AfDB Partners with UNESCO in Celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Tunis

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is partnering with UNESCO to mark World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated on 3 May, and will organize a number of events  in Tunis from 2 to 5 May 2012 under the theme: “Media freedom has the power to transform societies.”

The events will bring together international media and civil society actors.

The AfDB believes that promoting strong, pluralistic, free and independent media in Africa will help enhance transparency and accountability; strengthen participation in governance reform processes, from community level to state level; raise public interest in implementing public development policies in favor of inclusive growth shared by all.

Within this framework, and in order to continue supporting media capacity building in Africa, the AfDB is organizing a training session for journalists from across the continent, under the overall theme: "The role of media in fostering good governance and accountability". The training session will be held from 3 to 5 May at the Centre africain de perfectionnement des journalistes et communicateurs (CAPJC) - the, African development centre for journalists and communicators - in Tunis.

On 2 May, the AfDB, in collaboration with "Tunisialive", the leading Tunisian online news site in English and the Center for Communication Development, will sponsor a roundtable on the pioneering role of Tunisia in awakening Arab world in terms of media and governance. The discussion panel will include high-level representatives of the Tunisian government, the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, and various professionals and civil society representatives.

Donald Kaberuka, AfDB president, will be hosting around 300 participants at a luncheon to be held on 4 May at the Karthago Palace Hotel.

In Tunisia, the AfDB was the first development finance institution to engage with the authorities who acceded to power after the revolution of 14 January, 2011, by implementing a social inclusion and transition support program in Tunisia.  It was the first institution to allocate funds for the transition process, with an initial USD 500 million loan, passed by the AfDB Board in June 2011. This program prioritized job creation, access to social services in disadvantaged areas and transparency in governance.

The AfDB department for social and human development is also currently developing other programs for citizen participation and accountability in Africa.