VICE-President Constantino Chiwenga will today officially open the one-day Africa Factbook Stakeholders Consultative Conference organised by local publishing company, Book of African Records (BAR) in partnership with African Union Commission (AUC) and Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) at Harare International Conference Centre.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The event will be attended by international and local delegates.
The African Factbook project, meant to pool together useful facts about Africa and its people for purposes of information dissemination, education, reference, statistics and documentation, is being implemented by the BAR on the strength of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Union.
BAR founder and editor-in-chief, Kwame Muzawazi, said the conference was meant to consult and get various views, expectations and needs in order to meet the overall objective of publishing the Africa Factbook.
“The conference 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.
Muzawazi said the Africa Factbook sought to cover gaps in the continuum of knowledge management in particular the absence of a comprehensive reference source on Africa by Africans.
“Africa still lacks an authentic and comprehensive home-grown source of data and information and in order to address this information gap, the African Union Commission signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Book of African Records in 2016, which mandated the latter to publish the Africa Factbook,” he said.
He said at least 120 delegates including diplomats, businesspeople, philanthropists, potential funders, academics and researchers, publishers and statisticians confirmed their attendance.
“Among the delegates who have confirmed their attendance are African Union, The Southern African Development Community, The Economic Community of West African States, The East African Community, The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, International Monetary Fund and World Bank,” he said.
Muzawazi said the African Factbook will be one of the tools of communication available to build a common understanding of key facts about Africa and building continental pride.