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WCC Congress in Rome

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Role of Communications in Meeting Current Development Challenges

Over 1000 senior communications professionals from around the world are meeting in Rome for the World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD), organized by the World Bank, the FAO, and The Communications Initiative. The three-day Congress is focusing on demonstrating that communication for development is essential to meeting today’s most pressing development challenges. Communications for development can be broadly defined as a process that builds and facilitates the sharing of knowledge to achieve positive change in development projects.

Congress participants have been discussing a broad range of issues ranging from "Communications for Good Governance, Participation and Transparency" to "Mainstreaming Communications in Sustainable Development Policies." Participants have examined questions such as "Is a free media essential for development?" and discussed the role of top news media as a pro-development tool. The AfDB delegation to the Congress includes Mrs. Hilde Johnson, Adviser to President Donald Kaberuka, who, in an address to a plenary session on Thursday, emphasized the importance of the media as a watchdog that gives voice to the voiceless, and encourages accountability in Public Management.

Speakers at the Congress include World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, FAO Director General Jacques Diouf, Italian-Environment Minister, Patrizia Sentinelli, and Deputy Foreign Minister, Rosa Maria Alfaro. The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Jose Ramos Horta, the Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz, former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the Head of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mrs. Marta Mauras, were also among the long list of speakers who addressed the Congress.

BBC HardTalk Anchor, Stephen Sackur, has recorded a special Congress programme that will be aired on BBC Radio and Television in the coming days. On the sidelines of the Congress, the Acting Head of the AfDB External Relations and Communication Unit, Eric Chinje, has been holding meetings with his counterparts in other multilateral and bilateral donor agencies on collaboration in project communication and media development in Africa.

Internal and External Communications Division
Tel.: +216 71 10 29 16 – Fax: +216 71 10 37 52 – E-mail:


Felix Njoku Phone: +216 71 10 26 12
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