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18.04.2008 General News

Media must be involved in State contract negotiations

By Accra Mail
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Mr. Eric Chinje, External Affairs Manager of the World Bank has called for the media's involvement in State contract negotiations from the initial stage to ensure transparency.

He said this would enable journalists to monitor contract formulation and implementation so that their countries could benefit from such contracts.

Mr. Chinje, who was speaking in a teleconference after the Spring Meeting of the IMF/World Bank to senior journalists of 10 African countries, said that would call for the building of the professional capacity of journalists.

He said: "If there is development, everyone, including the media benefits from that development.

"Sometimes donor funding projects are sited in a country without the knowledge or the involvement of the people nor the political representative of the people."

Mr. Chinje said it was not enough for journalists to cover signing ceremonies of agreements without knowing the details of that contract to be able to monitor it and to tell the public how the contract would be executed to the benefit of the country.

Speakers from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Egypt and Ethiopia asked for the strengthening and equipping of media houses to enhance their operations.

Ms. Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, Editor of Ghanaian Times, and Mr Lloyd Evans, President of Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists, who joined others to contribute to the discussion during the teleconference called for the strengthening of African journalism training institutes.

They also called for frequent interaction of the World Bank Offices in Africa with journalists to ensure that the media was kept abreast with the operations of the World Bank.

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