November 16, 2023
BY- OUSMAN MANNEH IN LAGOS
According to the United Nations conference for trade and development UNCTAD, global trade was worth 28.5 trillion dollars in 2021. African share in global trade averages between 1% and 3%, indicating the continent’s ability to take advantage of the wealth generated by world trade. These statistics serve as a wake-up call prompting the leaders of Economic Community of West Africa states ECOWAS through its Commission to convene a 5 day media training on trade advocacy for dozens of journalists from the 5 ECOWAS Anglophone member states in Lagos Nigeria.
Addressing the participants, the Director of Trade, ECOWAS Commission Kolawole Sofola, highlighted the factors affecting trade agreement signed by African countries, including lack of capacity to produce, large informal trade sector, barriers to trade among others, that kept the continent on the margins of global trade.
“We recognise that the role of media in the area of trade policy and trade related interventions has been very limited in our region due their lack of awareness of our business community, especially small and medium enterprises” he added.
The lead trainer Dr Ken UKAOHA who doubles as the director General of west African institute for trade agriculture and development WAITAD, urged participants to refocus their reportage to trade and economic related issues by interrogating ECIWAS trade protocols thereby putting leaders to account. “Trade issues should serve as frontburners on your newspapers, radios, televisions and other media platforms to reposition our leaders to economic integration” he emphasized.
The participants will be exposed to advocacy techniques, outreach principles, publicity and communication strategies. The training is under the Trade Facitation West Africa program organised by ECOWAS Commission and co-implemented by the German development cooperation GIZ with support from the world bank group, the US, Kingdom of Netherland.
November 16, 2023
September 22, 2023