We were asked to provide communications support for a major conference at short-notice. Our job was to attend the conference, cover all the sessions, provide the conference committee with typed notes on each session by the end of each day, and then to prepare a comprehensive conference report immediately following the event.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a multilateral development finance institution founded in 1964 and its mission is “to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries, thus contributing to poverty reduction”. AfDB is headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina began his tenure in September 2015, and set about convening a high-level conference on the challenges of feeding Africa as a matter of urgency.
The conference, ‘Feeding Africa: An Action Plan for African Agricultural Transformation’ was held in Dakar, Senegal, 21–23 October 2015. The venue was the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD), just outside the city. The 500 attendees included AfDB President Adesina, President Macky Sall of Senegal, government ministers, governors of central banks, and representatives of NGOs and the private sector from all over the continent, as well as academics and experts from around the globe.
AfDB contacted Green Ink in early October 2015, just 2 weeks before the conference, requesting that we send writers to Dakar to cover all the sessions, provide the conference committee with typed notes on every session by the end of each day, and also prepare a comprehensive conference report.
We were able to assemble a team of five expert science writers, organize flights, travel documents and vaccinations in haste and get the team over to the conference in time. The conference was set up with five parallel sessions and so our team of writers, with the support of a dedicated project manager, scheduled their time accordingly and made arrangements to cover and report on all the sessions.
The sessions delved into the details of issues in many areas such as crops, livestock, fisheries, health, nutrition, the environment, climate change, infrastructure, transport, logistics, water supply, border control, trade and customs, finance, education and research. Our subject expertise and our ability to turn around fast, accurate copy was the key to being able to provide daily summaries for the conference committee.
Similarly, our project management capability was vital to providing the logistical support that made this project possible and to administering the process of collating the conference report. Despite the time pressure, our team pulled out all the stops and delivered the final comprehensive report, including an introduction and draft action plan, on time.
The client was delighted. Martin Fregene of AfDB got back to us to say, “I just went over the report and it looks good and reads well; well done to you and your writers and thank you for pulling this off given the impossible time lines and conditions.”
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