Wednesday, August 19, 2009

‘ACCE should’ve observer status @ African Union’

Secretary-General of the West African News-media and Development Centre (WANAD), Prof. Alfred Opubor, has advocated for an observer status for the African Council for Communication Education (ACCE) at the African Union (AU).

In his address to the just concluded 2009 ACCE conference at the University of Ghana Legon, Accra, last weekend, Prof. Opubor, said that the group should seek for an observer status in the continental meet for African leaders.

Additionally, he advised, that ACCE should partner with the private sectors to boost its viability on the continent so as to contribute its quota in bridging the digital communication gap between professionals and the ordinary citizens.

This, he also said, would enable experts that made up ACCE members to communicate and impress the essence of the group and on repositioning of Africa through qualitative communications education on the continent’s leadership.

Commenting at the forum, a Sierra Leonean communications scholar, Prof. Cecil Blake, who is of the Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania, tracked the journey so far for the organization in a piece, entitled “How we got to Accra, Ghana today from Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He commended Nigerian chapter of ACCE for keeping the hope of the organization alive despite the seeming crisis that rocked it since 2003.

“Thanks primarily to the Nigerian chapter of the ACCE, the council continued to function at the national level, preserving at least its name. Signs of a protracted crisis for the council were detected at the Abuja convention,” he said.

According to him, the crisis resulted in a call for a framework that would create structures to seek redress for the increasing difficulties faced by the council at both the governing and operational levels.

“To compound the problem, however, the host country Nigeria manifested an intergenerational rift that became so apparent that it nearly marred the convention. The intergenerational rift required immediate attention,” he said, hence a peace and reconciliation committee was organized and thanks to its diligent work, the rift did not result in the collapse of the council at the national level, in addition to a council of elders formed and presided by himself.

He, however, prayed that ACCE will rise up with the current meeting and situate itself as the harbinger of ‘good’ as in moral communication, as the on-going to engage the African development problems with a strong and firm emphasis on African ethos and agency.

Blake also seek the manifestation of African governance, the reduction of blatant corruption grafts and personal aggrandizement, the rule of law which is neither absent nor strange in African tradition and culture, but require the collective robust attention of ACCE members, noting that Africa has a rich and lofty tradition of core principles that surpass even those enunciated by those outside of the continent who are using African brightest brains to detect how to govern Africa.

The African Council for Communication Education (ACCE), a non-profit-making non-governmental organization was formed since 1975 with funding and support from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

ITRealms Online recalled that at inception, ACCE acted as an association of Heads of Schools of Journalism and Communication on the African continent, but later transformed into the only regional organization of Africanist communication scholars and practitioners on the continent, with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

ACCE is a professional Pan African organization charged with the responsibility of promoting journalism, development of communication resources in Africa and creating awareness among African policy makers and planners on the role of communication in national development.

Its activities over the years include communication research, training, workshops, seminars, documentation, in addition to publishing books, monographs, a journal (Africa Media Review), occasional papers, as well as a newsletter (Africom). In July 1983, ACCE established the Institute for Communication Development and Research (ACCE/ICDR) whose main task is to implement the above activities.

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