The Media in West Africa is to support and strengthen the visibility of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS’s activities on its peace and security mandate.
This was part of communiqué at the end of a three-Day ECOWAS Workshop on the Role of the Media in Promoting Peace and Security in West Africa in Abuja, Nigeria.
Cognisant of the role of the media in promoting peace and security in West Africa, the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the European Union organised the workshop.
The journalists also advocated for the need to improve partnerships to promote continuous structured engagement and douse tensions that can undermine peace and security architecture of the Community.
The following recommendations were also made: “The media should promote common understanding on application of principles of sovereignty.
“Media in region urged to raise awareness for member states to domesticate the ECOWAS protocols and make them operational.”
It was also recommended that the media should verify information in the social media from the appropriate quarters and eliminate the negative effect of social media particularly fake news.
“The media should go beyond the regular news and conduct detailed reportage on ECOWAS development programme and activities, especially in relation to the promotion of peace and security in the region.”
“The media should engage and work professionally with electoral bodies in member states in their effort to promote the process for credible elections and prevent election related conflicts.”
On recommendations for the ECOWAS Commission, the regional body was urged to maximise the positive use of social media in educating citizens of the community about its activities.
The journalists also urged the ECOWAS commission to continue with capacity building of journalists in the community to enable them effectively assist the Commission to realise its mandate on peace and security.
“ECOWAS should ensure that member states create a conducive environment for the operation of the media.”
“ECOWAS should work with the media in the region to promote a network of journalists in the region.”
About 30 journalists drawn from member states of ECOWAS participated in the workshop.