Posted by: africanpressorganization | 20 October 2008

Believe in Africa / The new IFRC initiative to promote « Good News » on the continent



Believe in Africa / The new IFRC initiative to promote « Good News » on the continent


JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, October 20, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Believe in Africa / The new IFRC initiative to promote « Good News » on the continent


  • What is “Believe in Africa”?

“Believe in Africa” is an Initiative launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on the occasion of the 7th Pan African Conference that will gather representatives of the 53 African Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Africa in Johannesburg from October 19 to 22, 2008.

While the official launch will take place in South Africa, the Initiative is also global and will be presented to international media based in Geneva.


  • What is the main objective of “Believe in Africa”?

The main objective is to highlight the need to work together with the media and other humanitarian organizations to promote more positive reporting on Africa, which is often described as a continent of war and poverty. The IFRC is facing the same dilemma as journalists when we often issue press releases focusing on disasters in Africa. “Believe in Africa” aims to also acknowledge and better promote the immense contribution being made on a daily basis at the community level. The initiative will emphasize the many positive stories and experiences being continuously recorded by the Red Cross Red Crescent in Africa.


  • What is the main document released for the “Believe in Africa” launch?

A survey report asking for the opinion of high-level policy makers in more than 30 donor governments and commissioned by the IFRC, was conducted in mid-2008. The main findings will be released on the opening day of the Pan African Conference. The “Believe in Africa” initiative gets much of its focus from the survey’s findings which clearly indicate the need to better engage at community level and to invest in development and capacity building. Additionally, the survey monitored media coverage of Africa. In brief: Africa is consistently depicted in a negative tone with its many successes and achievements being overlooked.


  • How will the IFRC promote “Believe in Africa”?

The initiative will be launched in Johannesburg and in Geneva. Then, it will be relayed by Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies all over Africa. A competition for African-based media (Good news for Africa) will also be announced. The IFRC will declare the winners during the IFRC General Assembly in Nairobi in November 2009.


  • What is the content of this media pack? (all documents strictly embargoed until Monday, October 20 at 09:00 GMT, 11h Geneva time):


  • a summary showing the main findings of the Report
  • a press release
  • An Opinions Piece signed by the IFRC President.
  • A selection of 5 case studies showing examples of “good news” the IFRC would like to highlight.


  • For more information on Believe in Africa, please contact:
  • English speaking media:

In Johannesburg: Matthew Cochrane, southern Africa Communications manager, Tel: 27 833955266

In Geneva: Paul Conneally, Head of Media and External Relations, Tel: 4179 308 9809

  • French-speaking media:

In Johannesburg: Pierre Kremer, Head of Communications Department, Tel: 41 79 226 4832

Noora Kero, West-Central Africa Communications Manager, Tel: 27 766356059

In Geneva: Jean-Luc Martinage, Communications Officer, Tel: 41 22 730 4296

  • Spanish-speaking media:

In Johannesburg: Milagros Mateos, Communications Officer, Tel: 41 79 752 0527


Regular updates on the Pan African Conference will be posted on in English, French and Spanish.



SOURCE : International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)


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