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11.11.2008 General News

Journalists must be empowered to market Africa- Vice President

Journalists must be empowered to market Africa- Vice President

Vice President Alhaji Mahama at the weekend expressed the need for African journalists to be paid handsome salaries to empower them to project the image of Africa.

He said Europe should also create the platform to listen and tell the story of Africa in positive light, in order to dispel the prejudices Europeans had about Africans.

Alhaji Mahama was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Abuja, Nigeria at the end of the Fourth Africa Forum of the Partnership with Africa initiative, which aimed

at fostering development and co-operation between Africa and the industrialised nations.

The three-day conference, which was hosted by the German President, Mr Horst Kohler, and his Nigerian counterpart, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, was on the theme: “Barriers to Partnership and how to overcome them.”

He said the flow of information would boost the sinking image of Africa and improve on the fragile security situation in parts of the continent.

Alhaji said the numerous conflicts in Africa were creating a bad picture about Africans hence “the need for Africans to put their house in order”.

He said the forum came out with good conclusions to deal with the social, political and economic barriers that were running down partnership between Africa and Europe.

Speaking at a press conference to bring the forum to a close, President Kohler called on Africans to use the various regional bodies to tackle conflicts on the continent.

He asked Europe to help to boost the security of Africa to reciprocate the safety of Europeans.

President Kohler said the global financial crises called for a common international platform to dialogue on the way forward.

He said Africa and Europe must evaluate the global fight against terrorism and deal with the irregularities associated with migration in order to forge mutual policies to divine the future.

President Kohler observed that while Europeans apply double standards in regard to trade issues, African leaders must also stop using the same tactics by declining to criticise their colleagues when they go wrong.

President Yar'Adua, whose country is chairing the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, said the necessary recommendations ought to be made to the union to sanction personalities who are perceived to be undermining the efforts of Zimbabwe to form a unity government.

Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, President of the ECOWAS Commission said the international financial crises was likely to affect the huge remittances from the Diaspora to Africa and reverse the progress made after most countries on the continent were hit by food and energy problems.

He said the crises could also reverse the forward march of Africa to attain the Millennium Development Goals.

More than 50 selected eminent persons with background in politics, business and civil society used the forum as a platform to look at the barriers that Africans and Germans see as stumbling blocks in forging genuine partnership.

Heads of State from Burkina Faso and Ethiopia were part of the forum.

The maiden conference took place in Germany in November 2005, the second in Ghana in January 2007 and the third in November 2007 in Germany.

In a related development, Mr George Kumi, Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria has challenged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to forge partnership with their Nigerian counterparts to rake home the available dividends.

He said most Ghanaians were seated on the fence due to prejudices they had about doing business in Nigeria.

Mr Kumi who was speaking to the GNA in Abuja said Ghana should learn from the initiative taken by Nigerians to invest in all sectors of the Ghanaian economy.