Commission for Africa appoints Chancellor PRO

The Commission for Africa, set up to examine Africa’s economic, social and environmental development, has appointed press officer to the Chancellor, Nicola Savage, as its chief communicator on an 18-month secondment.

Savage will report to head of the secretariat for the commission Miles Wickstead and will be the commission’s official spokeswoman, answering media enquiries, giving interviews, travelling overseas with journalists on showcasing tours, and organising international conferences, exhibitions and events.

She will also work closely with colleagues in the Department for International Development (DfID), the Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The commission is chaired by Tony Blair and its commissioners include Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, South African minister of finance Trevor Manuel, Sir Bob Geldof and Chancellor Gordon Brown.

While the secretariat is based in London, the commission itself is mobile and met for the first time on 4 May at 10 Downing Street.

Africa is the only continent to have got poorer in the past 25 years, during which time its share of world trade has halved.

It receives less than one per cent of global direct foreign investment, according to the commission.

Savage said: ‘I have got the task of promoting the continent to a UK audience and also, perhaps more importantly, getting out to a huge audience across Africa. So often commentators look at [the commission] negatively and as an extension to the UK government, but it is not a UK institution.’

Savage will take up her role on 21 June with the title of press and publicity manager and arrives after a six-month spell at the Treasury, where she is responsible for managing the Chancellor’s media diary and events.

For further information go to WWW.PRWEEK.COM

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