The Minister of Information Mustapha Hamid says he is optimistic Ghana’s decision to host the 2018 World Press Freedom Day will go a long way to benefit the country economically.
The United Nation Education, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO), every year commemorate the day by organizing a conference in a host country.
Last year the event was held in Indonesia; Ghana is expected to host this year’s conference slated for the 2-4 of May 2018.
Government has subsequently set up a Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee which will be co-chaired by the Ministry of Information and UNESCO to oversee the smooth planning of the event.
Speaking at the media launch, Mustapha Hamid said the event will not only showcase the country’s status as a free-democratic nation but will also have a spillover effect on the country’s economy through trade and tourism.
“People are coming into the country with dollars, pound sterling and all kinds of currencies from across the globe and they will be spending it in the country for the one week they will be in this country. People will get to improve their businesses, they are going to be sleeping in hotels, so hotels are going to make some money” he added.
He further added that whilst the media plays a significate role in the development of a country by contributing immensely to the upkeep of the rule of law, freedom of speech among others, it can also help in building stronger public institutions.
“Holding government officials countable prevents people from stealing and misusing the country’s resources. In so doing, much can be preserved to help improve education, healthcare and other institutions to better the lives of the citizens,” he explained.
He also encouraged the Ghanaian media to support and participate in the various activities scheduled by the organizers so there can be networking and exchange of ideas.
The 25th Celebration of the World Press Freedom Day will be jointly organized by UNESCO and the Government of Ghana, with over 700 participants expected to attend from across the world.
The theme chosen is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’, and will cover issues of transparency and independence within the judicial system, and the accountability of state institutions towards the public.