This is the story of a young man who has defied the odds, braved the storms and has earned his place at the table of greats. He could easily be referred to as a master strategist; one who turns every challenge into an opportunity and uses it as a springboard to excellence. Today, he conveniently passes as one of Africa’s finest young leaders who are on a mission to open a new chapter and tell a different but better story about the continent to the world. And his name is Richard Dzikunu.
Richard is a journalist specialized in development communication, primarily concerned with open development, transparency and accountability. He is also part of “Accountability Advocates”, a group of 20 young experts from youth – led community – based organizations in Africa and Europe which aims to design and implement a national monitoring framework to hold governments accountable in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Richard in his high school days at St. Martin Senior High School always had the zeal and passion for journalism. He also demonstrated a great deal of leadership traits at such an early stage in his education and life. It therefore came as little surprise when he became the head Boys’ Prefect at St. Martin Senior High.
He is a member of “Curious Minds Ghana” and the host of the youth radio show “Gems of our time.
At curious minds he built his capacity to become a youth advocate and additionally gained admission to further his education at the Ghana Institute of Journalism where he graduated with first class honors in communication.
TERTIARY EDUCATION (G.I.J)
Despite being in and out of the classroom due to mainly advocacy work, he managed to still balance this with his academic work and came out with flying colours always. As a studious student, Richard won for himself a scholarship from the Lebanese community and was able to maintain the sponsorship till his final year in the school.
BEYOND GHANAIAN BORDERS
Amidst all the responsibilities that came with both school work and advocacy programmes, he remained focused. His hardwork was rewarded when the school nominated him as one of the two students who were being selected to represent the school at the Metropolitan University of Applied Sciences in Finland for an exchange program. There, he gained a certificate in film and Television and culture.
While in Finland, he was honored to interview Alexander Stubb, a former Prime Minister of Finland. Through his youth advocacy programs, he has represented Ghana in many international conferences such as the United Nations Conference.
Now, Richard is studying an M.A in Development Communication. He hopes to work in the development cooperation sector and contribute to innovative policies. Richard has participated in International conferences in countries like the United States of America, Denmark, Canada, Sweden, Mexico and Tanzania. He is currently in Brussels for the European Development Days as a young leader. As a youth advocate, he seeks to encourage the youth to partake in governance and in democratic process to hold their governments accountable.
In future, he wants to work in the Development Corporation Sector where he hopes to play an active role in Civil Society and hold government and policy makers responsible for development projects. This unrelenting drive is fueled by the fact that African governments continue to receive support from sponsors for projects. Hence, he believes that it’s the responsibility of citizens to hold such persons accountable.
Richard also plans to venture into politics. But currently, he is a young leader for European Development Days and Women Deliver in Denmark and is currently engaged in a couple of advocacy activities as well.
CURRENT ORGANIZATIONS HE WORKS WITH
Richard is currently working with IPAS Ghana as the youth advisory board chairperson. He also serves in the following capacities in these organizations;
Curios Minds Ghana, host of Youth radio show “Gems of Our Time”
Young leader, Women Deliver (New York)
Restless Development Big Idea Project (UK)
Media Communication and Advocacy Network (UNFPA Ghana)
Professional Rapporteur (IPAS Ghana and Curious Minds)
Above all, Richard is a proud aluminus of the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
STORY BY: ABIGAIL ANSONG (Level 300C) AND AKOSUA GYAAMAH DUAH (Diploma 1E)