Network of ECOWAS Agricultural Journalists born
Story: Mohammed Abu,ADM,Accra
With agriculture being the backbone of the economy of most African countries, many have always felt that journalism must equally be brought to bear on the development of that sector as well as other productive sectors just as its presence is being felt on the democratic governance landscape.
Against this background, the virtual launch of the ECOWAS Agricultural Journalists Network(REJAECOWAS) in July this year therefore came as a welcoming news to many in the sub region.
Comprising journalists from 15 ECOWAS member States,REJAECOWAS is made up of an office, advisers and committees.
It aims to raise awareness, train and inform stakeholders in the agricultural world, to develop a communication strategy to facilitate and exchange information and knowledge between farming communities in various African countries, farmer group organizations, developing partners, and develop a synergy between these actors, with the aim of enhancing the image of the agricultural sector in the Sub-Region to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“As we all know, among all the sectors, Agriculture ranks first and represents the sector par excellence which will enable Africa to evolve from underdevelopment,” said Mr BABACAR Sene, veteran agricultural journalist in Senegal who was elected President of the network.
“This network would therefore allow national or international agricultural institutions to have a network of journalists from ECOWAS member states who could easily communicate and inform about all their projects in the agricultural sector,” he added.
The specific objectives of the network are to:
- Develop content based on local knowledge and locally adapted media related to the concerns of partners
- Develop a method of continuous and appropriate evaluation of the endogenous communicator function, of the media presenters and of those in charge of the audiovisual units of development organizations.
- To achieve the objectives, REJA-ECOWAS would rely on the following activities ● To identify and address the famers’ needs and analyze ways to resolves the needs for high productivity to solve Food Security in the Sub-Region.
- To educate farmers on government policies in various member states.
- Integrate ECOWAS COMMISSION on policies affecting the agriculture growth in the Sub-Region and at the National levels.
- To train members on projects and how the members would in turn train farmers on specific projects developed by the Network.
- To collect and validate data of local knowledge for policy making of the ECOWAS COMMISSION.
- To evaluate agricultural policies of the ECOWAS and the government of the member states for National Agricultural Development.
“We are very happy to launch this network which constitutes an additional step in our approach to developing the agricultural sector in the Sub-Region.
“This network guarantees the availability of information in real time between the various ECOWAS countries. This is a unique initiative aimed more particularly at national and international agricultural organizations, specifies BABACAR Séné, President of REJA – ECOWAS.
“To all national and international authorities and organizations, it is a pleasure for us to present this network of ECOWAS agricultural journalists” added Mr.Sene
François M’BRA of Ivory Coast was elected as the 1st Vice President,while Victorien AMEDEKAGNA of Togo was also elected as the Secretary General.