African Union Youth Working Group
Advisor, Regional Board Member
Host, Executive Producer, & Head of Research & Communications: "AFRICA IN FOCUS" at Radio XYZ 93.1FM
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Advisor, Regional Board Member
As an Afropolitan, I have worked in *Addis Ababa, Ethiopia*; lived and worked in *Brussels, Belgium*; and currently live and work in *Accra, Ghana*.
In Addis, I worked as a Web & PR Strategy Consultant for the AU’s think-tank on peace and security; in Brussels, where I grew up, I worked as an Information Officer/Webmaster for an international NGO; and in Accra, I spent almost 10 years as a Communications Officer/Web Journalist for another international NGO based in Accra, but with headquarters in Malaysia, and offices in Geneva; Delhi; and Montevideo.
I had always been interested in how nations cooperate (I started writing about this back in secondary school for the school's newspaper column when I was around 15). After my Masters in 2003 (where my thesis compared ECOWAS and ASEAN), I had an epiphany on regional integration: I began researching comparative regional integration. The passion has continued to the present day, where I have focused my research more on ECOWAS, the African Union, and comparative regional integration. This has translated into my writings on ECOWAS and the African Union; my social media work promoting ECOWAS and the AU (in my capacity as Founder and Manager of EKBENSAH DOTNET).
When in 2010, the UN Economic Commission in Africa asked me to do work for them in promoting their Facebook group on “Observatory on Regional Integration in Africa”, I was even more driven to make more of an impact on African integration, especially in West Africa.
To that end, apart from my day job, I contribute to a number of (volunteer) initiatives that build on my writing; social media; communication; knowledge management skills.
Specialties: (researcher of) comparative regional integration; media advocacy; public information (list-servs; New Media; blogging; social networking applications; websites); HTML-trained web manager; communications; Web & PR strategy'; Africa Peace and Security Architecture(APSA); ECOWAS; ASEAN
Why the African Union Youth Working Group?
Following the African Union consultation with youth on the Agenda 2063, in Hamamet in November 2013 and the recommendations and inputs of the working groups, we are proposing to have some follow up and monitoring mechanism. In line of the following mechanisms, the participants found urgent to establish working group on some topics to discuss the ways and means to enhance African Union programs awareness in the continent. We committed that the Africa we want to see in 2063 should be an integrated Africa, where pupils at school can sing the African union anthem, where youth are involve in the policies drafting and even part of the implementation process.
Who are the members ?
Our current membership comprises of Youth Development Experts, Advocates, Activists, Bloggers and Journalists.
What will the group do when it get started ?
1, Advocate for African countries to sign, ratify and accede to the African Youth Charter that have not yet done so,
2, Popularize the Charter to make it known to every single young person in Africa by building their capacities to master its content in other to take ownership and hold their governments accountable to it.
3, Come up with action-based advocacy strategies for the introduction of the AU Anthem to be integrated into the school curriculum to be taught and sing by student in all African Schools.
4, Continue engaging African Youth on AGENDA 2063 of African Union for its implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
The objective of the show is to educate the Ghanaian audience about Africa, through the lens of developments in ECOWAS; the African Union; and other African countries. The show plans to be an educational and informative show that will call on resource people (from the diplomatic; civil society; private sector community) from Ghana, the sub-region, and beyond to respond to the intellectual challenges of developing Africa.
The maiden edition of the show is on 6 May, 2014 at 14h00 CAT
Assists in project planning of Research and Communications Unit, and ensures that pre-established work scope is followed. Recruits and coordinates assistant-interns, as appropriate, and serves as principal Research, and Communications liaison for projects. Oversees and coordinates the provision of administrative and staff services to Africa in Focus (AIF) team; develops and maintains record-keeping systems and procedures.
• Coordinates and directs research and communications work of Unit
• Supervises work of assistants (ECOWAS, AU, EAC)
• Creates synergy with, and monitors activities of, Business Desk
• Monitors external relations with sponsors of Africa in Focus (AIF) show
• Directs and prepares weekly meetings
• Ensures the smooth and efficient day-to-day operation of research and data collection activities for the Unit
• Serves as the primary administrative point of contact for assistants
• Acts as the principal operational liaison for other research organizations, funding agencies and regulating bodies.
