The Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), an award winning public policy think tank over the weekend, took 25 journalists and young policy analysts through its rigorous flagship program; African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT).

The annual three day intensive residential training which took place at the Summit Lodge in Koforidua, had Participants from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, USA and Guinea. The 2019 edition took participants through issue and case based advocacies and research on ways of achieving prosperous free society.

A number of market economics and public policy analysis were made over African government programs that stifle innovation and prosperity. The Moral and Economic Argument of Prof. Brian Baugus’s analysis on the economic rudiment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement enabled participants to appreciate the importance and benefits of Free Trade in the long term.

He posited, “morally, the Free Trade Agreement will allow people more options in how to serve others and trading partners would rely on each other and engage in cooperative action – leading to better, more peaceful relations”. He further said, “economically, it would allow mobility of resources to find their best use with a more diverse consumer choices thereby increasing competition that drives production efficiency”.

The President of ILAPI – Ghana, Mr. Peter Bismark Kwofie in a session asked participants to analyse and question the status quo using the basic public policy and economic tools by identifying policy gaps that benefits the cronies at the expense of taxpayers.

He said “critically analyze every policy and see if it militate individual freedom and innovation. It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority and journalists with these huge platforms must do this without fear or political favour”.

The Vice – President of ILAPI, Mr. Evans Badu Boampong, also discussed with participants; Media Censorship in Africa. “Information is very important in any democratic country. It is easy for governments to obtain information about citizens but difficult for taxpayers to do same. Information on government’s expenditure on loans and grants are censored but when there are debts to GDP it is announced. Why?” He quizzed Participants never got tired on Understanding the Liberal Ideologies within the Realms of Public Policy.

The CEO of the Conservative Policy Research Center in Ghana, Mr. Ebenezer N. T. Teflondon explained legal plunder of the state. Mr. Teflondon said, “While other individuals or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet. Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue, the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions of its individual subjects”

Other facilitators include, Dr. Enoch Opoku Antwi from the USA, Dr. Mohammed Jamal, a Senior Lecturer of Koforidua Technical University, Evans Kissi, PhD candidate from Germany, Dr. Ike Tandoh, a communication Consultant and Mr. Albert Kobina Mensah, also a DAAD PhD scholar in Germany.

“The modules taught here goes beyond all that I have learnt throughout my career as a journalist. What! This should be an MBA class with thought provoking sessions on economics, public policy, governance and journalism. I am now well-cooked to do more than the usual journalism” – Sefah Danquah of easy FM

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