Media should promote regional integration for West Africa’s development

Media practitioners have been urged to promote and support regional integration to ensure economic development in West Africa.

This is because the media is the greatest custodians of information and enlightenment that could be employed in shaping the process towards regional integration for rapid economic development in West Africa.

The call was made by Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Senior Research Fellow at Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) at University of Ghana.

At a Media Training Workshop organised by Media Response, an NGO and ECOWAS Commission in Accra on Friday, Dr Antwi-Danso said: “Democracy requires an active citizenry who invariably depend on the media to provide information needed to participate meaningfully in socio-economic and political development.”

The workshop on the theme: “The Role of the Media in Regional Integration,” was aimed at building media capacity to understand issues of regional integration and create public awareness in the regional integration process.

Dr Antwi-Danso attributed the under development of West Africa to bad governance and spectre of inter-state wars.

“The continent has produced some of the most grotesquely corrupt and predatory leaders that the world has ever known,” he said.

He said integration in West Africa had failed to improve Africa’s economy due to economic dependency status which had weakened the economy and contributed negatively on government policies.

“It is trite knowledge that a growing and active economy creates more conducive environment for the promotion of economic cooperation and integration,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in a speech read on his behalf, said the economic growth and development depended on the exclusion of tariffs and bureaucratic barriers to trade and strengthening of regional infrastructure.

He expressed the hope that the workshop would encourage media practitioners to facilitate decision making process in a democratic environment and promote intra-regional trade and cross-border.

Alhaji Mumuni encouraged the media to focus on regional integration to promote effective economic development in West Africa.

Mr Samuel Doudu, Chief Executive Officer of Media Response, urged media practitioners to promote open dialogue in regional integration between State and non-State actors.

Source: GNA

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