Our founder honoured for contribution to press freedom, media development

The founder of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Prof Kwame Karikari, has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Ghana. The award was in recognition of his contribution to press freedom, media development, media and communication scholarship over the years.

Prof Karikari was among 17 other personalities who were honoured by the University at a special congregation ceremony. The event which was held in Accra on Friday, April 28, 2023, at the University’s Great Hall, conferred honorary degrees on these personalities for distinguishing themselves in various fields of endeavour. The personalities were honoured under different categories including Contribution to Education, Contribution to Industry and Contribution to Public Service. Prof Kwame Karikari was honoured in the Contribution to Industry category.

“You have over the past four decades dedicated yourself to the promotion of press freedom, media rights and freedom of expression within Ghana, the West African sub-region and beyond. Your commitment to teaching, training and mentoring generations of communicators and scholars in the field of media and communications both in academia and industry has been outstanding,” the citation read in honour of Prof Karikari stated.

The citation continued: “At the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) where you served as the Director-General, you initiated the processes for introducing colour television to Ghana in 1983 when you signed an agreement with the Japanese company, Nippon Electric Company (NEC). Today, thanks to you and your colleagues, Ghanaian families are able to watch television programmes from all over the world and have a good view of what the world has to offer. You have over the years, provided leadership and championed the development of state-owned/public broadcasting and broadcast pluralism in Ghana through public lectures and seminars.

“Your desire to bring press freedom to the African Press led you to set up the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), which has over the past two decades been arguably the leading media development and advocacy organization in West Africa. You have extended your knowledge in strengthening media and regulatory institutions across the length and breadth of Africa, including in Benin, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. You continue to advocate for press freedom and media-and-peace initiatives on the continent.”

The University of Ghana specifically conferred on Prof Kwame Karikari the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

“We are honoured and privileged to have such a visionary and exemplary person as the founder of our great institution,” Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the MFWA, said.

Until 2014, Prof Kwame Karikari was the Executive Director of the MFWA. He’s currently a board member of the organisation.

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