Monday, 4 June 2007

Africa-Europe Roundtable participants share communication 'solutions'

Brussels, 4 June. After the presentations, participants in the Africa-Europe Roundtable formed small groups to exchange and examine issues arising from the presentations. The starting points were that: communication and information exchange is key for better development; that there is an unequal distribution of access to information, particularly linked to poor ICT access in Africa.

One table asked itself how an effective information bridge between Africa and Europe can be built? how can knowledge be employed for global cooperation? and how can benefit from European research?

Some of the solutions identified:
• Hosting web space for Southern partners so that they can upload their own content;
• Support the dissemination of information produced in Africa to the media;
• Produce less press releases, with clearer messages and better quality;
• Include a focus on print media:
• Use radio to broadcast relevant information;
• Bring African and their knowledge to Europe.

The lack of internet access was perceived as a major obstacle. This is why some participants saw the solutions rather in non-electronic media.

All ideas approach the same problem from a different direction: Some assist in delivering information and stimulating information flows, whereas others focus on capacity building of African partners instead of providing information coming from outside.

Story by Birthe Paul

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