Ghana has successfully secured the hosting rights for the Africa Regional Headquarters of the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM). The announcement, made by Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah alongside the French Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou during the Paris Peace Forum in France on Thursday, November 10, 2023, marks a significant milestone in the country’s commitment to supporting press freedom and independence of the media.
Following a competitive bidding process, government has not only provided a dedicated office for the IFPIM headquarters but has also pledged to extend diplomatic courtesies to the international staff operating from the Africa Regional Headquarters, to be established in Accra. The status of the office is expected to mirror that of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) office, showcasing Ghana’s strategic position as a hub for regional initiatives.
The IFPIM, a global coalition supported by governments, philanthropic organizations, and private companies, aims to address structural challenges facing independent journalism in low- and middle-income countries. The fund seeks to chart a course towards long-term economic resilience for media organizations, contributing to the health and sustainability of democratic societies. It is dedicated to supporting and strengthening independent journalism globally while addressing challenges faced by media outlets in low- and middle-income countries, promoting press freedom and independence.
*Benefits for Ghanaian Media*
Speaking to the press after the announcement, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, emphasized the substantial benefits Ghanaian media will derive from IFPIM’s presence. He said the fund aims to bolster the media landscape by providing resources, expertise, and financial grants.
He said additionally, the partnership with IFPIM will provide capacity building avenues and technical support for our local media professionals.
Further, the Minister said hosting the Africa Regional Headquarters in Ghana will support the digital expansion of the Ghanaian media aligning it with the digital evolution of the industry.
This, Minister Oppong Nkrumah highlighted that the government’s decision aligns with broader efforts to support Ghanaian media and improve information integrity, a vital component for the proper functioning of democracy. The Minister emphasized that the government would provide the necessary infrastructure and diplomatic courtesies to ensure the smooth operation of IFPIM in Ghana.
He called on other states within the sub-region to enter similar partnerships with IFPIM and to execute programmes that support public interest media because it is a necessity for democracies to thrive and to flourish.