Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister, has called on media personnel in the Region to bring to light critical issues affecting rural communities to promote development.
He indicated that issues affecting rural communities such as health needs, food security, education and water were given minimal attention by the media, which did not prompt government to look deeper in finding lasting solutions to them.
He said important events, which were news-worthy, happened in the hinterlands and most journalists did not make the effort to visit “action spots” to report on them.
Mr Bukari was speaking at a press soiree in Bolgatanga organised by the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), which attracted municipal and district chief executives and heads of departments to review activities of the previous year and offer the media the opportunity to quiz duty bearers on issues pertaining to development in the Region.
On security, the Minister said there could not be development without peace and security adding that regular Regional Security Council (REGSEC) meetings were being held to discuss matters of security to combat crime in the Region.
“In terms of the road network, the Pulmakom-Bawku-Bolgatanga road is ongoing and some of the major roads have been advertised and are going through the necessary processes for rehabilitation,” he said.
Mr Bukari commended the media for their efforts at reporting on events in the Region throughout the year under review, sometimes under difficult conditions, to draw attention to the development challenges.
Mr Eric Kwadjo Amoh, the Chairman of the Upper East Regional Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said journalism spearheaded development and the dream of journalists was to help improve development and not witch hunt.
“We are partners in development, and our partnership stems from the fact that we are watchdogs, and as watchdogs, we need to provide security and direction.
“The security and direction we are providing is to interact and pinpoint the areas that you need to work on, give direction where possible and criticize when necessary,” he said.
He appealed to stakeholders to assist the GJA to acquire office space in the Region and a vehicle to transport journalists to assignments.
Alhaji Mahamadu Azonko, the Regional Coordinating Director, said the RCC was mandated to monitor and evaluate government programmes and policies to ensure they met the required standards.
He called on the media to support the RCC by informing and educating the people on government’s programmes and policies to enhance development.