The Ministers of Information and Experts from Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have disclosed the importance of the ECOWAS Radio to regional integration process and urged its operationalisation as soon as possible.
This is part of the recommendations of the Ministers during their meeting on 9th December 2019 in Abidjan, while adopting the Report of the Experts Meeting on the ECOWAS Radio which held in Lomé from the 28th to 29th of May, 2019.
While welcoming the Ministers and Experts, Mr. Sidi Tiémoko Toure, the Minister of Communication and Media, and the Spokesperson of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, highlighted the Radio as the most important media to reach people locally and has been identified as the most important in Africa.
He stressed that ECOWAS Radio will meet the challenges of constant availability of information on ECOWAS among the populations. Adding that the Radio “will help improve the dissemination of our common values and strengthen our union and our desire to be together”.
Minister of Communication of the Republic of Niger and Chair of the ECOWAS Ministers in Charge of Information Mr. Habi Mahamadou Salissou, in his opening remarks, acknowledged the main obstacles to the Regional Integration efforts of ECOWAS as lack of knowledge by Community Citizens on the objectives, programs and activities of ECOWAS
Mr. Salissou urged ECOWAS to take advantage of the Radio to broadcast information and create visibility for the vision, projects, programs and activities to keep community citizens well informed.
Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technologies of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Zouli Bonkoungou, in his speech, outlined the objectives of the ECOWAS Radio to include, working towards integration and community citizenship, promoting the education and information of the community populations, raising awareness on the programs and activities of all ECOWAS Institutions, among others.
Recommendations from the ministerial meeting will be submitted to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, and subsequently the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for approval and adoption during their Summit on the 21st of December 2019.
The ECOWAS Radio, which was handed over to ECOWAS by the United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL), will promote democracy, peace, stability and good governance in the West Africa Region, and will facilitate the regional integration efforts of ECOWAS.