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ECOWAS Economic Journalists Network set up

Jacob N.B. Parley/Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.

Ongoing efforts by the Sub-regional Office of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to help positively shape the future of the West African Sub-region so that it can positively respond to the needs of its people through the media are at the verge of bearing good fruits.

A number of factors might be needed to have such goal achieved.

However, it is a glaring phenomenon that improving the living standards of citizens of ECOWAS Member States, and helping to make the ECA a world class Think-Tank institution through effective programs and actions cannot be easily realized in the absence of the media, especially a network of media practitioners who will focus their reportage of economic issues.

One of these approaches was recently translated into reality when a 30-Member Network of Economic Journalists for West Africa was formally established in the Senegalese Capital, Dakar.

The Group was officially set up at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in Dakar, Senegal, during a two-day workshop from Thursday, September 28 to Friday, the 29th, 2017.

The Network comprises two journalists each from the 15 member States of ECOWAS, making its entire membership to 30 media personnel.

The 15 ECOWAS Member States are covered by the Economic Commission Sub-regional Office for West Africa (ECA/SRO/WA).

The cardinal objective of the ECA/SRO-WA is to foster a responsible and dynamic partnership with the media of the West African Sub-region to ensure the promotion of a better visibility and adequate communication of its actions, including issues of development that are of interest to the Sub-region.

The media partnership also seeks to ensure economic and social development of ECOWAS Member States. 

The Network is also expected to contribute towards the economic and social development of ECOWAS member countries through a broader dissemination of ECA knowledge-related products, among other crucial issues.

The two-day workshop, held at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in the Senegalese Capital, Dakar, saw a number of well-tailored presentations by the facilitators; including the  Director of Public Information and Knowledge Management Division at the ECA Headquarters, Mr. Jimmy Ocitti,  the Chief Sub-regional Initiatives, ECA SRO/WA,      Mr. Ochozias Gbaguidi, the  Director of the ECA/SRO-WA, Mr. Dimitri Sanga and the Communication Officer of the Economic Commission for West Africa Sub-regional Office, Mr. Tahirou  Gouro.

Others who also made presentations during the workshop are the Economic Affairs Officer at the ECA/SRO-WA, Mr. Amadou Diouf, and ECOWAS Director of Communication, Mr. Liberor Doscof.

Observers believe that the setting up of the Network of Economic Journalists for West Africa is a worthy development as it comes at a time when the bell of specialized reportage is being resonated in the loudest across the global.

Liberia was represented at the two-day workshop that saw the birth of the Network of Economic Journalists of West Africa by two media gate –keepers, Mr.  Jacob Parley of the State-owned Liberia Broadcasting System and Mr.  Augustus Bortue of the Independent Heritage Newspaper.


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