The new World Bank External Affairs Manager, Eric Chinje, is championing the search for concrete ways of enhancing the media’s participation in African development.
In a Video Conference at the World Bank offices in Kigali that linked Media professionals from twelve African countries on Wednesday, journalists held an open discussion on how the Bank could work more effectively with media outlets in Africa.
Chinje emphasized the importance of involving media professionals in, “engaging in critical discussion on development issues” and stressed the need for an improved communication component.
Participants largely emphasized that the Bank should step up efforts in working closely and informing media houses about its projects right from the word go.
“Bring media in at the entry point not at the exit,” participants said, urging for timely access to information as a major way forward. Media practitioners asked to be involved in project design, monitoring and implementation.
“We want to be at the table when the projects are discussed, they demanded. Also underlined in the conference was the importance of helping create an enabling environment for media in various countries.
The Bank was urged to get involved in direct and sustainable capacity building initiatives other than short period training courses for the media. The discussion also dwelt on how the media perceives the partnership with the Bank.
Chinje also chairs the Steering Committee of the Africa Media Initiative, an initiative due to be launched this May in Maputo, Mozambique.