Africa is expected to effectively implement the world’s largest free trade market under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) this year –2023, having prepared relevant instruments needed for the implementation of the single continental free market. Africans and African businesses, therefore, need to understand the AfCFTA and leverage on its related benefits.
It is in this vein that the Ministry of Information, in partnership with the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), committed to training some selected journalists who have interest and expertise in trade and business reporting in Ghana and across the region.
The first edition of the media training was at Aburi in the Eastern Region of Ghana, and targetted about thirty (30) journalists from the southern part of Ghana, particularly those who report for media outlets based in Accra.
This was followed by the second edition of the media training for another set of about twenty (20) journalists from the northern zone of Ghana who report for media outlets which are particularly based in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
At the second media training at Miklin Hotel in Kumasi, the journalists were thoroughly trained by experts from Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry to understand the fundamentals of the AfCFTA agreement and pertinent issues they are expected to raise in order to grow the awareness of the continental trading policy among Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses.
Praise Nutakor, the Head of Communications and Partnerships at the UNDP Ghana, said the media training forms part of the UNDP’s integrated funding to MSMEs in 2022 to assist them improve awareness on trading under the AfCFTA through targetted programmes, and to increase media advocacy on the AfCFTA so that businesses can explore opportunities toward sustainable development.
She said the media training on the AfCFTA is to, once again, equip the media to advance the cause of MSMEs, who are the backbone of Ghana’s economy.
“You, as journalists, have the knowledge now and we expect you to do three key things after the training:
- Get businesses interested in the AfCFTA by educating them on trading requirements and processes.
- Get businesses already trading under the AfCFTA to share their experiences to encourage others and also to correct any loopholes.
- Get the right officials to educate the public more about what the AfCFTA is and what is not.”
Earlier in Aburi, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, told the journalists that it was important for them to ensure that facts, truth and real issues were properly disseminated for the public to effectively harness the potentials of the AfCFTA.
“We, at the Ministry of Information, believe that such media capacity enhancement in specific areas, such as the AfCFTA, is key. And we are going to get the media to play its role effectively across all sectors,” the Minister of Information stated.
The UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Dr. Angela Lusigi, also reminded the journalists at the first edition of the training of their important role as a bridge between policy-makers and the public as well as the national and regional institutions in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“You are the gateway to enabling businesses and the public to better understand and leverage the benefits that the AfCFTA offers,” Dr. Lusigi emphasised.