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A two day Symposium and Media Summit has been held in Accra by the West African Parliamentary Press Corps (WAPPC). It is to allow media practitioners who report on proceedings in the various parliaments in the West African sub-region to fraternize and think of issues relating to their profession for the advancement of Parliamentary Democracy.
The maiden event which started on July 9 at the Accra International Conference Center ended on July 10 at the Parliament House.
Participants were drawn from seven parliaments in the sub-region including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Gambia, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
The two day event was graced by stakeholders in the democratic space including the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, and the Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament, John Azumah.
Other dignitaries include the Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin; a Representative of the Nigerian Senator President, Senator Ben Murray Bruce; Ghana’s Information Minister, Dr. Mustapha Hamid; the Deputy Minority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu; James Klutse Avedzi and the Majority Chief Whip of Ghana, Akwasi Ameyaw Kyeremeh.
At the opening of the Symposium, President of the WAPPC, Andrew Edwin Arthur, said the West African body aims to consolidate the front of Parliamentary reporters across the sub-region to enhance integration and for the purposes of capacity building of members of the fraternity.
He observed that the collaboration among journalists from across Parliaments in the sub-region would facilitate the cross pollination of ideas and best known practices among their legislative bodies which would go a long way to improve the status of Parliamentary Democracy and enhance the quest to achieve Sub-regional integration.
The WAPPC President therefore urged corporate bodies, governments, parliaments as well as the Sub-regional Parliamentary body; the ECOWAS Parliament to support the activities of the Corps for capacity building initiatives and training as and when the need arises.
The Secretary General of ECOWAS Parliament, John Azumah, pledged his support for the activities of the Sub-regional Corps, promising to draw the attention of decision makers in the Sub-regional Legislative body to invite members of the Corps to the sittings of the ECOWAS Parliament to enhance the dissemination of its decisions to the public.
Closing the ceremony the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof. Emmanuel Asante, who chaired the opening ceremony, emphasized the need for the media to be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge by any means possible for a progressive society. According to him, without a well-informed media, the society is bound to grope in darkness for a long time with very little to show for progress.
Topics treated during the event include The Role of the Media in the Fight against Hate Speech, delivered by Dr. Kwasi Jonah of the Institute of Democratic Governance; the Effective Parliamentary Reporting, a Tool for the Integration Agenda, delivered by Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, the General Manager of the Graphic Group of Communications.
Others include Responsible Reportage as a means of Ensuring Peace and Security in West Africa – The Dos and Donts of the Parliamentary Reporter, delivered by Sulemana Braimah, Executive Secretary of the Media Foundation for West Africa; and the Media’s Role in Serving as Watchdogs to ensure Efficiency in the work of Parliament delivered by Dr. Rasheed Draman of ACEPA.
Source: Clement Akoloh || afriwakeradio.com