Experts from Member States Ministries of Information hold consultations on ECOWAS radio05 Sep, 2018
Monrovia, 5 September 2018. Liberia’s acting Minister of Information, Daniel Gayedyu, has stressed the leading role that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Radio can play in information, education and raising awareness for West African citizens.
Speaking in Monrovia, Liberia on 4 September 2018, at the opening of the meeting of experts from Ministries of Information in ECOWAS Member States, Mr Gayedyu said that the radio station should further sensitise people in the Community on the ideals of integration and economic development in West African.
“ECOWAS Radio has to bridge the information gap on ECOWAS’ roles, values and vision, promote regional peace, security and stability, as well as the economic development of West Africa,” he noted.
To this end, he called for its extension to other Member States, the production and broadcasting of its programmes and features in the three ECOWAS official languages namely English, French and Portuguese.
He urged delegates of Member States to make relevant proposals to ensure the continued success and sustainability of Community radio station.
On its part, ECOWAS Commission will do everything possible to support the implementation of recommendations from the meeting, according the Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Dr Zouli Bonkoungou.
After highlighting the purpose of the meeting, he urged participants to closely review the various draft documents submitted for their approval.
The Monrovia meeting will examine and validate the draft operationalization plan of the regional radio station and its extension to other ECOWAS Member States. It will also prepare proposals and recommendations to be submitted to the Ministers of Information in ECOWAS Member States for approval.
“To facilitate its operation as a regional radio station, it is imperative that this resource be brought to the attention of all the Member States of the Community, particularly the national broadcasting officers, to promote appropriation of the new ECOWAS mass communication tool,” Dr Zouli Bonkoungou stressed.
The ECOWAS Commission commends the excellent and effective technical cooperation with the Liberian Government and the former United Nations Mission in Liberia (ex. UNMIL) for the transfer of the radio station to the regional organisation.
“The Commission wishes to thank them for their support and at the same time urge them and all our partners to support the radio station,” he stated.
Furthermore, ECOWAS will do its utmost within its means, to provide political and financial support for the operationalization of radio station. Furthermore, he called on development partners to support the project, which he said is in line with the promotion of peace and inclusive development.
At the end of the opening ceremony, officials and participants visited the regional radio station in the heavy rain.
Subsequently, participants listened to the presentation by the acting ECOWAS Director of Communication, Liberor Doscof Aho, and the consultant for the Commission, Francisco Monteiro, on the Paper on organisation and functioning of ECOWAS Radio.
There was another presentation by Mr. Aho on effective collaboration between the public media of Member States and the West African organisation.
In a 10-minute presentation, each Member State spoke on its radio programmes and features with a regional slant, technical equipment and broadcasting methods (satellite, wireless, cable and Internet). This provided insight to participants on programmes and features, as well as broadcasting techniques to be used for the regional radio station.
It will be recalled that on 23 March 2018, in Monrovia, the former United Nations Mission in Liberia transferred its radio station to ECOWAS, during a ceremony presided over by Liberian Head of State, George Manneh Weah.
All the 15 Member States of ECOWAS were represented at this meeting.