Daily Express’ senior business reporter, Fred Yaw Sarpong has won the 2014 Enterprise Life Assurance / Sanlam Summer School award for Financial Journalists. His selection from dozens of colleagues came after emerging as one the best business reporters during the 2013 edition of the Institute of Finance and Economic Journalists Gold Awards for Financial Journalists.
As part of his package, Mr. Sarpong will be traveling to Pretoria, South Africa next week to join other financial journalists from other African countries for a training programme.
His travel will be fully sponsored by the Enterprise Life Assurance Company Limited from Ghana. The package include air tickets, Visa, accommodation, meal, agreed per diem, as well as an insurance package worth about €30,000.
The Sanlam annual Summer School for Financial Journalists was initiated in 2003 as a direct result of a recommendation in the King II report on corporate governance; that the private sector should become involved in the training of financial journalists to promote corporate accountability and governance.
At a press briefing in Accra on Tuesday to outdoor the winner, the Executive Director of Enterprise Life, Mr. C.C. Bruse said building the capacity of journalists is one of his outfit’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative adding that their CSR initiatives have the objective of creating positive social development and reinforce their values.
“As a company we hold professionalism as one of our values and it is our hope that this award initiative will promote professionalism in financial journalism,” he indicated.
According to him, the objective of the award scheme is to contribute to the capacity building of journalists especially in financial and insurance reporting.
“Secondly, we look to deepen the relationship between our industry and journalists. This will include providing workshops and other programmes to deepen understanding of insurance among journalists. The deepened relationship will hopefully expand the scope of reporting on activities and corporate news on insurance”, he said.
He noted that despite the challenges in the industry, Enterprise Life has responded well and at half year they have had almost 30% growth over the same period last year.
On his part, the Executive Director of Enterprise Group, Mr. Keli Gadzekpo advised media practitioners especially financial journalists to take keen interest in reporting on insurance.
Mr. Sarpong in his remarks thanked Enterprise Life and the Institute of Finance and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) for the opportunity given him.
“I am very grateful to Enterprise Life for this opportunity. It is a great platform which I think will help me learn more and improve in my profession” , he added.
He also thanked the IFEJ team for their support and called on other corporate bodies to emulate what Enterprise Life has done. He promised to make use of this opportunity so that other colleague journalists can also benefit from it.
The IFEJ President, Mr. Lloyd Evans thanked Enterprise Life for the initiative and called for an extension so that there can be a comprehensive evaluation.
He stated that “financial journalism is still very young in this country and it will take much effort, time and resources to bring it to the required standard.
“We therefore need corporate institutions like Enterprise Life to lend a support to the work of the Institute to help train and develop interest in this very specialized area. It is against this back ground that we have had this award to recognize and appreciate excellence in financial journalism,” said Mr. Evans.
Mr. Evans announced that since August his year, the leadership of IFEJ have rebranded this IFEJ-Gold Award to IFEJ-Flamingo Award for many reasons. “We want this award to be unique, prestigious and international recognize. The first edition will take place on Friday December 12, 2014.”
He noted that the main focus of IFEJ is to raise the level of financial journalism as well as the standard of journalism in this country. “This is the time to have bench marks in whatever we do as journalists,” he said.
The School takes place in the second half of the year, with up to 30 journalists from different cultures trained in various aspects of financial journalism, presented by external media trainers and professionals.