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Radio Journalists in West Africa Gear up to Embrace Conflict Prevention Norms
 pic-6Abuja 25th November, 2016Radio journalists in West Africa are gearing up to embrace Conflict Prevention norms by keying into the peace building approaches prescribed by the Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) Department through the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF).

The journalists, who concluded a one-day Workshop titled, “Strengthening Media Capacity in Conflict Transformation in West Africa: Sensitization Workshop the ECPF with Radio Journalists in West Africa”, which was held at the ECOWAS Parliament, Abuja on the 24th of November 2016, were put through modules and interactive sessions meant to enhance their capacities to understand and inform the public about ECOWAS policies and activities in regional integration, democracy, peace and security.

In addition, the participants were introduced to the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF), which serves as a guide for enhancing cohesion and synergy on conflict prevention and peace building initiatives in Member States.

Welcoming participants drawn from ECOWAS Member States to the workshop, the ECOWAS Director, Political Affairs Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa enjoined them to be collaborators in the renewed efforts at creating a more peaceful environment in West Africa.pic-2

Speaking through Programme Officer, Conflict Prevention, Mr. Constant Gnacadja, he stressed the importance of raising the level of awareness of the targeted journalists’ group on the strides being made by ECOWAS to prevent conflict and boost human development in the region.

The journalists were urged to create more awareness of the ECPF among Community citizens and be partners in actualizing the objectives of the Media Component of the ECPF in the face of emerging trends in conflict transformation.

As part of the Workshop proceedings, the radio journalists were given a tour of the ECPF Web Portal (www.ecpf.ecowas.int) while the kernel of the evolving ECPF communication strategy being strengthened in collaboration with the ECOWAS Communication Directorate was unfolded. This was supported by an intervention on conflict sensitive reporting as well peace building best practices for journalists.

Presentations were made on the synthesis of studies on the ECPF carried out by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the Kofi Anan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) as well as the Goree Institute.

Other presentations included those by the Expert Consultant of the Workshop, Executive Director of the Kukah Centre for Faith, Leadership and Public Policy, Dr. Arthur-Martins Aginam which bordered on how to popularize and sensitize member states on ECPF as well as strategies for ECOWAS-Media Technical Cooperation.

Wrapping up, the Journalists expressed a strong desire to improve their collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission in the areas of peace building and conflict prevention.

Among the strategies suggested by them for the increased visibility and advocacy for the ECPF in Member States were the creation of a network of journalists on the theme of the workshop, involvement in large scale sensitization campaigns as well as appropriate follow ups and tracking of success stories on peace building in Member States.

The Workshop participants were drawn from reputable national and international media outfits across ECOWAS Member States and backed by senior and programme officers as well as focal points from strategic directorates.

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