Nuclear Power Ghana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to widen information reach and knowledge sharing on nuclear power.
The MOU, which was signed by Dr. Stephen Yamoah, the Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana, and Mr. Albert Kofi Owusu, the General Manager of GNA, will help advance Ghana’s efforts at including Nuclear Power as an alternative base load in the power generation mix.
Dr. Yamoah said Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) was fully aware of the contributions and impact of stakeholders, especially the media, on the country’s nuclear power programme, and described the MoU as another proud and memorable milestone in the history of the NPG.
He said one of the key recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to countries seeking to develop or expand their nuclear power programs was to ensure a firm social license sustenance.
Thus, the NPG was keen on establishing a steady and well-bonded relationship with its stakeholders through the media to reach all corners of the country for effective involvement and engagement.
Dr. Yamoah said a strong stakeholder involvement, as expressed in the 19 infrastructural issues of the Milestone’s Approaches, had been a ‘showstopper’ for some countries that had invested billions of dollars to build the Plant, like Austria, and that Ghana would not want to get it wrong.
He mentioned some activities of the NPG for 2021 as the launch of the Annual NPG Tertiary Debate on Nuclear Energy and support for GNA’s Energy Desk to promote excellent reportage on nuclear power and related energy issues.
Dr. Yamoah commended the Agency for maintaining its footprints in the media landscape since Ghana’s independence and remaining very relevant by expanding its services, drawing interest of all.
Significant among the initiatives was the rollout of its digital operations, which included news in audio and video formats that the NPG was excited to leverage, he said.
He expressed the hope that a sustained healthy collaboration with GNA would contribute to a considerable appreciation and acceptance of NPG’s project.
Mr. Kofi Owusu, on his part, said the partnership formed part of the quest to fulfill the Agency’s mandate of disseminating authentic and reliable news and information on Ghana’s development, its challenges, and successes to fully inform both domestic and international audiences.
He said the GNA was the only national newswire service with the widest network and coverage, and was present and active in every region and most of the districts.
It continued to play a significant role in the development of the media industry in Ghana with a subscriber base comprising major media companies, cutting across print, electronic and internet-based platforms, he said.
Mr. Kofi Owusu gave the assurance that the GNA stood ready to deploy its hardworking journalists to task to ensure that the nuclear agenda got to every nook and cranny of the country.
He spoke about the Agency’s current innovative move including the digitalization to ensure the development of a news portal to eliminate laborious bulk messaging and speed up the news process, and repackaging of news for select groups to grow young audiences.
He said the Energy Desk would ensure a comprehensive coverage of issues in nuclear energy and Ghana’s energy sector at large.
Dr. Seth Debrah, the Director of the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), in a presentation, said operating a Nuclear Power Plant would help solve the country’s potable water crisis by purifying sea or salt water for effective industrial and domestic use.
Prof Benjamin Jabez B. Nyarko, the Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, said the cooperation should help demystify nuclear power and make the populace embrace its inherent benefits.
Prof Audrey Gadzekpo, the Dean of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, applauded GNA for its leading role in providing quality and unbiased news and information to the public over the years.
She described the Agency as the “lungs of news and information infrastructure,” and charged it to change the negative narrative on nuclear power and enhance the visibility of the NPG and its nuclear power programme.
Mr. Fredrick Oware, the Board Chairman of the NPG, unveiled the GNA Energy Desk and urged the Agency to work towards a mutually beneficial collaboration.