• generating and researching ideas for programmes
• developing content, writing material for scripts, bulletins and links;
• sourcing potential contributors and interviewees;
• managing the logistics of getting people, resources and equipment together
• responding to audience feedback;
The global objective of the forum is to strengthen and improve the quality of Geospatial information science and technology reporting on the continent and its impact on the livelihood of African citizens
The AMFGIS shall be a leading information, knowledge and awareness raising platform on Geospatial information science and technology system for socio-economic development. It shall monitor and continuously disseminate information on best practices on geospatial information technology and science and its benefit for economic growth and social transformation at national, sub-regional and global levels.
*research, communications, and training on Africa's integration (African Union; ECOWAS; RECs)
*New Media strategy, with focus on Africa's regional economic communities (RECs)
*website design (HTML) and training; niche-blogging
*specialists on West African integration (ECOWAS; UEMOA)
*specialists on comparative global regional integration (ASEAN-ECOWAS, etc)
I write a column that seeks to provide analysis and commentary on developments at ECOWAS and the African Union
** manage twitter account on http://www.twitter.com/AfrObservatory
** contribute updates to Observatory on regional integration
** source relevant stories on "African integration" for posting on Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/ekbensah#!/home.php?sk=group_144121825221&ap=1)
I own these blogs:
1. Trials & Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen of Ghana : http://ekbensahinghana.blogspot.com
2. Twelve Days in Tunis: http://twelvedaysintunis.blogspot.com
3. Accra Daily Photo: http://accradailyphoto.com
4. Critiquing Regionalism: http://www.critiquing-regionalism.org
5. I'm a Proud African Union Citizen: http://african-union-citizen.blogspot.com
*filing daily stories (video/print/podcast) for the CCDA-IV Live Newspaper & website
*conducting interviews for CCDA-IV Live Paper & website
*filing daily stories (video/print/podcast) for the ADF9 Daily Bulletin
*conducting interviews for Paper & website
• Maintain website with uploads of articles/press releases/publications, including yearly launch of Joint TWN-Africa/UNCTAD launch of UNCTAD's Economic Report on Africa
• Instrumental in re-design of current website on twnafrica.org, with view to making it interactive and user-end oriented
• Deploy multi-tasking skills (scanning of documents; conversion of articles into PDF and Microsoft Word (vice versa) and creation of sub-sites using JOOMLA/HTML)
• Produce “Weekly Africa Update”—news of developments in Africa’s regional economic communities(RECs)
• Weekly tracking of website for new constituents for advocacy
• Web trawling, including for francophone constituents engaged in our advocacy work
• Member of editorial team of TWN-Africa’s flagship “African Agenda” magazine, producing either book reviews or articles on regional integration for the magazine
social media training for Multi TV on:
*writing for the "Net
*Since November 2013, been a regular resource person to Pravda Radio 93.5 fm in Accra on:
1. discussions on the possibilities of ECOWAS monetary union
2. West Africa Monetary Zone possibilities of creating ECOWAS single currency
3. Ghana government's handling (in collaboration with Niger) and management of the realisation of West African common currency by 2020
*communications & research on West Africa/ECOWAS/UEMOA (I research stories exclusively on West Africa; write succinct pieces/digests of 10 articles, including a review of a publication for distribution in the NewsBrief)
*thematic writer (written one article on Ghana's education)
*West Africa Gateway (westafricagateway.org) contributor
*weekly writings on developments of economic integration in the ECOWAS sub-region
*articles include examining a possible economic architecture for ECOWAS; prospects for ECOWAS@38years; financing economic integration in West Africa
As part of the Ghanaian media's "coverage" of the AU@50 celebration, I was recommended by a colleague to speak to the issue on Ghana Television (GTV)'s "Breakfast Show" (28 May, 2013); and Metro TV's late-night flagship discussion programme "Good Evening Ghana" (4 June, 2013). I was also interviewed by CITI97.3fm's Bernard Avle about the OAU/AU.
