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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Workshop calls for all-inclusive NEPAD

•On communications

A three-day communications workshop organized by the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) ended in the city of Accra, Ghana at the weekend with a call for an all-inclusive NEPAD.

The workshop in a communiqué made available to newsmen, outlined that mobilization of different stakeholders within the African continent should be advanced to prevail an effective participation in and avail Africans to holistically see NEPAD as their own.

In addition, participants at the workshop suggested the utilization of existing and new structures as well as networks to effectively communicate the NEPAD message.

The workshop attended by representatives of government, intergovernmental agencies, youth and the private sector, civil society organisations, as well as developmental partners, also called for development of an accessible and affordable communications infrastructure.

This, they said would accelerate progress in finalizing the integrated communications strategy, even as a second meeting of experts has been scheduled also in Ghana between May 3 and 4, 2007.

The communiqué equally noted that in spite of many NEPAD success stories till date, the African initiative is still not fully known or understood in the continent.

This misunderstanding, participants said, has often led to confusion regarding the role that stakeholders were expected to play in its implementation.

A press statement from NEPAD Communications Manager, Mr. Samuel Nganga, informed that in order to address this challenge and to develop a unified approach to communicating NEPAD, as well as develop a clear NEPAD brand for ease of communication, the secretariat convened a communications workshop in Accra, Ghana.

The participants resolved to work on existing opportunities to change negative perceptions and images about Africa by building on existing expertise and networks and by co-ordinating current communication efforts to collectively promote a common vision for the continent.

According to him, the workshop noted that while Africa has many untold success stories, the time has come to promote the continent using sports, arts and culture in an effort to reach out to all generations, with the FIFA 2010 World Cup presenting huge opportunities.

Participants further highlighted the need to reinforce ownership of NEPAD, secure buy-in and inculcate a sense of belonging by celebrating Africa’s regeneration and promoting Pan Africanism during the week of 25 May. which is Africa Day.
This, he said explained would be to affirm NEPAD as the foremost movement for socio-economic renewal in Africa.

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