As featured on DFID’s blog

As a journalist I spend a lot of time reporting on the developing world. To be honest, many of my stories focus on problems and failures, so when I was approached to moderate an event about the Millennium Development Goals during the UN General Assembly, to showcase solutions and successes, I couldn’t resist taking the project on.

Inspiration: Femi Oke talking to Dr Isatou Njie Saidy. Photo Credit: USAID

On paper, ‘MDG Countdown 2011, Successes and Innovations’ was impressive. The event co-hosts,  DFID and USAID,  had come up with an engaging mix of strong speakers, positive case studies and celebrity guests, all packed into a dynamic 90-minute presentation. It looked good on paper… On the day, as the highlights video shows, it was even better and I got to present some good news for a change.

Before taking the stage, I got some last-minute inspiration for my presentation from the first female Vice President of Gambia, Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy. Gambia’s success story at the event focused on progress in education. The country’s Children’s Act of 2005 established compulsory basic education as law and Gambia has seen impressive increases in the numbers of children enrolled for school – especially girls.

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