GHANA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION
GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM STUDENTS’ CHAPTER
4TH EXECUTIVE HANDING- OVER COCKTAIL PARTY AND LAUNCH OF FIRST STUDENT CHAPTER CONSTITUTION
SPEECH DELIVERED BY 2009/2010 OUT-GOING PRESIDENT, UMARU SANDA AMADU
DATE: 12th June, 2010 VENUE: Ghana International Press Center, Accra TIME: 6pm
Mr. Chairman, Patron and National Organizer of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dean of Students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Lecturers of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Senior Brothers and Sisters in the media, President of the Students’ Representative Council of GIJ, President of the Ghana Muslim Students Association of GIJ, President of the Campus Christian Family of GIJ, Colleagues from AUCC, Vice president of the GJA-GIJ and all other Executives, Colleagues from the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Distinguished Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is an unavoidable fact that, all leaders shall be called to account so it is not out of place that, I am doing same tonight having led this noble professional Association since June 2009.
I knew it was a herculean task assigned me when I took the oath of office on the evening of Saturday 20th June 2009 at this same venue but I was ever ready for it.
This Association went through tremendous successes and some failures as characterized by any institution but I am proud to say our successes clearly drowned the failures.
Mr. Chairman, the single most important success chalked by this administration for me is that, for the first time in the four years of the existence of this Association, there is a legal document drawn to serve as a guide to executives and members in the day to day running of the Association.
It is sad to note that, the Association could not open a bank account due to the lack of a Constitution leading to its inability to transact some financial businesses. It is my fervent hope therefore that with the launch of the Association’s constitution today, all these challenges will be addressed.
I am pleased to announce also that, a Constitution is not the only new thing we introduced to the association. The GJA-GIJ is closely following in the Digital growth as a new blog address and an E-mail address have been opened to aid in the secretarial and publicity activities of the association and we are almost close to getting a highly patronized Facebook Fan Page all with intentions at publicizing our activities and relaying information to members.
Mr. Chairman, with the foresight of our predecessors, the support of TV3 Network Limited and the able supervision of this administration, twenty-four (24) members of the association were given full practical training in the gathering and distribution of television news over a period of six months.
This has come in handy as a supplement to what is taught in the classroom for members. I will like to use this opportunity to urge all other media houses to hasten in their effort to respond to our request in the Week-End attachment program for our members.
Mr. Chairman, members of this association have not been left out of the going ons of the world either. During the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, the association organized a replica forum on the campus of the Ghana Institute of Journalism addressed by no mean a person than the country’s leading anti-climate crusader, Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey.
We also collaborated with the Yaa Asantewa Hall of the GIJ to organize a forum on the Oil Exploits of Ghana addressed by some energy expects including the founder and leader of the United Renaissance Party, Chuck Kofi Wayo on the role journalists can play in checking corruption from that new area of the economy.
Mr. Chairman, we also organized student journalists’ enlightment and empowerment programs on what the practicalities involve addressed by our patron and head of the Broadcast Journalism Department of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Mr. Tim Quashigah and Henry Herbert Malm, a broadcast journalist with TV3.
A visit to the Daily Graphic’s publishing facilities for familiarization with the Print News media was a significant one to help members appreciate the art and act of processing news.
Mr. Chairman, we do not intend to under estimate the saying that,”ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY“so we took time off the busy GIJ academic and lecture schedules to embark on a 2-day TOUR OF THE YEAR to Nzulezu in the Western Region in collaboration with the Mandela and Osagyefo Halls to have a little retreat and take some breather as we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
Tonight’s Cocktail Party was strategically placed to coincide with the end of the two or four sweaty-hectic years of GIJ serving as a reprieve to students who will soon join their senior brothers and sisters in the chaotic and hectic times of journalism practice.
Our various refreshing packages have seen a tremendous increase in our membership which was manifested in the recent General Elections held with a record of 160 voter turnout.
Mr. Chairman, as no man is infallible, even so is no institution flawless and this is not alien to the GJA-GIJ. We are still faced with some challenges we have not been able to fully tackle.
A case in point is the lack of membership identity cards which really is no fault of ours but our mother association who is not helping matters in the provision of those IDs for close to three years since we sent members application forms to the national headquarters.
Our monthly dues of 1 cedi have not been helpful in raising funds so plans are in place with the management of the Institute to tax members as part of their semester school fees.
The lack of an established secretariat from where the affairs of the only students’ chapter of the GJA is run is a problem we are faced with. It is sad to note that, not even with the Fund Raising Dinner organized by our predecessors could materialize a secretariat for us. This is a serious challenge as the executives have to consistently operate from a mobile office. It is my fervent hope that our request for support from MTN towards that project will come out with some success.
On this note, Mr. Chairman, I wish to congratulate the elected officers for the opportunity but I must caution that, it is not all rosy as it seems.
I remember at the executive meeting to plan the hand-over ceremony, I indicated that we hand over on campus like all other associations and be free to prepare for our examinations. It was then that someone drew my attention to the fact that, A STANDARD HAS BEEN SET and we are bound to break it or maintain it. We decided to break it and we have. So Mr. President, this is my advice to you: A STANDARD HAS BEEN SET and you are bound to go by it for the GJA is no mean an Association.
I wish you well.
On this note, I would like to acknowledge the support of our major sponsors Accra Brewery Limited who have proven over the years that they are a dependable partner.
I will not forget my executives namely, vice president Mr. Edward Kwabi, General Secretary Mary Awudi, Financial Secretary Aduwaa Graham, Treasurer Rita Arthur and the three able program coordinators, Regina Asamoah, George Korang and Elizabeth Boafo.
To all of you here gathered in support of this association, I will like to say in my mother tongue Fulani, Forfor morn mi yeti, In Hausa I say Mungoode, In Twi I say Yerdamuasi, In Ga I say Nyeyiwaladooh, In Ewe I say Akpenami, In Dangme I say Nye tsu wor and in English I say, Thank you and God Bless you all.
Long Live the Ghana Journalists Association
And Long Live Press Freedom.