers and policy makers.
The Organization provides an opportunity for key stakeholders to know one another, share knowledge and experiences, make new contacts and explore new avenues for bringing the benefits of biotechnology to the African agricultural sector.