AFRICA"S TOP JOURNALISTS COMPLETE INTENSIVE PROGRAMME AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS

PI/1262
23 June 2000

AFRICA"S TOP JOURNALISTS COMPLETE INTENSIVE PROGRAMME AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS

23 June 2000


Press Release
PI/1262


AFRICA’S TOP JOURNALISTS COMPLETE INTENSIVE PROGRAMME AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS

20000623

A group of 15 senior African journalists from every region of the continent have today completed an intensive programme of briefings and interviews organized by the Department of Public Information (DPI) at United Nations Headquarters, designed to promote a better understanding within Africa of United Nations efforts for the continent.

The 19 to 23 June programme brought together representatives of some of the major print news and radio organizations in the continent. As veteran news correspondents, they were invited to hear from and question senior officials about United Nations actions on the entire gamut of United Nations activities and responses to potential economic and social challenges. The programme was also designed to strengthen practical working relations between DPI and the principal media in the continent, and included discussions on how the United Nations could better serve media in developing countries.

The programme opened with a wide-ranging briefing by Deputy Secretary- General Louise Frechette. The Secretary-General was scheduled to address the group until he was called away by official travel obligations.

Some 30 senior officials briefed the journalists, including the heads of most departments as well as the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Carol Bellamy, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. Jean David Levitte (France) spoke to them in his capacity as President of the Security Council. Richard Holbrooke (United States), as representative of the host country, also met with the group.

All the sessions were conducted in the press conference format, except the one where the journalists met with all New York-based senior African United Nations officials, including Under-Secretaries-General Ibrahim Gambari and Olara Otunnu. A similar session with African representatives on the Security Council was cancelled because of Council-related developments.

The group of journalists who attended were:

Pierre Essama Essomba (Cameroon), Managing Editor, Cameroon Tribune Bahira Mokhtar (Egypt) Editor-in-Chief, Al-Ahram France Kpatinde (France) Editor-in-Chief, Jeune Afrique Faustina Ashirifie (Ghana) Foreign Editor, Daily Graphic Joseph Odindo (Kenya) Managing Editor, Daily Nation Chris Jacobie (Namibia) Executive Editor, Republikein 2000

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Ogbuagu Anikwe (Nigeria) Deputy Editor, The Guardian Victor Visithan Ngabonziza (Rwanda) Editor-in-Chief, The New Times Seynabou Kor (Senegal) Chief Editor, Radio Senegal Bethuel Monk Nkomo (South Africa), News Editor, Sowetan Ichikaeli Maro-Mzobora (Tanzania) Editor, Daily News Safadou Kerim (Togo) Editor-in-Chief, Radio Lomé John Baptist Wasswa (Uganda) Chief News Editor, New Vision Kadaria Ahmed (United Kingdom) Senior Producer, BBC African Service Bornwell Chakaodza (Zimbabwe) Managing Director, Newspaper Division, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1990) Limited and Editor of the Herald

The programme was financed by an extra-budgetary contribution from a Member State.

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For information media. Not an official record.