Friday, December 16, 2011

Prof Alfred Opubor for burial, 20 Dec

Prof Alfred Opubor
Burial on Dec 20
The burial of Professor Alfred Opubor will take place in Nigeria after a requiem service at Grail City in Iju, Lagos on December 20, according to sources that spoke with mauricearchibongtravels during our visit to Cotonou, Benin Republic Friday.
The late Prof Alfred Opubor. PHOTO: ADEA/WANAD Centre.

Respondents at the Cotonou-based Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and Working Group on Communication for Education and Development (WG COMED) revealed the body of the late media don would arrive in Lagos on Saturday, December 17, 2011.
We had also gathered that the corpse was initially scheduled to be brought to Nigeria on Friday, December 16; however, the freighting was later postponed. Professor Opubor, who died in Cotonou after a brief illness on December 2, 2011 at the age of 75 years old, is survived by his spouse, Antoinette as well as children and grand-children.
An alumnus of Michigan State University, US; where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1969; Opubor will be remembered as “one of the first generation of specialists in the field of communication as a behavioural science”, according to a statement signed by Mr. Lawalley Cole, Coordinator of the Working Group on Communication for  Education and Development (WG COMED) and Association for the Development of Education in Africa(ADEA)/African Development Bank(AfDB).
His contribution to ADEA has been described as exceptional, especially toward the setting up of Africa Education Journalism Award and consolidation of the Working Group on Communication for Education and Development (WG COMED). Opubor was Member, Africa Board of the Rome, Italy-based international news agency, Inter Press Service (IPS) and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Panos Institute (West Africa).
And, until his death on December  2, Opubor was Secretary-General of the WANAD Centre in Cotonou. He assumed that office in 2003. It could be recalled that ADEA broke the sad news of Prof Opubor’s transition on December 3. Opubor, an eminent media scholar, passed on “in the late hours of the night of 2 December, 2011, following a brief admission at the university teaching hospital in Cotonou”, going by ADEA’s statement.
The late Prof Opubor distinguished himself as an expert in communication theories and their application in development and his expertise in strategic communication was frequently sought by several national, regional and international organisations, especially within the United Nations system. He also served creditably as head of Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos and at various times as senior communication specialist in the United Nations system.
A former international consultant in strategic communication and media development, Opubor was also a reverred researcher and worked from 1990 to 1998 as Senior Technical Adviser in Information, Education and Communication for Reproductive Health with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). With UNFPA, he worked first in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; before relocating to the Harare, Zimbabwe-based Country Support Team (CST) hub, which covers over 20 countries in East, Central and West Africa.
Opubor also designed, in 2008 and 2009, the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) institutional communication strategy, entitled, “From a Community of States to a Community of People”. Earlier, in 2005 and 2006, he had served as Senior Consultant to the Chairman of the African Union Commission, where he proposed the conceptual framework and operational procedures for the establishment of a Pan-African radio and television network.
In 2007, Opubor was an invited consultant/participant at the 10th UN Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development. That summit, which took place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, “aimed at developing a UN system-wide common approach to Communication for Development in the context of achieving the Millennium Development Goals”.
The late professor contributed to development in countries in different parts of Africa and the world at large. For example, Opubor had a hand in “the preparation of a development communication strategy for the Government of Ghana”. In 1999, he was appointed a World Bank communication consultant for the urban water reform in that West African country. He was also appointed a member of the Experts’ Group on Media Data and Indicators of UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics. That assignment involved undertaking missions in 2009  to India (March), Paris (May), and Costa Rica (November).
Apparently, a widely travelled man, Prof Opubor also undertook missions on behalf of UNESCO Headquarters, Paris in 2009 to prepare analytical studies on the integration of communication for development in the CCA/UNDAF of Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, “within the context of the UN system’s Delivering As One reforms”. He also provided capacity development for members of the UN Communication Group in these countries. Evidently, Opubor would be greatly missed. May God bless his soul with eternal peace.
Mr. Cole, the Coordinator of WG COMED and ADEA/African Development Bank(AfDB), revealed a Condolence Register was opened since Monday December 5, at the WANAD Centre in Cotonou. That register has witnessed scores of visitors that have documented their sadness at the transition of this media guru.
NB: More information on Prof Alfred Opubor as well as funeral plans can be found

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