W/ African outdoor body promises to deepen regional integration

West African Federation of Out of Home Advertising, FOAPE, has resolved to further the course of the region’s economic integration.

It agreed at its executive meeting held in Lagos last weekend to promote regional and national harmonization of laws and regulations relating to outdoor advertising and to lobby against excessive regulations. This will enable outdoor operators within the region to operate across the region without hindrances.

Charles Chijide, President of FOAPE
Charles Chijide, President of FOAPE

Various forums within the African continent have emphasized the importance of removing impediments to the movement of goods and people within Africa as critical factor for economies to easily cooperate for development.

This is important as African countries’ trade volume among themselves account for only 12 percent.

African Union believes that because Africa’s economies are mostly small, regional collaboration is needed to justify the high costs of infrastructure spending, to create regional value chains and to allow skills to move across borders.

Speaking at the meeting of the non-profit FOAPE organisation, its president, Charles Chijide said his vision of the association is that it should be positioned in such a way that ” ECOWAS will see us as partners in progress”

Other goals of the association include to promote the harmonization of research methods in order to encourage a convergence of outdoor research methodology across West African and the entire continent on the long run, and to build a database of information, web enabled, about outdoor medium to enable members improve the way the medium is used locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

Also speaking at the meeting, the president of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, OAAN, Babatunde Adedoyin welcomed the objective of the body which is to transact business across borders without hindrances.

He said the advertising community is not afraid of regulation as long as regulators and practitioners are on the same page.

In his comment, the President of Advertising Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, David Okeme said it is interesting that such body is being formed in West Africa to further promote the course of regional integration.

He recognized W/ African as a big market of about 300 million people. “It is a region that expects double digit growth”, he said believing that the association would assist brands to reach their targets within the region.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Benin republic, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria.