Leaders of various Parliamentarian Press Corps from across the West African sub region, under the banner ‘West Africa Parliamentary Press Corps (WAPOC)’ have ended a two-day Media summit in the Ghanaian Capitol, Accra.
The event, aimed at uniting and strengthening the coverage of parliaments in the 15 countries in West Africa was held under the theme: “Sustaining Parliamentary Democracy in the West African Sub-Region: The Role of the Media”, was attended by members of the Ghanaian and Nigerian Parliaments as well as government officials from the executive headed by the Ghana Information Minister, National Security Minister and the Ghana Journalist Association leadership.
Others were the Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament and Student Journalists from various Journalism Schools across Ghana.
Liberia was represented at the Media Summit by the President of the Legislative Press Pool of Liberia (LEGISPOOL), Musa Kenneh and the Director of Press of the House of Representatives, Isaac Redd.
Several topics were addressed at the conference including Effective Parliamentarian Reporting, Responsible reporting as a means of sustaining peace in the sub region, the media role in serving as watch dogs to ensure efficiency in the work of Parliament and the role of the media in fighting hate speeches among others.
Speakers at the Conference called on Parliaments to support regular training of parliamentarian reporters as a means of ensuring an effective dissemination of information to the public.
The representative of the Senate President of Nigeria Senator Ben Murray Bruce cautioned leaders of Parliament in the region not to underestimate the role of the media in enhancing their work in parliament and also urged the media to be professional in their work.
In his solidarity speech on behalf of the House of Representatives of Liberia, The Director of Press, Isaac Redd recounted the strong relationship between the leadership of the House and the Legislative Press Pool of Liberia.
Director Redd pledged Speaker Bhofal Chambers’ support to the Liberian Parliamentarian Press Corps and the regional body to build the capacity of journalists covering the legislature.
The Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament promised to work with the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament to ensure that the group forms part of the budget of the parliament.
Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Parliament at the program recommitted itself to continue its sponsorship of the yearly training of Ghana parliamentarian reporters.
The West African Parliamentary Press Corps is the umbrella organization of all Journalists who cover parliamentary proceedings within the West African Sub-Region.
The Symposium was intended to equip journalists who cover Parliaments within the West African Sub-Region, with the skills and knowledge to discharge their duties with the strictest sense of professionalism, so as to help strengthen good governance and parliamentary democracy in the sub-region.
The media training session was preceded by a Symposium on the need to deepen democracy within the West African Sub-region as an essential pre-requisite for growth and development.
The two-days event took place at the Accra International Conference Centre and the Parliament House of Ghana with Resource Persons from the Academia, Security Services, Media Circles, members of Parliament, members from the diplomatic corps and members of the executive wing of government.