*Merits and demerits of the OAU/AU
*Is the AU still relevant and why?
*OAU/AU@50: exploration of AU, ECOWAS, and regional economic communities
*relevance of OAU/AU efforts 50 years on
*financing Africa's integration
you can listen to the links here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B32CLvfWC8j4VnBWTTVZOERFTkE&usp=sharing
*research assistant to Ph.D student-diplomat working on regional economic integration in West Africa
*development of theoretical framework for understanding ECOWAS/UEMOA sub-region
*development of comparative framework for understanding ECOWAS-EAC synergies
**provide timely and regular pieces on developments in African Union and ECOWAS
**provide non-partisan analysis encouraging public transparency and accountability in Ghana and beyond
*designed & implemented an overall PR and outreach strategy for various activities of the Africa Peace & Security Programme (APSP) of the IPSS
*established site map, & TOR for website development
*obtained greater insights into the African Union's Peace and Security Department, and Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) thanks to occasional direct contact with AU professionals.
was put on the committee late last year/confirmed early this year as member of National Technical Committee
I write a column on "Technology" for Global Media Alliance's SUNDAY WORLD newspaper, which is the only regular Sunday Newspaper, and the only regular paper that has such a column(!)
*old articles can be found here: http://ekbensah.net/pb/wp_4e53c24c/wp_4e53c24c.html
• produced daily analysis of international development and trade-related news for ICDA’s flagship electronic newsletter the WTO Impact List (WTOIL). Five areas of daily analysis include:
i. Trade & Least Developed Countries;Trade & Environment (sustainable development);Trade & WTO agreements;iv. Trade & Regional Organisations (impacts of peace/conflict on inter/intra-regional trade);v.Trade & World Bank/IMF/TNCs impact on poor.
• Produced ICDA Update (with focus on Trade & Trade-related issues of past 6 months). This ICDA publication went out twice a year.
• Followed & monitored EU-NGO Civil Society discussions on gender, trade, and development-related issues at the European institutions.
• Monitored regional trade agreements and regional organisations updates for the WTOIL, such as ACP; FTAA; NAFTA; ASEAN; MERCOSUR; APEC; ECOWAS
• Followed Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for WTOIL, including having been an active member of the Trade Caucus at the UN Conference on LDCs in May 2001.
• Contacted, and liased with ICDA’s member NGO organisations, including OXFAM GB; Action Aid UK; World Development Movement by phone, fax, and email
• Provided outreach for ICDA by producing occasional information sheets to reflect ICDA’s work on development education, advocacy & trade.
• Re-designed & updated the ICDA Website (http://icdasecretariat.tripod.com)
• Researched & wrote reports of conferences for meetings of Brussels-based networks like the European Trade Network (ETN).
• Assisted the Chairperson in writing concept papers for fundraising
• Interviewed and screened prospective interns and/or volunteers for office work
• Assisted in Gender-related programme in ICDA’s capacity as European focal point for International Gender & Trade Network.
• Developed policy, and prepared advocacy work on, and around UNCTAD, and UNCTAD XI (June 2004)
a timely, succinct digest of developments in West Africa and the Sahel during the past week
forum to encourage those (communicators; journalists; academics; citizens) interested and passionate in Africa and **WEST AFRICA** in particular to facilitate outreach of the importance of sub-regional economic communities of ECOWAS / SADC/ IGAD, etc towards an African Union of the People! **Beyond the UN reports, this forum is a modest attempt to spread the message far-and-wide on everything that ECOWAS does, and be educated on how ECOWAS can work for its community citizens** (tied to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/citizens4ecowas)
Discussions and reflections--both popular and academic--on the necessity of creating an African Union government. Can Africa Unite? "If not now, then when? If not here, then where? If not by us, then who?"
affiliated to http://www.facebook.com/africanunioncitizen
RegionsWatch was set up in February 2004 to "monitor work of regional organisations; raise awareness of other regionalisms; provide constructive & progressive critiques of global regional integration initiatives". This blog will seek to continue the work that was being done in RegionsWatch's Observatory
"The fragile nature of Africa’s democracy often calls into question the ability of regional institutions to mediate the crisis it triggers"; however, the author concludes that significant, robust, regional mechanisms offer hope that the development of healthy, democratic sub-regions are possible.
