Coalition of Muslim Journalists Engage Stakeholders For Zongo Development

As part of efforts to bring Muslim Journalists together with the aim of developing and speaking for the voiceless within the Muslim communities in the country, the Coalition of Muslim Journalists has organized Iftar (Ramadan Dinner) for its members on the theme: “Harnessing The Collective Interest Of Muslims In Ghana For Growth And Advancement”.

The coalition which also aim at seeking the welfare of Muslim journalists has members across the country and has been dedicated to its goals of ensuring that matters and challenges affecting the Zongo communities becomes

Its priority.

The Iftar was attended by Chiefs, Imams, Opinion leaders, Philanthropist and veteran Journalists within the Muslim community.

Notable personalities such as Ben Abdullah Banda, the Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Gomda, the managing editor of the highest selling newspaper in Ghana, Daily Guide, Dr. Marzuk Azindow among other high profile dignitaries.

Addressing the gathering, the editor of Daily Guide Newspaper, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Gomda stated that the theme for the occasion has compelled him to delve into a subject which has troubled Muslims since pre-independence days.

The veteran Journalist revealed that most Muslims belong to the Zongo communities and the Northern parts of the country, which are yet to catch up with the rest of the country in terms of development the reason for that he said is not farfetched.

According to him, development is not restricted to the construction of beautiful buildings but should rather encompass the ability of Muslims to engage in objective analysis of issues and taking appropriate decisions without monetary or other considerations.

He added that it is only such mental development which can stop Muslims from littering the environment and dumping refuse into the drains only to suffer the negative repercussions thereof as well as the indiscipline witnessed when the youth ride motorbikes in town.

He said the dearth of western education and a poorly structured Islamic education constitute the challenges leading to the not appealing situation in which Muslims find themselves today.

Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Gomda called on the Muslim leadership to seek acceptable and effective means of blending western education and Islamic education so that the bountiful dividends thereof can be reaped for the benefit of the Islamic communities countrywide.

He said Western education was until recently not a serious subject in the Zongo and Northern communities and therefore to enable Zongos especially the Northern parts catch up free education was introduced by the first President Kwame Nkrumah something which existed under the colonial authority.

According to him, the place of education cannot be overemphasized in terms of its contribution to development and the harnessing of collective interest for development and Muslims should have long gone past the state they are in today in terms of development but the challenges associated with the deficiency persist.

He said there has been marked improvement in access to education given the relatively high number of Muslims seeking education at various levels and call for more room for advancement.

On his part, the President of the Coalition of Muslim Journalists, Alhaji Sham’un Bako who is an international Journalist applauded members of the coalition for their continuous efforts in ensuring that issues affecting the Zongo communities becomes their topmost priority.

The coalition he said will continue to speak for the voiceless and promote the welfare of Journalists in the Muslim community as well as strengthened its partnership with Zongo Chiefs, Imams and other stakeholders to ensure the progress of the Zongo people.

According to him, the coalition has engaged various Muslim sects and organizations to deliberate on issues and initiative that will help the Muslim Journalist to improve on their career.

The award winning journalist, Bako revealed that the coalition will soon cut sod for the construction of Ghana Muslim Institute of Journalism in Accra.

The project according to him will help enrol more Muslim youth to acquire the requisite knowledge in Journalism with the aim of using the microphone, pen and other medium to promote Zongo and Islam at large.

The Coordinator of Zongo and Inner Cities Secretariat, Hon. Ben Abdullah Banda who doubles as the Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board acknowledged the importance of the work of the Journalist, stating that the Journalist plays a pivotal role in nation building and serves as the agent between the government and the general public.

He added that if not for the work of the Journalist people will not have information about the government and it activities.

He therefore commended the Coalition of Muslim Journalists for coming together for the development and promotion of the Zongo communities and pledged that the Zongo Development Secretariat and the Zongo Development Fund will give the needed support to the group to enhance the effectiveness of the coalition. Faisel Mustapha

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