ILAPI AJEOT 2018: Driving Media Power for Entrenching a Free Society

With African nations grappling with the effects of bad policies and oppressive leadership, the African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT) in Ghana, an initiative of Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) Ghana in partnership with Language of Liberty Institute (LLI), the Atlas Network and Network for a Free Society (NFS)  could not have come at a better time, considering the critical roles played by journalists in shaping the society.

As a leading voice in Africa, promoting the libertarian philosophy, African Liberty Organization for Development (ALOD), lead by Adedayo Thomas, participated in the second edition of the 3 days residential immersion program which ran from 22nd – 25th June, 2018 at the Summit Lodge, Koforidua, Eastern Region, Ghana. ALOD represented by the duo of Wale Ajetumobi (CampusLife Editor, The Nations Newspapers) and Dayo Pelumi (Operations Manager).

According to ILAPI, AJEOT is a two day intensive residential certification training for journalists and prolific writers to learn the tools for advocacy and economic principles of classical liberalism to help shape public policy discourse, and question the status quo for a free and prosperous society.

As journalists are known to be the 4th arm of government with the voice for the voiceless in our democratic society, it is imperative to understand policies and how they are formulated for implementation to achieve its intents. Market competition and efficient function of the government to provide security from violence have taken millions of people from poverty.

Economic freedom is a determinant for human development and the respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a prosperous world. This could only be made possible when government is limited to its primary function and policies are formulated to enhance economic competition.

How can we help create a sustainable and prosperous society so all men can have life, liberty and pursue of happiness? How does government put a greater debt burden on future generations? Why would government give something for nothing to virtually everyone at no cost or little cost? Why has government anti-poverty programs
still keep people poorer? This and many other questions and how economics has the influence on those questions.

The participants, having been welcomed by Peter Bismark of ILAPI, had a session with Ajetunmobi Ridwan who spoke on Introduction to Classical Liberalism while Vicente Camara of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (Switzerland) facilitated a session on Geopolitics Dr.Tom Palmer of Atlas Network joined the participants in a Skype presentation on Identifying Tools for Economic Journalism. 

Ebenezer Nii-Tackie of Conservation Policy Research Centre (CPRC) Ghana had a presentation on Understanding the Liberal Framework within the Realms of Public Policy Formulation. Abdul-Rajman Sarpong of ILAPI presented on MediaPreneurship; joining via Skype also was Dr. Brian Baugus of Regent University who had an interaction on the Two Ideologies in One Country this was followed by a lecture by Bright Nkyi of ILAPI on Government Inflation and GDPHow Real is it?; while Belinder Odek of Kenya and curator of Young Africans for Opportunities spoke on Internet Freedom emphasizing the importance of Net Neutrality.

The day was concluded with a panel on Shared Language, which had Vicente Camara, Evans Badu (VP ILAPI) and Ebenezer Nii-Tackie. At dinner, the facilitators and participants also celebrated the birthday of the President of ILAPI, Peter Bismark On the following day, Ebenezer Nii-Tackie of the Conservation Policy Research Centre
(CPRC) Ghana opened the day’s conversations with the continuation of his lecture on Understanding the Liberal Framework within the Realms of Public Policy Formulation. Prof Steve Davies of IEA UK joined via Skype to deliver a lecture on How to use Basic Economics to Understand the World and Explain it while Evans Kissi, a PhD fellow of the University of Kassel, Germany facilitated a class on Agriculture Economics – Disconnection between Resource Management and Economic Prosperity. Franklin Cudjoe, the CEO of Imani Center for Policy & Education, a think tank dedicated to the promotion of a free society, delivered a thought-provoking class on strategically on Identifying Policy Gaps and Choosing the Right Headline Right Content for Effective Analyses and Reportage. He also admonished participants to get acquainted with the CD: Ideas for a Free Society which contains lots of resources. 

Isaac Annan Valley, the Monetary Economist at the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI) in Ghana, facilitated a class on The Banking Economy while Evans Badu Boampong, Vice President ILAPI concluded the lectures with Media Censorship in Africa. While espousing the importance of the media to promoting societal sanity, he called on journalists to think outside the box towards owning media outlets in order to wrestle the grip of self-serving politicians on media ownership, which would organically phase out censorship and incite sanity in the system.

The Dinner & Award Night was loaded with exciting events for the participants, and commenced with a panel shared by young libertarians making their marks in the society. The panel comprised of the leadership of Centre for Better Society Advocacy and Research Africa (CEBSAR-AFRICA), an anti-corruption organization working towards a
corruption-free society in Africa; Ominira TV, online media outlet using the power of the media to promote libertarianism; and the Young Africans For Opportunities (YAFO), an organization seeking to break barriers to economic opportunities while empowering entrepreneurs, young professionals and students, through public policy advocacy and research.

Two participants at AJEOT 2017 were awarded medals for their outstanding performances and demonstration of courage over the past 1 year as journalists, having covered threatening stories promoting a free society. Two participants also had the stage to pitch their blogging business plans for funding: Rainbow Radio and Kull FM,
with Rashid Obodai of Rainbow Radio carting away the grand prize, which comprises of free news website design and funding support by ILAPI’s Blockchain Systems Management Department and associates.

This was followed by group presentations based on assignments earlier shared among the groups comprising HAYEK, MISES, WATER WILLIAMS and BASTIAT; with HAYEK Group coming top ahead of other groups. The group received a bouquet of high value books and literature, courtesy ILAPI and Partners.

One of the representatives of ALOD, Dayo Pelumi, was not just part of the winning HAYEK Group, he also received the award for Best Participant jointly with Rashid Obodai of Rainbow FM Ghana.

AJEOT is a residential certification course for journalists and writers in Africa and beyond with university professors and heads of think tanks across the globe as the facilitators. Graduates were tasked to exhibit professionalism in their quest to enhance and help integrate liberty and its economic principles into journalism and public policies
for prosperous society. The Blockchain revolution will not be left out!


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