By Ramatoulie Jawo
The German Development Corporation (GIZ), together with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its partners on Friday, December 2nd, 2022 concluded a five days trade advocacy training for journalists from five Anglophone and six Francophone countries in Abuja, Nigeria.
The five days training was funded by the European Union and implemented by GIZ and partners. The training aims to enhance the capacity of participants on effective strategies that could improve advocacy and communications efforts towards ensuring that trade and trade facilitation instruments work for and impact positively the population in the West African countries.
Participants were trained on Trade Facilitation Agreement, The Media and ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme, the Benefits and Opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), The Principles and Objectives of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Media reporting and advocacy techniques, in addition to other relevant topics relating to economic and trade policies in West Africa.
Speaking at the closing ceremony ECOWAS representative, Seydou Secko said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could deliver far greater benefits in terms of jobs, growth, and poverty reduction than previously estimated.
“The AfCFTA sends a strong signal to the international investor community that Africa is open for business, based on a single rule book for trade and investment,” He said.
He further thanked the participants for their cooperation during the course period and expressed the hope to see more Trade journalists among the participants.
The GIZ representative Bernard Tayoh added that they will like to use the media to reach out to people of the ECOWAS region and Africa as a whole since they are the ultimate beneficiaries of all the protocols that have been negotiated in the context of AFCFTA.
“We are not going to underestimate your role as a journalist because you play a very important role in informing the public about issues happening around the continent. So working with you will help us achieve our goals and we are expecting a lot from all of you,” He said.
One of the participants, Kwaku Sakyi-Danso, a journalist from Ghana who spoke on behalf of the participants applauded GIZ for giving journalists the opportunity and thanked the trainers for their ‘excellent’ deliberation during the training program.
He further emphasized the importance of Free trade across the sub-region and assures GIZ of the participants’ full commitment to producing stories related to trade matters.