The Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), a Free Market policy think tank once again trained 25 selected journalists, Heads of NGOs and young policy analysts through its flagship program; African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT). The three day intensive residential training which took place at the Summit Lodge in Koforidua, had Participants from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, USA and Guinea. The 2019 edition is well planned with international scholars in the fields of economics, public policy, Free Trade, Property Rights,governance, international relations, journalism, fundraising and entrepreneurship.
Speakers from the USA, Kenya, Nigeria, Germany and Ghana took participants through the ideals of public policy, Basic Economics and Governance. Public policy framework, Property rights and Trade Liberalizations were well tackled. African government programs that stifle innovation and prosperity were not left out.
On economics, Prof. Brian Baugus’s expounded that Most Journalists and most people are not trained in economic thinking. He said, “Most people get their economic understanding from media, that if the media is wrong then the people are wrong and if the people are wrong the government and policy will be wrong” He further alluded to the fact that, politicians promise to do many things that ignore trade-offs. Policies are often focused on the short-term with no consideration for the long-term and politicians earn no reward for being right or any punishment for being wrong.”
The President of ILAPI – Ghana, Mr. Peter Bismark Kwofie in a session asked participants to analyse and question the status quo using the basic public policy and economic tools by identifying policy gaps that benefits the cronies at the expense of taxpayers. He said “critically analyze every policy and see if it militate individual freedom and innovation. It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority and journalists with these huge platforms, you must do this without fear or political favour”. The Vice – President of ILAPI also discussed with participants; Media Censorship in Africa. “Information is very important in any democratic country. It is easy for governments to obtain information about citizens but difficult for taxpayers to do same. Information on government’s expenditure on loans and grants are censored but when there are debts to GDP it is announced. Why?” He quizzed
On youth, Dr. Enoch Opoku Antwi, a leadership Professor in the USA bewailed that Our youths are reluctant to stand up against violations and create for themselves opportunities that await them. He said “The youth of Africa are not angry enough. Demand quality leadership and force your leaders to get their priorities right”.
Participants never got tired on Understanding the Liberal Ideologies within the Realms of Public Policy. The CEO of the Conservative Policy Research Center in Ghana, Mr. Ebenezer N. T. Teflondon explained legal plunder of the state. Mr. Teflondon said, “While other individuals or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet. Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue, the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions of its individual subjects”
Participants confessed how intensive the program is with a well selected and insightful modules that wets your appetite to learn more. Mr. Elison Owosu, avowed that “these are experts who have command over each module. I am challenged to do more at my work place. Looking at the previous participants (alumni) on stage to give account on how the training has positively influenced their works is just encouraging”
Other facilitators include, Dr. Mohammed Jamal, a Senior Lecturer of Koforidua Technical University, Evans Kissi, PhD candidate from Germany, Dr. Ike Tandoh, a communication Consultant, Ms Uche Odiase from Nigeria and Mr. Albert Kobina Mensah, also a DAAD PhD scholar in Germany.
Development Desk, ILAPI
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