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“Strong media sector produces better development outcome”

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–Ecowas Vice President says

The Vice President of the Economic Community of West African States Commission Madam Finda E.M. Koroma says the development of any country depends on a strong media sector. “It is well known that [a] strong media sector which is adequately resourced would produce better development outcomes in our region,” Madam Koroma said in Monrovia Thursday, May 20, 2021 at the opening of a two – day consultative meeting with the media on the Ecowas vision 2050.

Delivering the introductory remarks on behalf of the Ecowas vice president, the Officer in Charge, and Head of the Ecowas Mission Office in Liberia Mr. Nathaniel B. Walker said the effective awareness of citizens’ needs government programs.

He added that the contribution expected from each component of the society will improve the relevance of programs and enhance accountability and make the results of development actions more sustainable.

According to him, as a result of this the media’s legitimacy is enhanced through increased popular support, noting that the media are a vital sentinels of the society, thus by providing information, ensuring citizens have access to diverse opportunities, and most time clarifying complex issues to citizens.

“The media and social network are therefore valuable allies in both development and the implementation of policies,” he added.

According to him, by disseminating positive socio- economic changes, through evidence – based stories, the media become important change agents in the society, thereby providing all stakeholders with valuable early warning signals that ensure that projects remain on the right implementation path.

Giving a brief background, Mr. Walker said in December 2018, ECOWAS Commission initiated a new process for the development of another long term regional development agenda called ECOWAS Vision 2050. He explained that this was conceived with the aim of building on the success of Vision 2020.

For his part, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Dee- Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., extended profound appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission for what he termed as borderless and unflinching support that the Commission continues to render Liberia, especially through a program that is directly impacting lives of citizens of ECOWAS in Liberia.

“Today as we all assemble here to envision the future of our development roadmap for the next thirty years, we want to draw community attention to the low quota and underrepresentation of Liberia in all the institutions of ECOWAS,” Mr. Kemayah said.

According to him, Liberia’s low representation in the sub – region’s most influential body is not only a reflection of shadow involvement, but a sign of relegation of Liberia’s historic role, considering the formation and sustenance of the sub-regional body.

He said further that though the current government acknowledges the efforts of the past regime in addressing the existing gaps of Liberia in the community’s institutions, however, this government wants to crave the indulgence of the community to exert every effort to see Liberia pioneering leadership reflected in all organs of ECOWAS.

“Liberia has used its motherly love to help many ECOWAS states, but unfortunately, our country has lost its deserving quota in an exponential proportion due in large measure to the civil war that engulfed the entire country,” Minister Kemayah noted.

“As we embark on this journey of developing ECOWAS Vision 2050, we applaud the Commission for the support and opportunity to have our inputs in the community’s impeding 2050 vision as a way of effectuating the community’s principle of: “the ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of people,” Minister Kemayah continued.

At the same time, the Liberian Foreign Minister used the occasion to call on stakeholders and participants to consider the indispensable role of the media in strengthening governance and development, especially in forecasting the community’s development.

With Liberia being the host, the Ecowas consultative meeting brought together scores of high profile government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corp and Ecowas member states from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Sierra Leone, among other countries.

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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