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Sunday, April 14, 2024

OIC Gambia trains journalists ahead of Banjul summit

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By Olimatou Coker

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation Gambia Secretariat on Thursday had a training for dozens of journalists from across the country focusing on integral coverage of the 15th summit slated for 4-5 May in Banjul.

Officials said the summit in The Gambia is not merely a diplomatic thing but a momentous occasion that highlights the country’s growing status and influence on the global stage.  The summit will further underscore the government’s ability to convey and facilitate crucial conferences among international leaders fostering cooperation and solidarity on issues of mutual importance.

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The training delved into various aspects essential for the comprehensive coverage of the OIC Banjul  Summit, exploring the events, objective teams and anticipated outcomes, providing journalists with the contextual understanding necessary to deliver insightful reporting, such as protocols and cultural sensitivity to ensure that their coverage honors the diverse perspectives and traditions of all involved.

The OIC Summit is the second largest gathering of world leaders after the United Nations General Assembly. The 15th edition of the Muslim summit will be hosted for the first time in Banjul, The Gambia, and  for the second time in sub-Saharan Africa under the them “enhancing unity and solidarity through dialogue for sustainable development”.

Lassana Tunkara, Chairperson of the Media Subcommittee, said the training goes beyond equipping journalists with technical skills or knowledge necessary for effective coverage as it further embraces the role of journalists as ambassadors of truth and integrity, leveraging the power of media to elevate the discourse surrounding the historic OIC Banjul Summit.

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He added that journalists can highlight The Gambia’s readiness to have such a significant gathering, building resilience in the face of challenges, an unwavering commitment to democratic principles and human rights.  “As representatives of the Gambian media, everyone here has a way to take responsibility in ensuring that the coverage of this event is comprehensive, accurate and impactful. Your reporting will not only shape the narrative surrounding the summit, but also play a pivotal role in shaping perceptions of our country, both domestically and internationally.”

Yankuba Dibba, Chief Executive Officer Gambia OIC Secretariat,  said the summit signals The Gambia’s commitment to regional and international collaboration for peace, development and prosperity.

“The summit will provide Gambians a unique opportunity to showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage and hospitality and capacity to organize and host large scale international gatherings.”

The OIC  2024 summit, according to the Chief Executive Officer, is about showcasing Gambia’s potential  as a destination for investment, tourism and meaningful engagement with the global community.

“57 countries are all heading to The Gambia in the next 30 days. We want the media to showcase what is The Gambia; we would like the global media to be awash with good stories. Good information about The Gambia. Gambia is such a beautiful place and our role in the OIC even though demographically we are the smallest on mainland Africa but we have performed well since the founding of the OIC. If you look at the theme of the summit we want to foster unity, solidarity”.

Nfally Fadera, Head of Brand and Communication, said Gambia is at a crossroads because it is not everyday that we expect 57 heads of state or delegates from 57 countries and beyond. “So we are expecting a huge chunk of the world in our country very soon. The OIC  is spread across four continents. Collectively, the population spans between 1.8 billion to 2 billion people. So during the period of the summit, there will be huge global attention on The Gambia. So I usually also tell people that one of the single biggest opportunities for us is a make or break moment for us. So it is up to us as a people to see and determine how we want to handle or approach this issue”.

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