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African journalists urged to focus on science reporting for development

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African journalists have been called upon to make reporting science a priority for development on the continent.

At a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme “Making Science and Technology Information More Accessible for Africa’s Development”, participants discussed how to make reporting science a priority in Africa’s development agenda.

A press release issued by the Communications and Information Services unit of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com says experts at the two-day workshop urged journalists to make urban, rural communities and policy makers excited about science, technology and innovation and the role it has in society in improving lives of people, economic growth and prosperity.

The workshop was organised to discuss ways of better reporting science, technology and innovation for development, as well as to promote networking as a platform for information and knowledge sharing.

Mr. Thierry Amoussougbo regional advisor for the ECA was cited in the release to have noted that the main impediments for the uptake of science, technology and innovation on the continent is communicating scientific and technological research and outputs. He also regretted the fact that science reporting is not a daily routine in most media houses worldwide.

Mr. Amoussougbo who was speaking behalf of Ms. Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director of the ICT, Science and Technology Division of the ECA, was quoted as saying, “For the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), media represents a value-added constituency for information dissemination and awareness creation on the role of ICT, Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa’s socio-economic transformation.”

In his remarks, Mr. Mahamouda Ahmed Gaas, State Minister of Science and Technology of Ethiopia indicated that international experience shows that fast growth was enabled through growing the science and technology base of countries.

“In the last few decades’ South East Asian countries achieved successful economic and social development mainly due to their having both an export-oriented market economy and also an accumulation of technological capabilities,” he explained.

The two-day workshop is the second of a series of five training workshops which are set to be organised in different regions of Africa. Each of these workshops address media professionals’ capacity building needs on reporting on science, technology and innovation for development, the release noted.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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