Casablanca, 27 January 2024 – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its Sub-Regional Office (SRO) for North Africa and the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), organized a training program for journalists and other media professionals in the North Africa region from 25 to 27 January 2024 in Casablanca, Morocco.
Centred around the theme of Partnership for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) awareness and implementation, the training aimed to deepen the understanding of media professionals in Arab and French speaking African countries about the AfCFTA and its role in boosting intra-Africa trade and overall development in the continent.
The AfCFTA is an ambitious programme of continental integration that goes beyond a traditional free trade area, covering trade in goods, trade in services, investment policy, intellectual property rights, competition policy, digital trade, and women and youth in trade. As such, the AfCFTA is expected to drive economic growth, industrialization, and sustainable development in Africa by progressively merging the many small and fragmented African markets into one. But the enormous promise of the AfCFTA can be realized only if its commitments are implemented fully, inclusively and expeditiously. For that to happen, the role of the media is critical in disseminating information about the AfCFTA, empowering particularly the private sector to take full advantage of its opportunities.
This training, which targeted journalists and media professionals from the Maghreb region, was aimed at enhancing awareness on approaches to creating accurate AfCFTA content that is accessible to ordinary citizens. They also learnt from experts in the field and engaged in peer-to-peer exchange of ideas, experiences, challenges and best practices.
The training also covered digital news reporting. Participants were encouraged to collaborate by creating a digital space for discussion on the subject.
Participants to the training workshop were selected based on their prior reporting experiences on trade and development issues in their respective countries.
ECA has a regular training programme for media professionals, available in all ECA official languages, which aims to equip the industry with the technical knowhow that is essential for accurate reporting on the AfCFTA.
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