Journalists have been urged to thoroughly equip themselves with knowledge concerning their various fields of reportage.
This is because a key role of journalists is to ensure accountability on the part of duty-bearers through educating the citizenry, and this could only be done right if the journalists themselves are well informed on the issues at stake.
Ramsey Benamba, Chief Editor, Ghana News Agency, said this during a panel discussion at the Fourth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference, on Wednesday in Accra.
It was under the theme, "Optimizing Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA); The role of logistics Infrastructure."
Speaking on the role of journalists in achieving the theme of the conference, he urged media houses to train journalists to specialise in their various fields of news reportage, so that they would be better equipped to inform both their local communities and the rest of the world, on trade opportunities within their respective localities on the continent.
He said an African media which was well educated on trade opportunities within the continent, was a great catalyst to optimising the AFCFTA, towards the socio-economic growth of the continent.
Mr. Benamba urged the leadership of the AFCFTA, to on their part, open up to journalists with information.
"When you withhold information, you rather encourage the touting of Half-truths, which ends up making things worse," he said.
Mr. Benamba also urged the AFCFTA to train selected journalists to report on its activities and other related issues towards optimising AFCFTA, in the vein of improving a lot of the continent.
He urged political leaders on the continent to strive towards achieving peace and stability within their respective domains because, it was only when media reports indicated that a place was safe and stable, that investors and other business people got encouraged to reach out and do business there.
Madam Catherine Ageno, Award-Winning Journalist, Nation Media Group, Uganda, urged the AFCFTA leadership not to regard the media as an after-thought.
She said as the case was in all other areas, the involvement of the media was crucial to the success of the AFCFTA.
Mr. Temiloluwa Bamgbose, Nigerian Award-winning Multimedia Journalist, urged leading AFCFTA stakeholders to be as open with the media as possible because that was crucial to them achieving their aims.
"Please stake-holders, do not panic when approached by journalists. Be the first to go to the media to talk to them and woo them over," he said.
The two-day conference was attended by a cross-section of stakeholders from the continent.