Dakar, (Senegal), The Economic Commission for West Africa (ECA) needs to employ a well-rehearsed media branding and communication strategy for disseminating its flagship programmes, projects and policy interventions to be able to effectively fulfil its mandate.
Dr Dimitri Sanga, Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Sub Regional Office for West Africa (ECA SRO/WA) who gave the advice said if this was not done, a media blackout would make the ECA fail in bringing relief to the people.
The ECA’s main mandate is to support the economic and social development of its member states, encourage regional integration and international cooperation with emphasis on producing and sharing knowledge to support policy formulation and advocacy.
Speaking at a training workshop of 30 select journalists towards the formation of a Network of Economic Journalists for West Africa (NEJWA) in the 15 member-regional body of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr Sanga said maintaining a responsible and dynamic partnership with the media would become the swivel to generate the necessary visibility, acceptance and growth.
He said better synergy outcomes were expected from this collaboration with a clear-cut mechanism for capacity building for NEJWA members on ECA priority areas towards actualising the structural transformation of the region’s economies for job and wealth creation.
Dr Sanga expressed optimism about the success of the networking and entreated the journalists to be committed and demonstrate brazen professionalism to facilitate the region’s development.
Mr Jimmy Ocitti, the Director of Public Information and Knowledge Management Division, ECA Headquarters, said the ECA had metamorphosed overtime to become the premier think-tank entity for Africa, detaching itself from the UN bureaucracy wing and working robustly under the tag-line of Africa first.
He emphasised that information was, therefore, crucial for branding purposes and communication strategy development and the partnership with the NEJWA would promote information flow between ECA and their publics.
The principle on which the communication strategy will be notched will feature strong messages, including campaign approach communication, embedded with knowledge delivery and knowledge generation, a catalyst for media relationship in the view to contextualise news content.
Mr Ocitti said: If you control data, you control the narrative and if you control the narrative, you control data.
Mr Amadou Diouf, Economic Affairs Officer, ECA SRO/WA, said the ECA thrived on the integrity and authenticity of information it released to its partners and the public and, therefore, had a strategic framework for national statistical development in member states towards building a flagship data system, which could be vouched for internationally.
He announced that Cape Verde sought technical advice from the ECA in the deployment of technological innovation in transforming its birth and death registry, recording about 90 per cent optimum success in its national civic registration exercise, which Niger was seeking about $ 65 million to replicate.
This exercise will boost the national development planning and statistical systems as well as identification registration regimes for rapid socio-economic growth, he stated.
Mr Ochozias Gbaguidi, Chief Sub-Regional Initiative Officer, said regional initiatives and coordination of mechanisms would provide the synergy for enhanced development, including the cost-effective use of resources to optimise for greater efficiency.
For these reasons, he said, the ECA was critically reviewing the impact of the admission of Morocco into ECOWAS in a research, and the results would be ready soon to affect decision-making going forward.
Source: Ghana News Agency