Country director for the World Bank Ghana, Henry Kerali has lauded the important role the media is playing in tackling corruption in the country.
Speaking at the 4th Anniversary Panel Discussion, on ‘Investigative Journalism, Governance and the fight Against Corruption in Ghana’, Kerali indicated that, the media’s role is indispensable to Ghana’s democracy.
“Among others, investigative journalism plays a key role in the unveiling of matters that are concealed deliberately by people in a position of power or influence.”
To this extent, the media crucially contributes to freedom of expression and freedom of information, as it is fundamentally necessary to hold those in power accountable.
Corruption has always being one of the toughest issues confronting countries including Ghana. Corrupt practices rob governments of the means to ensure the best for their people, while some in government may feel that exposure of corruption erodes their legitimacy.
“Without investigative writing, we all would be subjected to a diet of daily news short of the required professionalism. Journalism can then work not as a watchdog, but as a lapdog for those in power,” he said.
The World Bank Group, WBG, which has a mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in a sustainable way, recognizes the role the media plays on behalf of the country.
The WBG has been building media capacity by supporting the Institute of Finance and Economic Journalist by sponsoring the Best Finance and Economics Journalist Award (Flamingo Award) and through other media capacity enhancement programs over the years.
“Facilitating the work of journalists and enhancing the fight against corruption also calls for greater transparency in public administration. Transparency allows for checks on possible conflicts of interest and ensures greater legitimacy for the government.”
Kerali mentioned that, “a Ghana Beyond Aid, calls for an independent media that is guaranteed access to public documents and to decision-making processes able to bring possible conflicts of interest to light.”
“This will assist the government in maintaining clarity in the execution of its directives,” he added.
He expressed the hope that the executive and the legislature will work to ensure investigative journalists have the necessary tools and environment to make their work successful, such as the Right to Information Bill and the Broadcasting Law.
By Joshua W. Amlanu