The 2018 African Journalists for Economic Opportunities (AJEOT) training a success in Ghana. The two-day intensive training was organized by the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) in partnership with Network for A Free Society, Atlas Network and Language of Liberty Institute at Koforidua in the Eastern region (June 21-23, 2018) brought together 20 selected journalists from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The training offered the participating journalists, policy analysts, social commentators and prolific writers to learn the tools for advocacy and economic principles of classical liberalism to help shape public policy discourse, and question the status quo for a free and prosperous society.
It was also aimed at helping the journalists help create a sustainable and prosperous society so all men can democratically have life, liberty and pursue of happiness. Powerful speakers from across the world took participants through topics including, ”Introduction to Classical Liberalism” which was treated by Thomas Adedayo-Nigeria; ”Geopolitics”, Vincente Camara-Switzerland; ”Identifying Tools for Economic Journalism”, Tom Palmer-United States.
Other speakers were Ebenezer Nii Tackie who spoke on ‘Understanding the Liberal Framework within the Realms of Public Policy Formulation; and Abdul-Rahman Dogbatey Sarpong who spoke on Media Entrepreneurship and Evans Badu Boampong, Vice President, ILAPI spoke about Media Censorship in Africa. Professor Brian Baugus spoke via Skype on Two Ideologies in One Country where he posited that, corruption and illegal systems were the two major problems delaying the development of Africa.
The rest were Bright Nkyi and economist who spoke on ‘Government and Inflation and GDP-How Real is it; Internet Freedom-Belinda Odek-Kenya; Dr. Steve Davies Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-UK) who argued that, subsidies by governments was a bad leadership approach to solving problems and also emphasied the need for African leaders to make it possible for citizens to own property in order to reduce conflicts. Evans Kissi an agric expert, touched on Economics Disconnection between resource management and economic prosperity whiles Mr Isaac Annan Yalley spoke about the Banking Economy and the reasons why banks fail. In his view, it will be more efficient if banks concentrate on delivering on quality services with fewer branches instead of focusing on opening more branches.
IMANI Africa's President, Franklin Cudjoe, admonished journalists to be brutal in their reportage, identify the gaps in policy and use their mediums to expose corruption. Corruption he posited is a canker that is executed through projects and contracts and citing the Kelni GVG as an example, he described the contract as a ‘’grand theft’’ being used to rob the limited resources of the state.
The event was climaxed with an awards night where some journalists and groups received prizes. The best participants went to Rashid Obodai Provencal-Ghana who also won the business pitch competition organized for participants and Dayo Pelumi from Nigeria also won the best participant. Stephen Bernard an Investigative journalist and Ernest Danso Abiam a journalist with Groupe Ndoum (GN) TV received medals for two major stories they pursued after the 2017 AJEO. Stephen Bernard went undercover to expose a police officer who abused a civilian.
He subsequently reported the case at PIPS despite threats on his life. HAYEK Group won Day 2 Assignment presentation on: ‘Identify a policy area, and determine policy gaps. Using liberal principles, suggest five ways to help government create a free society. Closing the training, President of ILAPI, Peter Bismark Kwofie admonished the journalists to use the skills they have acquired to change the narratives and pursue an agenda that will help society. Participants were drawn from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Switzerland.
The 2019 AJEOT is slated for June 27-30. Application will be opened from February to April 2019. About AJEOT As Journalists are known to be the 4th arm of government with the voice for the voiceless in our democratic society, it’s imperative to understand policies and how they are formulated for implementations to achieve its intents. Market competition and efficient function of the government to provide security from violence have taken millions of people from poverty. It is believed that economic freedom is a determinant for human development and the respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a prosperous world. This could only be made possible when government is limited to its primary function and policies are formulated to enhance economic competition.
AJEOT is a residential certification course for journalists and writers in Africa and beyond with university professors and heads of think tanks across the globe as the facilitators. Graduates are task to exhibit professionalism in their quest to enhance and help integrate liberty and its economic principles into journalism and public policies for prosperous society.
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