BY BRIDGET GAPARE
THE Vice President Constantino Guvheya Nyikadzino Dominic Chiwenga is today expected to officially open the Africa Factbook Stakeholders Consultative Conference at Harare International Conference Center.
The conference organised by local publishing company, Book of African Records (BAR) in partnership with African Union Commission (AUC) and Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) will be graced by leadership from the African Union Commission and other diplomats from over 20 countries.
The project of The African Factbook, which shall contain useful facts about Africa and its people for purposes of information dissemination, education, entertainment, reference, statistics and documentation is being implemented by the BAR on the strength of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Africa Union.
BAR founder and editor-in-chief, Kwame Muzawazi (pictured above)said the conference is meant to consult extensively to create buy-in and support from key stakeholders to ensure that various resources and expertise, on the continent and beyond, are harnessed.
“The Africa Factbook Stakeholders Consultative Conference is one of the biggest conferences to be held in the country that seeks to sensitise key stakeholders on the importance and process of compiling the Africa Factbook, map, understand and acknowledge existing initiatives and processes on the continent that can feed into this multi-stakeholder process of compiling a home-grown Africa Factbook,” he said.
“At least 120 delegates that include, but not limited to, official representatives of governments (mostly Ambassadors), businesses, philanthropists, potential funders, academics and researchers, African regional economic communities, publishers, statisticians, inter-governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, among others are targeted.”
Muzavazi said the conference is not just to pool expertise and resources, but also to consult and get various views, expectations and needs in order to meet the overall objective of publishing the Africa Factbook.
“The conference shall also serve as a marketing platform for the project and its products to ensure the Factbook will be widely used. Through the process, BAR seeks to identify the possible collaborations throughout the Factbook compilation process from research, verification, editing, publishing, printing to marketing and distribution,” he said.
“The conference shall facilitate dialogue on the process and benefits of compiling a home-grown reference source for Africa. Discussions will provide recommendations, networks and contacts for the purpose of funding, publishing, marketing, distribution and utilisation of the Africa Factbook across Africa and world-wide.