ECOWAS Information Ministers to adopt new regional communication policy
Ministers responsible for information and communication in ECOWAS Member States, including Sierra Leone’s Deputy Information and Communications Minister Hon. Sheka Tarawallie, will meet at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja Friday, 14th January 2011 to adopt a new communication policy and strategy for the Community. The two-day meeting will also validate the “Supplementary Act on a Uniform Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression and Right to Information in West Africa” as well as the “Norms and Standards for the Media in the Promotion of Peace and Security in West Africa”. (Photo: ECOWAS countries – Policy, administrators and communication experts during one of the sessions)
The expected adoption of the Communication Policy and Strategy will conclude a two-year- old programme by the ECOWAS Commission to update its 10-year-old information policy to enable it contribute to the realization of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 for a citizen-focused organization. The process is in furtherance of the mandate of the Communications Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission which, amongst other duties, is to facilitate citizen-sensitization and mobilization within the framework of the integration objectives of ECOWAS. While the “Supplementary Act on a Uniform Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression and Right to Information in West Africa” is expected to help harmonize and improve the free flow of ideas conducive to regional development, the” Norms and Standards for the Media in the Promotion of Peace and Security in West Africa”will contribute to raise the awareness of the media in the region of a common responsibility to promote peace and democracy.” The Norms and Standards will also enhance the capacity of the media in their role to defend and promote the values, institutions, and processes of peace and democracy in the region. In addition, it will serve as a framework and common reference point for standards of professional practice in the region, promote high journalistic standards by assisting in minimizing poor performance and undue offences, so as to enhance public trust and confidence in the media.
On Tuesday 11th January, 2011, Policy makers, Administrators and Information and Communications experts met at the ECOWAS secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria, and held deliberations on a number of issues centered on the ECOWAS Regional Communication Policy.
Sierra Leone was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Information and Communications Mr. Sheku A Tamu and Sierra Leone’s ECOWAS Information Attaché, Pasco Gerald Temple.
Pasco Gerald Temple, Information Attache, Sierra Leone High Commission, Abuja, Nigeria
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