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Video Conferences and Cyber-Dialogues Spark African Activities on the Millennium Development Goals

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Participants from 21 African countries who recently took part in World Bank-sponsored MDGs+5 Video Conferences (VCs) and Cyber-Dialogues (CDs) have now begun actions to explain the importance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to their fellow citizens on the continent.

Ghana attendees, for example, have started a Breakfast TV Program on the MDGs, which first aired on September 30, and will continue as a regular program on the MDGs. In addition, the Ghana group is collaborating with the Canadian Parliamentary Centre, which is organizing a roundtable on MDGs for the Parliamentary Select Group on Poverty Reduction in Ghana.

Also in the works is a MDGs media network of attendees and Harvard alumni in Ghana, led by the Chair of African Studies at Harvard, Prof E. Akyeampong. And one of the participating youth groups has asked the World Bank’s Ghana country office staff to sponsor a radio program on “Youth and the Millennium Development Goals.”

In Burkina Faso, women attendees have drawn links between the recent MDGs+5 and the Beijing+10, reviewing the achievements in women’s rights since Beijing ten years ago and MDGs five years and counting.

Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Sierra Leone have also organized MDG-centered activities since the dialogues. Cameroon, in particular, has moved quickly and has already begun follow-up activities with women from the Beijing+10 VCs and Cyber-dialogue series, also organized by the World Bank earlier in the year.

An average of 168 participants each day for 6 days, over a two-week period, took part in the recent events, which were organized by the External Affairs, Africa Region (AFREX) Group and the World Bank Institute (WBI). The video-conference/cyber-dialogues brought together youth groups, parliament members, government ministers and officials, diplomats, and representatives from the private sector, the media, as well as Bank staff.

Eleven French-speaking countries participated for three days of the first week. These included Togo, DR Congo, Guinea, Mauritania, Gabon, Chad, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon, and Madagascar.

During the second week, ten English-speaking countries took part: Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda and Anglophone Cameroon.

The MDGs+5 VCs and cyber-dialogues were a collaborative effort of the World Bank, UNDPAfrican Development BankHarvard University, and Genderlinks.

Contact: Beldina Auma, 202-458-7307.

Related Links

Millennium Development Goals - Africa Country Tables
World Bank Millennium Development Goals website 
Global Monitoring Report 2005



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