The  Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) will commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2024 at Koforidua in the Eastern Regional on Friday, May 3, 2024.

In a statement signed by the General Secretary, Kofi Yeboah, the Association said this would be the first time in recent memory that the GJA is observing the WPFD outside the national capital, Accra.

The move is in line with a commitment by the National Executive to organize such national events outside Accra to make the regional branches vibrant and inspire all members with a strong sense of belonging in the Association regardless of their geographical location.

Whilst the global theme for this year’s event is: “Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” the GJA chose “Leveraging Journalism for Sustainable Environment and Future,” as the national theme.

The statement said the Association sought to lead a strong media campaign for the protection of the environment and the good of the country.

Dignitaries expected to grace the occasion at the Abba Bentil Theatre of the Koforidua Technical University include the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, the  Minister of Information-designate, Fatimatu Abubakar and the Head of Office & Representative of  UNESCO Office Accra,  Edmond Moukala.

Others include the Press Attache at the Embassy of the United States of America, Accra; Kevin Brosnahan, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr John Kingsley Akrugu and Erastus Asare Donkor of the Multimedia Group Limited.

Dr John Kingsley Akrugu will deliver the keynote address to highlight how Journalism could help protect the environment while Erastus Asare Donkor, GJA Journalist of the Year 2022, will share some critical thoughts on staying the course of environmental protection through Journalism.

The event, which is expected to bring together stakeholders of the inky fraternity, would start promptly at 0930 hours under the royal chairmanship of Daasebre Kwaku Boateng III, the Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed May 3 as World Press Freedom Day in December 1993, based on the recommendation of UNESCO and in tandem with the anniversary celebration of the ‘Declaration of Windhoek’ by the latter’s General Conference on May 3.

The commemoration of the day reminds governments of their commitments to press freedom and the need to respect the same.

It also encourages media professionals and practitioners across the world to use WPFD to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics.

One key feature of the occasion is the release of the global press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders, which gauges press freedom performances of countries.

In recent years, one significant trailer to the commemoration of WPFD is the organisation of the Africa Media Convention (AMC) in a fortnight, which forum rallies media actors and partners, as well as government officials, to discuss pertinent issues of press freedom.

Ghana, under the joint auspices of the GJA, Ministry of Information and UNESCO, Accra Office, will host this year’s AMC, scheduled for May 15 – 17, 2024, at the Accra International Conference Centre.