#National News

35 Journalists exposed to ECOWAS Protocols, ACFTA

Aug 6, 2021, 1:42 PM | Article By: Adama Tine

At least 35 Journalists and members of the Network of Financial and Tax Reporters (NFTR) Gambia Chapter were last Monday trained on ECOWAS protocols and key instruments regarding the Africa Continental-Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

The event was organised by NFTR-Gambia Chapter with funding from ECOWAS country office through the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment.

The event held at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) sought to expose participants to critical instruments and the role of the media in promoting regional integration.

Speaking at the ceremony, Abdoulie Nyockeh, president of the NFTR-Gambia Chapter, underscored the importance of the training, saying after the event participants would be equipped with the necessary skills to report accurately on the issues affecting cross-border trading amid coming into force of the Africa Continental-Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Nyockeh noted that at the end of the event, participants would be equipped with the requisite information to enable them report accurately on cross-border issues and also build their skills in reporting on taxation, business and finance.

Also speaking, Ebrima Sisawo, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, described the training as timely, as it would afford participants the opportunity to interact with experts and share best practices in promoting regional integration, protocols and existing arrangements.

“Our contribution to international trade is very minimal, just around 3 %. I think the performance is very low and it is only through this regional integration that we can outperform. We need to trade among ourselves much more than it is happening right now.”

He noted that there are lot of opportunities as far as regional integration is concerned. However, he reminded that one cannot take advantage of an opportunity if one does not know what is there for them.

For his part, Muhammed M.S. Bah, vice president of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), who doubles as assistant editor at Foroyaa newspaper, described the ECOWAS protocols and ACFTA as key that media personnel should know and help the public to understand as well as hold duty bearers to account.

“It’s 42 years since the inception of the ECOWAS protocol.”

Bah expressed optimism that participants after the event would intensively engage people on how far they have gone in implementing the Ecowas protocols and ACFTA.

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