World Bank aims to boost knowledge of African development

People dancing in Accra, Ghana, at the announcement of the global launch of the World Bank report “Poverty in a Rising Africa.” Photo by: Dominic Chavez / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The portrayal of Africa in the media often does not match what development groups encounter and talk about in reality. So the World Bank Africa Region is organizing its first-ever knowledge festival to spread more grounded information about development work in the continent and combat what some critics call poverty porn.

The one-day event is called Africa Knowledge Fest and it aims to connect the public to the institution’s research work about the continent. It is scheduled to be held on Feb. 22 simultaneously at the World Bank headquarters and its regional offices around the world.

“The vision behind this is to ensure that high-quality knowledge that is produced about Africa is disseminated widely,” Albert Zeufack, World Bank’s chief economist for Africa, told Devex in an interview.

He explained that participants from academia, think tanks and international development would have the opportunity to meet and interact with analysts and authors of selected reports and books produced about Africa.

“It is the case that a number of reports, some books produced on Africa end up on the shelves, and very few people know about it,” said Zeufack. “Very few policymakers use them. Very few academics even know they exist,” he added.

Zeufack explained that the event, organized as a collaboration between the office of the chief economist and communications department at the World Bank Africa region, would be in a festival format with over 20 booths set up for each global practice to display selected top five products released within the past five years. The authors of these reports would be on stand-by to talk about those products, the findings and potential outcome with participants.

There will also be an impact award where participants would get the opportunity to vote for authors of research and analytical work on African development.

Read more international development news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive the latest from the world’s leading donors and decision-makers — emailed to you free every business day.

About the author

  • Jennifer Ehidiamen

    Jennifer Ehidiamen is a Nigerian writer who is passionate about communications and journalism. She has worked as a reporter and communications consultant for different organizations in Nigeria and overseas. She has an undergraduate degree in mass communication from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, and M.A. in business and economics from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York. In 2014, she founded Rural Reporters ( with the goal of amplifying underreported news and issues affecting rural communities.