The Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) has said that its sub-regional radio and television channels will come on stream in 2017.
Dr Isaias Barreto da Rosa, the ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Telecommunication and Information Technologies, made this known recently. Acccording to him, the setting up of the station will promote integration in the sub-region and help project the identity of its people.
“Setting up a television channel is a very expensive project,” he continued, “There was a prefeasibility study, but we are at the initial phase of this project and we are going to run a feasibility study which will give us real estimate of how much this will cost. We are at the initial stage and we are reaching out to partners so we can move ahead with this project for our sub-region. We are aiming at 2017 for the launching of this radio and television channel.”
The commissioner said that the project would provide adequate information about ECOWAS, its visions, projects, programs, successes and challenges. He also explained that the existence of the radio/ television channel would help in enlightening the people and enhancing their participation in the realization of the vision and objectives of the sub-region.
Barreto da Rosa further said that the commission would collaborate with local media organizations and the private sector to bring the project to fruition. He added that the collaboration will cut across the multilingual composition of the sub-region.
“The promotion of the West African identity, values, the plural characteristics of the member states and the aspects that unite the 300 million people that live within the sub-region, are the core objectives of this radio and television channel. Since this will be a West African radio and television channel, we will work to make this channel reach all West African citizens with the language issues taken into consideration. One of the core aspects of this channel is that we will not be competing with any local radio and television station within the sub-region. We will be partnering with them because we believe that through exchange of content, we could indeed broadcast content from other media organizations to the most remote areas of the sub-region.”
Barreto da Rosa also stated that the commission will cooperate with the different partners as the project unfolds. He hinted that the ECOWAS Heads of States and Government will decide the most suitable location for the radio/television channel.