ACBF unveils media development grants

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THE African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) has said it is keen to support the media in the form of capacity building grants to enhance the fourth estate’s watchdog role on developmental policies formulated by the government.
Africa’s premier capacity development institute made the announcement at the weekend when it was reviving its partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) in Harare through the signing of a memorandum of understanding.
UN-ECA is the United Nations’ vigorous arm that supports development in Africa through facilitating for the attainment of Millennium Development Goals.
The ACBF and UN-ECA’s renewed partnership will see the country’s foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance policy research unit benefiting from international, regional integration and financial policy capacity building grants.
The partnership was initially signed in 2008 for a three year period and was extended in 2011.
Addressing reporters at the signing ceremony, ACBF executive secretary, Professor Emmanuel NNadozie said they were interested in receiving funding proposals from the media and community based civil society organizations.
“We do have programmes that support the media and many of them are regional based .This is an area we really want to reinforce more on because of our recognition of the critical role that the media plays in the development and how they help countries to really have a more participatory process of the government and help in the issues relating to accountability and good governance and of course overall public awareness of issues,” he said.
He added: “This is an area of importance to us because we recognize that if you really want to have societies which are more transparent and more open and engage with the whole population in the process you have to have an independent and strong media which express itself.”
Professor NNadozie said they were already supporting media projects in West Africa.
Professor NNadozie said what continues to stifle development in most African countries, Zimbabwe included, is lack of citizen participation in national and development policies initiated by the governments.
ACBF said it has spent $1.3 for Zimbabwe projects for this year from a total amount of $20 million. Advertisement