3 September 2018

West Africa: Ecowas Ends Delocalized Meeting

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ended a weeklong delocalized Informational and Communication Technology (ICT) meeting in Monrovia focusing on regional radio programs.

During the closing program at the Palm Spring Hotel in Congo Town, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha CISSE LO, said the meeting will empower the efficient usage of the ICT and the political wheel of ECOWAS countries if implemented, noting that it helps to identify the challenges faced by the region.

He promised ECOWAS' commitment to ensure that the ECOWAS Radio in Liberia becomes effective.

Giving the overview of the contribution to the regional integration process, ECOWAS Commissioner for Communication and Telecommunication, Isaias Barrreto da Rosa, said ICT is key to all development sectors.

He said ICT is key in fighting corruption and promoting good governance and transparency in the region.

"ICT is key to the development of West Africa and the regional integration process," he emphasized.

Speaking on the transitional process of the station from UNMIL Radio to now ECOWAS, the benefits, challenges and sustenance plan of the station, Eva Flomo, the Head of ECOWAS Radio in Liberia, said the regional radio can effectively serve as channel for information, education, and awareness raising.

She further said the station can be used to promote peace, security, stability, democracy, good governance, among others.

Eva said UNMIL Radio was established as the official voice of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia; so it designed programs that resonated with the prevailing situation and circumstances relative to the mandate of the mission.

She said the mandate in summary was to ensure the consolidation of peace and reconciliation, support to government and its people, alongside the establishment of information machinery that would propagate the message of peace in its entirety.

According to her, the UNMIL Radio succeeded in breaking the chain of factional disunity and brought together major warring faction leaders in its studio face to face to reason together for peace of Liberia.

"The greatest impact was that the warring parties committed to peace and reconciliation, denouncing war as the path to expressing their grievances, their pronouncements reached their militias and was in this light that UNMIL Radio gained its acclaimed wider listening ship and eventually became a platform of plausibility," she narrated.

For his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bhofal Chambers lauded the then UNMIL Radio for helping to keep and maintain the peace that Liberians enjoy today.

He said the role and quest of the radio is something that cannot be overemphasized, noting that its significant broadcast and interaction was what led to a peaceful transition that saw a democratic and smooth election.

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