Seventeen, (17), Journalists from Thirteen (13), African countries have arrived in Accra to dialogue on Livestock Transhumance and Trade in the Sahel and West Africa.
This meeting aims among other things to expose the journalists to the current challenges and the understanding of the critical production asserts, services and markets for agro pastoralists in trans-boundary areas and corridors in the Sahel and West Africa.
GBC’s Rebecca Ekpe who is participating in the session reports that insecurity concerns within the Sahel extending to the entire West African Region gives credence to the need for the issues to be discussed and solution found to them.
Social Engineering and Conflict Prevention Expert, Imarou Orou Djega says conflicts are bound to happen, but these can be prevented.
He said activities of journalists as information dissemination agents can contribute to fueling conflicts.
”Just one word can even kill, that is irreversible, that is why Journalists must be careful, and take the trouble to understand the issues then they can help the people as well to navigate the complexities of Pastoralism” said Mr. Orou Djega.
The Conflict Prevention Expert suggested that conflicts can be best managed if these are resolved through dialogue and stakeholder consultations. He was of the view that holding ”frequent sensitization and awareness programs, is the best antidote to conflict prevention”.
”Now, this is why journalists within the Sahel and West Africa have met to better understand the issues of Transhumance and Trade in the Region.
Transhumance can be described as a type of Pastoralism or nomadism, a seasonal movement of livestock between fixed seasons. Underpinning this are the issues of humans and the environment, livestock survival and insecurity.
Ironically, statistics show farming in the Sahel contributes to Forty percent (40%)of its GDP, Fifty percent (50%) of meat and Ninety percent (90%) milk.
The socio-economic importance of this region therefore cannot be under-estimated.
The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel, CILSS and its partners intends to help journalists in the Region and West Africa understand the dynamics of Herder- Farmer conflicts, its impact on the economies of the various countries, and above all how these conflicts can be managed to better the lives of the people.
Story filed by Rebecca Ekpe