“CAADP is a source of pride for the Union, given that an increasing number of Member states have taken steps to implement the Programme pursuant to the commitments made at the Maputo Summit in 2003.”
From 2-3 June, 2012, both Ghana and Nigeria were in grief as 180 souls unnecessarily lost their lives, prompting immense speculation and discussion about West Africa's aviation sector. Regrettably, the discussions were done within a myopic context of what the disaster meant to the individual countries. A year later, Africa and West Africa should be having a serious discussion about how to harmonise and rationalise the aviation sector for the benefit of African citizens. We cannot wait for Agenda2063 before we act. I reprise last year's series I wrote for the benefit of a much-needed discussion on how air travel, including joint-fuel purchases by African airlines can contribute to the region in particular and the continent as a whole.
The AU celebrates its golden jubilee this week. Despite this momentous occasion, the Ghanaian media has spent scant time informing about never mind reporting on the significance of being alive to witness the fruits of five decades of hard-fought struggles to realize Africa's own policy space.
Only this week, I have heard on radio of the AU being referred to as 'irrelevant' by intellectuals who might know better. By way of a retort, I am reprising one of my 'Pax Aufricana' articles of 2012 and, in the same vein, seeking to celebrate what should have been a party in a country which first President is undoubtedly, and indeed, the African of the Millenium.
**Module 1: International Trade, MDGs and Development:
**Module 2: Trade: A Powerful Engine for Development
...and three other modules
relevant seminar to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders in charge of regional integration processes. Trainers from both European Union and West Africa will address, during the first seminar of its kind, the key challenges to regional integration in West Africa and the world including the Mali crisis, drug and weapon-trafficking, migration patterns ans the rising power of BRICS.
**Challenges to West Africa’s Regional Integration include the Mali crisis, drug and weapon-trafficking, migration patterns and the rising power of BRICS
**Five-day training seminar set to tackle threats to regional cohesion in West Africa and host international array of speakers
Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Overview of Regional Integration in Africa
Module 3: The Theory of Free Trade Areas: The Case for an African Continental Free Trade Area
Module 4: The African Continental Free Trade Area: An Empirical Analysis
Module 5: Perspectives for Fast-tracking an African Continental Free Trade Area
Module 6: Movement of People and the Right of Residence and Establishment
Module 7: Movement of Goods and Services in Africa
Module 8: Movement of Investment and Capital in Africa
Activities and Societies: Module 1: Multilateral trade rules and regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa Module 2: Trade policies and regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa: The Common External Tariffs (CETs) Module 3: Common trade rules and sectoral policies at regional level (Eastern and Southern Africa) Module 4: Regional integration and evolution of international trade relations (Eastern and Southern Africa) Module 5:Towards developing coherent regional trade policies4 Eastern/Southern Africa
*Thesis (Awarded 33/40): "Can ASEAN and ECOWAS Respond to the West's Push for Global Trade Liberalisation?"
*obtained "grande distinction" for M.A.
Activities and Societies: GCSE English; History; French; Latin; etc...A Levels in English; French; History; Computing A/S
*(Ag.President Ghana Association of Journalists in ICT(GHAJICT) *Member of Ghanablogging.com community *Ghana author for Global Voices Online (www.globalvoicesonline.org) *member of National Committee of Ghana Standards Board *member of committe for 14th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Media Awards [june-aug 2009]
Church CEO, Ambassador, Telecommunications Expert, and Publisher
CC Liaison Officer at URI (United Religions Initiative)
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER at Tata Beverages Company Limited
CEO & Founding Partner @ Axis Human Capital Ltd., and Assistant Professor @ Ashesi University
Executive Director, Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement
Freelance Consultant - Natural Resource Management & Programme Development
Founder/C.E.O at Zit Social Media
Regional Cordinator, Canadaian Hunger Foundation-Association of Church Development Projects colaboration Project-RESULT