ECOWAS media experts concluded a two-day conference in Abuja, Nigeria, last week aimed at establishing a television and radio station.
According to a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Mr. Benedict D. Roberts, Head of the ECOWAS National Office in Liberia, and Mr. Patrick Honnah, the Deputy Director-General of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), represented Liberia at the confab at the ECOWAS Commission.
According to the post, the proposed radio and TV station would help actualize the new ‘ECOWAS of People’ vision.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Babacar Toure of Senegal, President of the National Council of Broadcast Regulation (CNRA), and Chairman of the meeting, said the ECOWAS Radio/TV would further place the West African voice on the global stage and also show the richness of the sub-region’s diverse cultural heritage.
“Our youths will have the opportunity of being informed and educated on global issues by a regional based media organization,” Mr. Toure stated.
Similarly, Dr. Isaias Barreto da Rosa, ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technology, said that the new media project would serve as a platform for information and education to the citizens of West Africa on fostering integration, respect for differences, principles of active solidarity and awareness of a West African identity.
He stressed that through the dissemination of appropriate programs, the ECOWAS Radio/TV will strengthen the sense of citizens belonging to a community that is “very plural but united by common history, values, cultural heritage and a future aspiration.”
Efforts to establish the radio and TV station began in December 2000 with a feasibility study by the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The two partners completed the study in April 2001, and recommended a list of equipment for radio and television production facilities at the ECOWAS Headquarters in Abuja.
UNESCO commissioned a related study in 2007 to update the list of equipment recommended in 2000 in light of new technological developments.
The participants adopted a roadmap that calls for the ECOWAS Radio and TV Station to commence broadcasting by the end of 2017.