A final year student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Richard Anaman, has emerged winner of the 8th ARSO Continental Essay Competition 2020/2021.

Richard’s essay won the first position out of the many entries into this year’s contest, which was on the theme: “The Role of Standardisation in Promoting Arts, Culture and Heritage – The Creative Economy in Africa.”

Organizers of the contest, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), announced this in a letter addressed to the Dean of Students’ Affairs of GIJ, Mrs. Rhodalene Amartey, and signed by the Director-General, Prof. Alex Dodoo.

“We are pleased to inform you of the results of the Ghana Standards Authority’s 2020/2021 ARSO essay competition for institutions of higher learning in African Universities for students below the age of 35 years,” the letter said.

For his prize, the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies student was awarded GHC1,200.00 cash and is awaiting the presentation of a certificate on the 14th of October 2021, which is World Standards Day.

Richard narrated, in an exclusive interview, that he saw the call for entries in the official Digital Students’ Notice Board of the Institute, in March 2021, and decided to take up the challenge.

He went on to write the essay, got an endorsement from the Head of Department for Integrated Communication Sciences, Dr. Kodwo Jonas Anson Boateng, which was a requirement for entries, and then submitted it to the GSA head office in Accra.

According to him, he had forgotten about the contest because the date scheduled for the release of winners had passed. He said, “the day they stated in the notice that the winners would be announced had passed and gone. So, I had actually forgotten about it. My attention was not even on that anymore because after 4, 5 months of not hearing from them, I thought it didn’t work.”

“So, when the call came that I had won the essay competition, trust me, hearing that alone was so fulfilling and, a very, very, very exciting moment for me. For something I least expected and to be informed that you had won, it was so fulfilling,” he added.

Rector of the Institute, Prof. Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo, has expressed his pride in Richard’s victory. According to him, “He [Richard] has made us proud and has put GIJ out there in a way that we wish all students would. I am really proud and highly impressed because this confirms GIJ’s position as the best communication school both in Ghana and in West Africa.”

On her part, the Dean of students also shared her excitement and used the opportunity to encourage more students to take up such initiatives that will raise high the flag of the Institute.

“I am excited and I want to urge the students out there to take on such competitions to make themselves and the school proud,” she said.

The Continental Essay Competition is an annual programme mandated for member bodies of the African Union by the African Organization for Standardisation, formerly the African Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).

Efo Korku Mawutor